Category: Featured News

Title: Using our negotiation simulations online

Date Published: April 13, 2020

Over the past month, the transition to virtual learning has occupied our attention at ISD, across Georgetown University, and in universities around the country.

Diplomats around the world have adapted too, and have begun to conduct their meetings and negotiations over video-conference. The need for high-quality training for international affairs professionals remains, and case studies and negotiation simulations are an essential part of this work. 

Georgetown has adapted its approach to simulations over the last few weeks to ensure effective diplomatic training can continue. In a recent simulation at Georgetown University Law Center, students in an international law class represented government and private sector actors tackling the fallout from a failed international development project. The instructor used breakout rooms over the Zoom video-conferencing software to create spaces for virtual negotiations between participants, and used Zoom’s timer function to ensure accurate time keeping. 

ISD’s case studies, including our most recent published negotiation exercise on resolving the Syrian conflict, are also ready for use in the virtual classroom. Here are some tips for adapting our case studies for online use:

  1. Assign one student in each team as a “political coordinator,” whose job is to ensure that the team has met virtually in advance of the simulation and to report back to the instructor on a proposed strategy for the negotiation.
  2. Create team “breakout rooms” using video-conferencing software to simulate negotiating rooms.
  3. Use the timer function within the video-conference to ensure accurate timekeeping.
  4. Split the simulation over multiple sessions to maintain student focus.

Check out some of our recent simulations that you can adapt for online use with your classes: 

Case 347 – Resolving the Syria Conflict: An ISD International Negotiation Simulation

Case 228 – The Cristobal Colon Project: A Transnational Negotiation Simulation

Case 202 – Nations: A Simulation Game in International Politics

Teachers and faculty members can join our Faculty Lounge to access instructor copies of all our over 250 case studies and simulations for free.