Methodology

ICONS Simulations are:

  • Participant driven.
    Our online tools are designed to enhance and support the human-to-human negotiation that forms the core of each simulation. Participants do not play against a computer.
  • Flexible.
    ICONS simulations can be easily adapted to meet the needs of a variety of courses and schedules. Our online platform gives students the ability to participate at any time, from any location.
  • Engaging.
    Our simulations address real-world issues, immersing participants in exciting and challenging roles as they navigate a negotiation together.

The ICONS Simulation Process

The ICONS Simulation Process: Preparation, Negotiation, Debrief

PHASE 1: Preparation

The ICONS Project offers a variety of online resources to aid in the preparation phase of the simulation. (Students receive usernames and passwords to access these resources).

  • Each simulation exercise centers around a detailed scenario document designed to provide the negotiation setting, the agenda for the topics to be addressed, and background information on the issues and participants involved.
  • After thoroughly reviewing the online scenario document, students are tasked with "stepping into the shoes" of one of the key stakeholders in the simulation and understanding their perspectives, interests, and goals.
  • Some simulations provide detailed role sheets while others require significant student research using the ICONS online Research Library.
  • In addition to these student resources, each instructor receives access to an online Faculty Area containing supplemental activities and resources designed for use with the simulation.

PHASE 2: Negotiation

After researching their assigned roles, all participants meet "in character" in a customized online environment (known as ICONSnet) to negotiate and work toward solutions to the problems set before them.

  • ICONSnet provides a Messaging area, similar to an email system, where participants engage in dialogue with the other stakeholders in the simulation in an effort to make progress on the issues they face.
  • The instructor plays the role of the online moderator -- known as "Simcon". Simcon monitors the negotiation and performs administrative tasks within the online simulation community.
  • Messaging is standard in all ICONS simulations, but the ICONSnet online environment provides a variety of additional tools to help facilitate the simulation. Each simulation uses a different combination of tools, depending upon the simulation goals. (See ICONSnet tour for a list of all available tools).

PHASE 3: Debrief

After completing the online negotiation portion of the simulation, students step out of their roles and begin debriefing.

  • The debriefing phase allows students to reflect with their instructor on the simulation experience, apply it to course objectives, and review lessons learned.
  • The ICONS Project provides several debriefing resources to assist instructors.
ICONS Project