Promoting Global Empathy and Engagement through Real-Time Problem-Based Simulations: Outcomes from a Policymaking Simulation set in Post-Earthquake Haiti
We introduce a real-time problem-based simulation in which students are tasked with drafting policy to address the challenge of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in post-earthquake Haiti from a variety of stakeholder perspectives. Students who participated in the simulation completed a quantitative survey as a pretest/posttest on global empathy, political awareness, and civic engagement, and provided qualitative data through post-simulation focus groups. The simulation was run in four courses across three campuses in a variety of instructional settings from 2013 to 2015. An analysis of the data reveals that scores on several survey items measuring global empathy and political/civic engagement increased significantly, while qualitative student comments corroborated the results. This format of a real-time problem-based policymaking simulation is readily adaptable to other ongoing and future global crises using the framework provided in this paper.
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