The Model United Nations Revisited

Simulation & Gaming 03/1995; 26(1):27-35. DOI: 10.1177/1046878195261003


For over 50 years, students have organized, conducted, and participated in a simulation of international organizations. This sophisticated simulation of current international affairs, called the Model United Nations (Model UN), is facing unexpected challenges and new opportunities. The challenges before the Model UN program include closing the "reality gap" between the Model UN and its real-world counterpart and finding ways to increase the involvement of the academic and education professional communities. The opportunities for the Model UN program include an increasing global reach to countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe and the infinite possibilities for enhancing the learning experience of the Model UN through application of telecommunications and other information technologies.

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    • "Business simulation/games have been used for many years in company personnel training, management/executive development and university education in business schools [4, see also 11]. Simulation/games have also been applied in a range of other areas, including electronic commerce [16] [17]; and the teaching of communication [9], decision-making, problemsolving [18] [19], international negotiations [5] [7] and international diplomacy skills [14]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Simulation/gaming is a widely used approach to experiential education. Computers and other tools (such as dice) have long been used in the design of simulation/games, but the Internet now provides an additional tool for developing these pedagogic environments. The Internet can be used to support and enable simulation/games designed to teach in a variety of disciplines (including cross-cultural communication, political negotiations, electronic commerce and medical diagnosis). This tutorial will examine some Internet-based tools which can be used to enable playable simulation/games. It will also look at examples of Web-based resources and forums which support designers and users of simulation/games.
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    ABSTRACT: For the past 50 years, scholars and practitioners of international relations have used simulations as experimental, predictive, and educational tools to model real-world environments. This article will focus on the educational applications of simulations in international relations (IR), first reviewing the development of IR simulations and then tracing this history by examining the International Communication and Negotiation Simulations (ICONS) Project at the University of Maryland as a representative example of this genre. It will examine in particular the use of information technologies in facilitating and delivering simulations, and conclude with a brief discussion of how computer-assisted simulations have, in some cases, anticipated trends in the real world of diplomacy, and in others, attempted to respond to new trends.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2001 · Simulation & Gaming
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    ABSTRACT: The Model United Nations, already a mainstay of many undergraduate institutions, not only provides a useful framework for particular classes, but also offers an opportunity to integrate several elements of an undergraduate international studies curriculum. However, it is not without challenges for the instructor. To use the Model United Nations format effectively requires the instructor to plan carefully, coordinate activities with the other elements of a class, and never allow the “game” to overwhelm the learning. When done correctly, the excitement generated by the Model United Nations can be a key for opening the world to students who might otherwise have drifted through the mandatory introduction to international relations. The process of student teaching student, both within and across courses, is beneficial for the experienced student and the novice alike, encouraging peer interaction and cooperative learning. As an instructional device, the Model UN is not a panacea, but a valuable supplement to more conventional teaching methods.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2003 · International Studies Perspectives
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