Can Online International Simulations Improve Global Awareness?

33 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2013 Last revised: 7 Feb 2013

See all articles by Tina Zappile

Tina Zappile

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey


Research on the use of simulations to enhance global-specific student outcomes is linked to an overall effort to enhance global citizenship in the classroom. Phrases like globalizing and internationalizing have been increasingly included in strategic plans of higher education institutions. In addition, the movement towards assessment has introduced a variety of desired student outcomes, including global learning, education, or citizenship. This project relies on the popular International Communication & Negotiation Simulations (ICONS) international system simulation as a tool to improve global awareness as a student outcome. A set of survey tools adapted from similar research on the effect of online simulations on global empathy and learning in secondary education is used to assess changes in global awareness as a result of participation in this online simulation. In addition, this paper identifies key aspects of pedagogical design of simulations in support of that outcome and makes recommendations for further research linking simulations to student outcomes. Finally, the class evaluated for this project experienced major disruptions to their simulation experience, the direct impact of Superstorm Sandy and the unrelated death of a student in the class. This paper also includes successful strategies for dealing with serious disruptions in a way that enhances rather than hurts student experiences in simulations.

Keywords: international simulations, online simulations, ICONS, global awareness, global empathy

Suggested Citation

Zappile, Tina, Can Online International Simulations Improve Global Awareness?. APSA 2013 Teaching and Learning Conference Paper, Available at SSRN: or

Tina Zappile (Contact Author)

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey ( email )

101 Vera King Farris Drive
Galloway, NJ 08205
United States

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