Exploring the Development of Affective Learning Outcomes in Simulations

Friday, July 14, 2017
Gilbert Scott Conference Room - 251 (University of Glasgow)
Dorothy Duchatelet , Political Science / Education Science, University of Antwerp
Peter Bursens , Political Science, University of Antwerp
Teachers of political science have been using simulations as a teaching method for quite some time. Nowadays, role play-simulations, such as Model United Nations (MUN) and Model European Union (MEU), are widely spread. Moreover, over the past years research on their effects has also increased. However, it seems current research struggles to illuminate significant learning outcomes.  This study aims to explore the development of affective learning outcomes during the simulation process. More specifically, the development of students’ self-efficacy for negotiating and students’ situational interest for negotiating is explored. Data from 84 undergraduate and graduate students was collected during a four-day AntwerpMUN-simulation, organized by students themselves. Self-efficacy and situational interest, both for negotiating, were collected across 12 points in time. Results show a statistically significant upward linear trend for self-efficacy and a statistically significant U-curved trend for situational interest. After controlling for several variables, the effect for time on self-efficacy remained significant. Moreover, gender had a significant effect, indicating that male students scored higher on self-efficacy. Also, after controlling for several variables, the effect for time on situational interest remained significant. Situational interest shows initially a clear downward trend, which increases again towards the end of the simulation. . Overall, affective learning outcomes clearly develop during the simulation process. Results suggest that student’s beliefs in his/her own skills for negotiating increase during the simulations experience and that his/her interest in the negotiating varies between the different measurement moments. Also, both, students’ self-efficacy and situational interest, are related to specific student characteristics.
  • CES 2017_Duchatelet.pdf (342.5 kB)