METHOD 24: Simulations

In simulations participants are placed in fictional circumstances. Although simulations closely resemble role-plays, they typically are longer, more elaborately scripted, and less open ended in order to achieve the learning objectives. Usually participants in a simulation do not pretend to be someone else but act as themselves in a novel situation.

Since simulations can involve a fairly large group of people and last many hours, facilitators must prepare carefully beforehand and remain attentive during the activity to make sure that everyone understands what is going on. In general participants should already be familiar with the background issues, which could be supplied on their role cards. Be sensitive to the fact that some people may be uncomfortable in the assigned situation. Others may need help understanding roles, both their own or that of others.

A thorough debriefing is essential for participants to draw the parallels between what they have experienced and situations in the real world.

Examples of Method:

The Human Rights Education Handbook: "Activity 2: Applying for Asylum," p. 79; "Activity 16: Packing Your Suitcase," p. 89.

ABC: "Blind Trust," "Crisis," "A Model UN Simulation."[www.unhchr.ch/html/menu6/2/abc.htm]

First Steps: "Camping Out." [erc.hrea.org/Library/First_Steps/index.html]