Using hybrid simulations to enhance student learning of international relations theories

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The theoretical frameworks explicitly or implicitly employed by diplomatic historians and international relations scholars can lead to significantly different explanations for the same historical events. Therefore, a sound understanding of the basic international relations theories is required for a more comprehensive understanding of international politics. However, students tend to shun theoretical topics and debates, considering them irrelevant to practical issues and problems that they face in their daily lives. This paper argues for employing simulations as a way of enhancing student learning of international relations theories. It provides a justification and outline for the organisation and development of a hybrid simulation using the Council on Foreign Relation’s Model Diplomacy interactive platform. Hybrid simulations integrate components of both face-toface and cyber simulations, with students physically interacting during the more formal simulation procedures (e.g., making formal policy statements and voting) and using the cyber environments for informal activities (e.g., as negotiations). Ultimately, hybrid simulations transform the learning environment by restructuring the interaction process between instructors and students and can contribute to enhancing student learning and their understanding of the main theories underscoring international relations theories.
The use of hybrid simulations becomes more relevant as universities continue to
promote more online educational opportunities for students and as unanticipated
disruptions require them to have more options available to continue providing students with the best educational experiences possible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-759
Number of pages21
JournalIssues in Educational Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2021


  • active learning
  • hybrid simulations
  • interaction
  • international relations theory
  • Model Diplomacy


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