Total Immersion: Taking a Congressional Simulation to the Next Level

26 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2013 Last revised: 7 Feb 2013

See all articles by Michael Lyons

Michael Lyons

Utah State University - College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences - Political Science

Abstract

Now a professor at Utah State University, I have conducted more than thirty congressional simulations. In my presentation at the 2013 APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, I will share the lessons of my experience with others using political simulations, or considering the possibility. Some of my simulations have been modeled after the U.S. Senate, and others after the U.S. House, some with a President and/or interest group lobbyists, and some without, and with many other variations in course rules and academic requirements. Through all these permutations in format, one of my principle pedagogical objectives has always been to envelop the students so thoroughly in the experience that the simulation became a fundamental part of their daily lives and identities. In the course, I expect the students to learn about representation, the legislative process, the importance of procedural rules, and policy issues. Beyond that, I want them to learn on a more personal and emotional basis about negotiation, compromise, coalition-building, trust, loyalty, and making difficult decisions under pressure.

Keywords: Congress, Simulations, Teaching, Learning

JEL Classification: A00

Suggested Citation

Lyons, Michael, Total Immersion: Taking a Congressional Simulation to the Next Level. APSA 2013 Teaching and Learning Conference Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2210719 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2210719

Michael Lyons (Contact Author)

Utah State University - College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences - Political Science ( email )

Logan, UT
United States

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