The Americas Simulation at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) offers opportunities for university students from around the world to participate in Internet-based negotiation simulations that focus on Inter-American relations. Pioneered at the University of Maryland as part of the International Communication and Negotiation Simulations (ICONS) Project, the Americas Simulation is designed to enhance interactive learning by encouraging the development of critical thinking skills, a more refined appreciation of the connections among international issues, and an awareness of cultural differences in approaches to negotiation and problem-solving.
ICONS' innovative approach provides a laboratory where students can test theories about how decision-makers resolve conflicts and enables students to practice negotiation skills while collaborating with peers. Working in teams in which they role-play the government of a country in the Americas, students conduct research in order to develop policies on issues of importance for the region, such as trade, narcotics trafficking and environmental degradation (see sample scenario). Negotiations occur both within country teams, as students try to reach consensus on their negotiation strategies, and across country teams, as they seek support for their own government’s proposals and evaluate solutions offered by others.
The Americas Simulation offers faculty and students a engaginh supplement to the typical lecture-format class. Participation enables students to better appreciate the opportunities and challenges associated with international negotiations; helps them understand the complexity and interdependence of international issues; and allows them to work in teams to solve problems as they improve their communication skills.
The Americas Simulation, offered every spring semester, is perfect for courses on Inter-American relations and Latin American politics, as well as for courses on U.S. foreign policy and world politics that seek to have an Inter-American focus. Contact us today to learn how you can implement this content-based interactive simulation exercise in your curriculum.
This project has been developed in part by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), U.S. Department of Education