Discovering Criminological Theory via Experiential Simulation and E-learning
Traditional didactic methods of teaching advanced criminological theory are limited as students often find it difficult to comprehend theories or apply them to real-life. The proposed project aims to design and deliver a course that adopts an innovative composite approach, which allows students to discover abstract criminological concepts themselves through experiential learning and e-learning. The crux of this experiential learning package is SIMSOC (simulated society) – a simulation game developed by Gamson & Peppers (2000) which places students in an emulated society, splits them up into different groups, and has them interact to strive towards the same goal despite discrepancies in their individual backgrounds. The complexities of balancing a functional society against the needs of each group will surface, creating a base upon which the fundamentals of criminological theory can be illustrated. Supplementary E-learning materials will be developed throughout the course, providing students another avenue to learn outside the classroom. They will showcase their creative talents and knowledge via a poster exhibition that also serves the function of disseminating knowledge they have learnt. An evaluation of students’ experiences and the effectiveness of this composite approach will be conducted, providing direct evidence for the utility of the teaching method.