I began teaching American Government in 1993, and my Congressional simulation has been with me for the entire ride. The idea came from a product called, "Committee" by Interact, but from the beginning I made modifications. It evolved slowly from semester to semester with two enormous convulsive changes along the way. One year I completely updated all the legislation, and another year I recreated and expanded the entire cast of 35 imaginary characters.
Most students love playing "The Game" as they usually call it. And every semester a few will journal about it and mistakenly refer to it as a "stimulation". I still chuckle.
I have recently conducted another radical revision due to the convergence of three factors:
1) "The game" is getting a little stale for me.
2) I have never liked having the players' roles and goals prescripted for them.
3) I've found some great Google tools that will help me and open up the game and make it far more dynamic.
The latest version of the game will revolve around Google Docs and Google Sites. This will provide students with the easy ability to use templates to build their roles and goals. The sites will allow students to post and share some work. I will also be able to make the project 75% more paperless (See Red Herring and Black Book Bag).
Check out the latest '09 Version of the Game. I'd love to have some feedback. And feel free stop by and observe the interaction when we are hip deep in the next semester. Wish me luck!
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