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research & Reviews

Statecraft has been the subject of multiple scholarly articles and research papers examining the impact of our Simulations on classroom experiences and student learning. We’re excited to share these works with you! 

We’ve also included unbiased industry review links plus a few news articles featuring our products and our founders!

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scholarly research

Does Statecraft Improve Student Learning Outcomes? A Controlled Comparison

Abstract

This paper presents results from a comparative analysis of two sections of Introduction to International Politics, one of which used a traditional research paper as a supplemental assignment and one that used the Statecraft online simulation. Both sections were taught during the same semester and used common lecture notes, PowerPoint slides, exam reviews, and exams. The only difference was the nature of the supplemental assignment. The paper finds that the best predictor of student performance on exams is a student’s GPA prior to taking the class. At the same time, the evidence suggests that time dedicated to the online simulation in class may have led to worse performance on at least one exam. Finally, the paper finds that students did enjoy the Statecraft simulation and generally believed that it was preferable to a traditional research paper in spite of its representing additional work relative to the more traditional research paper.

DATE & PUBLICATION

2019 Journal of Political Science Education9

AUTHOR INFO

Eric Cox is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Texas Christian University. His research includes the study of enduring rivalries, UN institutions and pedagogical methods. His first book, Why Enduring Rivalries Do—or Don’t—End examines the factors that lead rival states to the negotiating table through a comparison of rivalry relationships in the Middle East and Latin America. He has published articles on the origin of the UN Human Rights Council and the effectiveness of the Universal Periodic Review mechanism and coauthored an online Model UN simulation for Statecraft Sims.

The Statecraft Effect: Assessment, Attitudes, and Academic Honesty

ABSTRACT

This article uses a multimethod research design to compare Statecraft to non-Statecraft assignments and courses along three dimensions: student engagement, political attitudes, and academic honesty. The results indicate that Statecraft increased student engagement and academic honesty. In terms of political attitudes, students generally remained on the left side of the political spectrum, but shifted toward the right and became more hawkish by the end of a semester. Changes in attitude are more strongly associated not with playing Statecraft, but taking a political science class by the coauthor, or some other external variable. Statecraft, however, did reduce support for pacifism.

DATE & PUBLICATION

2019 Journal of Political Science Education

AUTHOR INFO

John Linantud is an Associate Professor and Degree Coordinator of Political Science at the University of Houston – Downtown. 

Joanna Kaftan is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Degree Coordinator for Anthropology, Sociology and Social Sciences at the University of Houston – Downtown.  

Pushing the Envelope of Pedagogical Gaming: Dark Networks

ABSTRACT

In recent decades, instructors have increasingly adopted the use of “serious” games in their classrooms. Typically, these games take the form of role-playing simulations or wargames. However, online computer-run games have opened up new possibilities: to explore complex conceptual relationships, to utilize and display asymmetric information, to be playable anywhere and by anyone, and more. This article describes the game, Dark Networks, and shows why this type of game is valuable as well as how it has been used for pedagogical gains.

DATE & PUBLICATION

2017 PS: Political Science & Politics 

AUTHOR INFO

Michael E. Freeman

Pursuing Ideology with Statecraft

ABSTRACT

Utilizing a web-based simulation Statecraft, we explore the relative influence of ideology (realism and idealism) on student behavior and learning. By placing students into ideologically cohesive groups, we are able to demonstrate the effect of their ideology on the goals they pursue and identify the constraints imposed on the system by the behavior of groups as well.

DATE & PUBLICATION

2017 Journal of Political Science Education

AUTHOR INFO

Hayden Smith, PhD is an instructor in the Department of Political Science, Philosophy, and Public Affairs at Washington State University. 

Niall Michelsen, PhD is Associate Professor at Western Carolina University. 

Learning by Doing: Using an Online Simulation Game in an International Relations Course

ABSTRACT

Integrating interactive learning activities into undergraduate courses is one method for increasing student interest, engagement, and skills development. Online simulation games in particular offer students the unique applied opportunity to “learn by doing” in a virtual space to further their overall knowledge base and critical thinking skills. This article examines users’ experiences with Statecraft, an online simulation game, in an introductory International Relations course at a regional university. Positive student feedback and successful performances on assessments suggests that using this type of technology has benefits for select student learning outcomes provided the game is used in conjunction with traditional teaching and assessment strategies such as lectures, classroom discussions, quizzes, and writing assignments.

DATE & PUBLICATION

2016 Journal of Interactive Learning Research

AUTHOR INFO

Jennifer Epley, PhD is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Her primary research focuses on the meaning and significance of identity in politics. She specifically analyzes the interrelationships between religion, gender, public opinion, and political behavior in Southeast Asia. Dr. Epley Sanders has a secondary research interest in effective teaching and student learning. She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

 

The Statecraft Simulation and Foreign Policy Attitudes Among Undergraduate Students

ABSTRACT

Professors of international relations are increasingly realizing that simulations can be a fun and effective way of teaching the complexities of the field to their students. Despite Statecraft’s popularity, however, little scholarship has attempted to assess its impact on learning objectives and students’ perceptions of the real world. This article evaluates Statecraft’s influence on foreign policy attitudes among undergraduate students. It finds that, while participation in Statecraft did not generally change students’ foreign policy preferences, it did have the effect of inducing foreign policy moderation among students who were initially very hawkish or dovish in their foreign policy orientations. The most important individual characteristics predicting foreign policy attitudes include a student’s political orientation and interest in the Statecraft simulation itself. 

DATE & PUBLICATION

2016 Journal of Political Science Education

AUTHOR INFO

Nilay Saiya, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of International Studies at the State University of New York, Brockport. His research concerns the influence of religion on global politics. His scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in Conflict Management and Peace Science, Holy Land Studies, International Journal of Human Rights, International Journal of Business Analytics, Journal of Political Science Education, PS: Political Science and Politics, and several edited volumes. He earned his PhD from the University of Notre Dame in 2013.

How Dangerous Are Virtual Worlds Really? A Research Note on the Statecraft Simulation Debate

abstract

This brief article weighs in on a pedagogical debate concerning the didactic usefulness of an online international relations computer simulation called Statecraft. In a 2014 article, Gustavo Carvalho, a teaching assistant at the University of Toronto, claimed, based on the results of a survey he administered to an international relations class that used Statecraft, that the simulation had little to offer students as a teaching tool. In a rebuttal, Statecraft creator Jonathan Keller took Carvalho to task for not employing the simulation properly, which biased his results. While Carvalho only presented results for one class, the present analysis reports on survey responses of students over six different classes which used Statecraft from 2013 to 2014. The results call into question Carvalho’s findings and suggest that the context and curriculum matter as much as the simulation itself when judging the pedagogical value of computer-mediated learning tools.

DATE & PUBLICATION

2015 Sage Journals

AUTHOR INFO

Nilay Saiya, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of International Studies at the State University of New York, Brockport. His research concerns the influence of religion on global politics. His scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in Conflict Management and Peace Science, Holy Land Studies, International Journal of Human Rights, International Journal of Business Analytics, Journal of Political Science Education, PS: Political Science and Politics, and several edited volumes. He earned his PhD from the University of Notre Dame in 2013.

Can't Get No (Dis)Satisfaction: The Statecraft Simulation's Effect on Student Decision Making

abstract

This article explores what effect the Statecraft simulation might have on undergraduate students’ perceptions of their decision making. Decisions are often evaluated on the basis of whether their outcomes are good or bad, not whether a sound reasoning process was used to reach them. A survey was administered at multiple points in an international relations course to gauge students’ satisfaction with the decision-making processes and outcomes in their respective teams during the Statecraft simulation. Students also engaged in exercises in which their teams’ tentative plans were evaluated as if the plans had generated unfavorable outcomes after implementation. An analysis of students’ reactions to the Statecraft simulation, their performance in the simulation, and other data showed no obvious association between Statecraft and changes in student perceptions of their decision making.

DATE & PUBLICATION

2014 Journal of Political Science Education

AUTHOR INFO

Dr. Chad Raymond is Associate Professor of Political Science & International Relations and Chairperson of the Department of Cultural, Environmental, and Global Studies at Salve Regina University. His research focuses on instructional effectiveness and learners’ cognitive and emotional dispositions.

Outsourcing Learning: Is the Statecraft Simulation an Effective Pedagogical Alternative?

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the effects of using Statecraft, a commercially-available online simulation, in teaching international relations. The simulation was used in two semesters of an undergraduate international relations course as part of a flipped classroom pedagogy, in which Statecraft replaced lectures and other instructional activities that required a physical classroom. The study demonstrates that a significant portion of instruction can be outsourced to an online provider of standardized content with little to no negative change in pedagogical outcomes.

SOURCE

APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper

AUTHOR INFO

Chad Raymond, Salve Regina University

statecraft in the news

Statecraft Simulations: Launching a Career in International Relations

Excerpt

In international relations courses for undergraduates, faculty at a growing number of colleges and universities are supplementing topics covered in texts, lectures, and class discussions with a cutting-edge learning tool: Statecraft Simulations.

“Students take it very seriously,” says Joseph Bock, director of the School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development at Kennesaw State University, who uses Statecraft’s International Relations Simulations in an introductory course for international affairs majors. His class of 25 students breaks into six teams, with each team representing a country. They confront complex challenges, such as global warming and the need to deal with a foreign power that amasses a lot of wealth and becomes dominant. “Questions involving balance of power become real,” says Bock.

Published in the 2017 Foreign Policy Guide

Winter Interim Course Uses Game Simulation

Excerpt

“It seemed like a good way to engage the students, because I teach a lot of theory and use, and the students sometimes aren’t engaged,” DeRouen said. “Some of the subject matter can be dry.” 

Dylan Hamm, a junior majoring in political science, was the president of his team in the course last summer. “I encourage people to take it, because I don’t want to say I learned more doing that [online simulation], but you kinda do,” Hamm said. “If there were more courses like it, I would probably take those too.”

DeRouen began using Statecraft in his classes in the spring of 2013. Since then, he has used Statecraft on and off in various courses. As the instructor, DeRouen has the power to throw in “surprises,” including things like terrorists, weather events and other crises students must react to.

Written by Heather Buchanan and published on the University of Alabama news website “The Crimson White” in November 2014.

 

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Industry reviews

Review of Statecraft Online Simulation

Excerpt

Statecraft is a multi week, flexible online simulation that can be a useful supplement in both introductory and more advanced international relations classes learning the intricacies of the simulation requires some time commitment, but the result of the investment is an effective teaching tool. 

The flexibility of the simulation allows the professor to determine the extent to which the simulation is integrated in class. 

During the simulation, students have tremendous freedom to invest in their military, clandestine operations, education, health care, cultural sites, diplomatic corps, and international organizations. Every move impacts not only international relations but also the quality of life within the country nd the approval ratings from different political factions. The game has incredibly rich options for students, and actions often must be planned out over time as the acquisitions of certain structures (e.g., hospitals) and technologies (e.g., nuclear weapons) requires several steps. The student manual includes useful guides for the students to see what is required for each item they wish to purchase or build. 

DATE & PUBLICATION

2014 Journal of Political Science Education

AUTHOR INFO

Eric Cox is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Texas Christian University. He served as president of the Active Learning and International Affairs Section of the International Studies Association from 2010–2011 and as a member of the Board of Directors of National Model United Nations (NMUN) from 2012–2018. He was president of the NMUN Board of Directors from 2014–2018 and is now an ex oficio member of the Board as past president. His research includes the study of enduring rivalries, UN institutions and pedagogical methods. His first book, Why Enduring Rivalries Do—or Don’t—End examines the factors that lead rival states to the negotiating table through a comparison of rivalry relationships in the Middle East and Latin America. He has published articles on the origin of the UN Human Rights Council and the effectiveness of the Universal Periodic Review mechanism and coauthored an online Model UN simulation for Statecraft Sims.

EdSurge.com Review

Excerpt

LOW Adaptivity: The content can be adjusted in relation to a learner’s knowledge

HIGH Customization: Educators and course designers can alter learning or assessment content

MEDIUM Learner Autonomy: Learners can impact or augment instruction based on their choices

LOW Socio-Emotional: Use of feedback and interventions based on a learner’s social-emotional state

HIGH Assessment: The presence of academic structures and the capacity to assess learning in relation to them

HIGH Collaboration: Ability for learners and/or educators to engage with each other in the context of learning

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