Effects of Simulation Based Learning – Results and Challenges of a Panel Survey

Knowledge
 
Methods
 
Education
 
Experimental Design
 
Higher Education
 
Survey Experiments
 
Survey Research
 
Presenter
Jan Robert Lohmann
Universität Passau
Authors
Jan Robert Lohmann
Universität Passau

Abstract
The proposed paper intends to present and discuss the method and results of a panel survey on the long-term effects of learning through policy simulations as one method of active learning. The use of methods of active learning in general and simulation-games in particular is increasing constantly. How-ever, a comprehensive debate on the sustainability of knowledge acquisition through simulations - and thus the success of this instrument - is still lacking.
A pilot study at a German university attempts to address this desideratum. Within a lecture in Political Science, a policy simulation covers all of the content related to the European Union. Before taking part in the simulation, participants have been confronted with an online questionnaire including test and self-assessment questions. After the simulation, this has been repeated twice. To compare the effects of the simulation and the rest of the lecture, questions about both parts are included.
First results are astonishing. Students learn much more by participating in the simulation than in the lec-ture. Moreover, they can remember the contents much better over a longer period. Nevertheless, these findings are only valid for the active parts within the simulation, not the passive parts like prepar-ing for the game.
However, this contribution will discuss challenges and difficulties of that project, too. Are control-groups needed in this quasi-experimental design for getting better results? Would it be more fruitful to com-pare the outcomes of the simulation with other methods of active learning? Can we gain better insights into students' learning by using focus groups for discussing the results?
These and more questions will be addressed and discussed in this paper, besides the presentation of profound findings and of the methods used for getting insights into short- as well as long-term effects on students' learning by using simulation-games.
Share this page
 

"Nothing in politics is ever as good or bad as it first appears" - Edward Boyle


Back to top