Santa Grovano

Island Simulation.

As part of our development as a CTC college we are exploring the use of multimedia ICT in developing teaching materials. For a long time I have wanted to use a slightly more sophisticated programme than "Powerpoint" to run a role-play simulation. The idea for the simulation came from running a debating forum as an English Speaking and Listening exercise.

We have developed a simulation to be run for Year 12 which involves making decisions over the running of a fictitious island known as Santa Grovano. The simulation involves the whole year group and lasts for the full day. Students are split into political parties and are faced with a series of crises which will need debate and action. As the simulation progresses over a number of turns, the students will face the consequences of those decisions and gain an insight into some of the difficulties facing those in power. The project is cross-curricular in nature, highlighting: politics, ethics, media, economics, communication and social justice.

Staff act as advisors and help to run the simulation. The main concept is to present the students with a situation that is effectively Catch 22. No matter which course of action they take they will be faced with fresh difficulties and at the end of the day the way to win is to remain true to the ideals of your party. The party that starts the game in power has an unfair advantage in that they are able to ensure a majority provided the party remains unified.

The simulation proved to be excellent fun and was enthusiastically enjoyed by both staff and students.

We used Director 7 by Macromedia as a way of presenting the material to the students. Although a very complicated programme to get to grips with initially it is incredibly flexible and has the advantage that the final package can be compiled in such a way that the user is not able to cheat by skipping ahead or seeing what comes next as they would be able to do in Powerpoint. Anyone who has tried to use Powerpoint to make a quiz for students will know what I mean.

Below are a couple of screen shots that show how we set about presenting the information to the students over a series of turns.

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