Bursens, Peter, and Van Loon, Carolien. (2007) "Multilevel Simulation Games in EU Studies: Powerful Learning Environments in Political Science?". In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)
[From the introduction]. In this paper we present the introduction of a multi-level simulation game in a political science curriculum. We aim to assess this innovation in teaching and evaluating by means of the criteria of the powerful learning environment. The multi-level simulation game was developed for an MA course entitled Multi-level Governance. This course final aims are ‘to gain knowledge of the origins, meaning and functioning of multilevel governance, to develop a critical attitude towards the complexity of decision-making and to develop negotiation and representation skills’. This course (6 ECTS-credits) is part of the MA Program Political Science at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). As from 2007-2008, the simulation game will become part of a new course ‘Europeanization’ in a new MA, with similar aims in terms of generating knowledge, attitudes and skills, but more narrowly focused on the adaptation of member states to European integration. In this paper, however, the simulation game is treated as part of the existing Multi-level Governance course. In the next paragraphs, we briefly describe the multi-level governance approach and present a short introduction in simulations in political science. The core part of the paper discusses the extent to which introduction of the simulation lives up to criteria that have been operationalized by De Corte (1996, 2000) and Snyder (2003). The central question of the paper therefore is: ‘Does our simulation correspond with Corte’s principles of a powerful learning environment and with Snyder’s characteristics of active learning?’ Both teaching methods and assessment will be dealt with.
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