For my Introduction to American Government course, I designed a simulation of the legislative process in which students are tasked with debating different policy options for the U.S. healthcare system. The simulation is intended to familiarize students to a key policy debate in contemporary U.S. politics.
The simulation will last two weeks. The first week will be preparation: explaining the politics of the U.S. health care system, the main options for policymakers, and how the simulation will work. Students will be introduced to the rules used in Model United Nations to govern debate and voting on bills. Students will use materials I provide to write policy position papers that advocate for a given policy solution to the challenges facing the U.S. health care system.
The simulation itself will run in the second week, over two class periods. Students will use their policy papers as the basis for debate and will give speeches in class in favor of or in opposition to proposed legislation. I expect them to form coalitions with other, like-minded students, and draft a bill that is amenable to a majority of the class.
As part of the debriefing, students will write a two-page memo reflecting on what they learned, what surprised them, what worked and what did not, and why. This memo will be due in the week after the simulation concludes.
I will grade the simulation as follows:
- Quality of the policy position papers — 40%
- Level of engagement in the simulation — 30%
- Two-page reflection memo — 30%.
I will share the results of the simulation in a future post.