Political Science Now

EU Simulations and Engagement: Motivating Greater Interest in European Union Politics

EU Simulations and Engagement: Motivating Greater Interest in European Union Politics

By Nicholas Clark, Susquehanna University, Gretchen Van Dyke, The University of Scranton, Peter Loedel, West Chester University, John Scherpereel, James Madison University, and Andreas Sobisch, John Carroll University

While the effects of simulation-based courses on the knowledge of participating students may be marginal in relation to standard lecture and discussion-based courses, this article argues that the greatest leverage is gained by increasing participating students’ level of interest in the subject of study and in politics more broadly. Participants tend to become increasingly absorbed in their roles and in the politics of the institutions at the center of the simulation. To better consider this possibility, we conducted a survey of students participating in the 2015 Mid-Atlantic European Union Simulation and of appropriate control populations. The survey results indeed suggest that, much more than simply acquiring knowledge about the EU, the simulation experience serves to generate more robust interest in the subject of study.

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Journal of Political Science Education | Pages 152-170 | Volume 13, 2017 – Issue 1, Published online: 21 February 2017