Meibauer, Gustav and Aagaard Nøhr, Andreas (2018) Teaching experience: how to make and use PowerPoint-based interactive simulations for undergraduate IR teaching. Journal of Political Science Education, 14 (1). pp. 42-62. ISSN 1551-2169
Development of Powerpoint-Based Simulations
Using the features of Powerpoint to create interactive simulations to be used in undergraduate International Relations courses
The project team:
Andreas Aagaard Nohr,
and Helen Axe
“This project will design and implement three PowerPoint-based interactive simulations for use in introductory undergraduate classes. Currently available solutions are targeted at course-long activities, at a high cost of time and preparation effort for both teachers and students. Instead, this project explicitly aims at providing a low-cost, easily accessible and class-long interactive experience to students to encourage theoretical linkage with own in-class experience in such issue areas as foreign policy, diplomacy, or great power dynamics. We do this by employing PowerPoint, specifically in-built features such as hyperlinks, interactive pathways, or audio or video integration that can be used interactively rather than passively (as in a standard presentation). “
“Not only did the simulations add an important additional method to diversify the learning experience and complement more “traditional” instruction styles, they also led to greater overall participation rates in class, allowed students to bring in own previous experience and learn from their peers, and try out learned theoretical concepts in class.
The simulations also proved entertaining and supported positive group dynamics in class, such as self-moderated discussion and quick exchanges between students without teacher interference.
They allowed us as teachers to transition more easily towards roles of moderator and facilitator, as students interact with the simulation and with each other without input or instruction from the teacher
While we still invested substantial amounts of time into creating scenarios and functional simulations, the project clearly served to enable decreasing marginal costs of time investment: each new simulation profits off of the experience collated based on previous ones.”
Gustav and Andreas have created teaching materials covering the theory and the respective creation processes for use in undergraduate small-class teaching.
They wrote a manual with guidelines to create, use and evaluate similar simulations in undergraduate teaching more generally and across disciplines:
They also presented the project at the ISA Annual Convention in February