What We Do

The ICONS Project enables instructors to incorporate active learning into their classrooms through online role-play simulations on complex issues. Whether you are looking for a ready-to-use simulation for next week or a custom simulation for next semester, ICONS can provide an exercise to meet your needs. From crisis situations to long term negotiations, ICONS offers simulations on a wide range of topics relevant to courses in political science, business, geography, communication, and more!

Why Simulations?

ICONS simulations offer a powerful way for you to engage students in their own learning.

Think about a complex or challenging problem in the world today. Maybe it is an environmental crisis in a developing country or a simmering dispute between two bordering nations. Textbooks and articles can cover basic facts, but they often fail to present information in a format that elicits deeper learning. ICONS designs role-play simulations that empower students to become decision-makers by asking them to "step into the shoes" of key stakeholders in a problem and negotiate with each other to develop a collaborative solution. Students connect to the issue and grapple with its complexities, all while building the leadership and negotiation skills essential to their future careers.

Learn more about our Methodology

Why Online?

Our online simulation format provides flexibility and convenience.

Students can participate at any time, from any location. ICONS' online simulation platform, ICONSnet, packages all simulation materials and communication tools together in a central, password-protected area and it is easily accessible from any recent web browser. No software installation is required. Our system tracks all aspects of participants' negotiations (including communication exchanges, document revisions, and voting results), creating a detailed transcript to support their post-simulation reflection and analysis.

Take a Tour of ICONSnet


ICONS brings decades of simulation development expertise to every project.

Based at the University of Maryland, the ICONS Project has over 30 years of experience designing and delivering educational role-play simulations. Our team of educators, simulation developers, and subject matter experts design our simulations to meet the needs of a variety of courses and programs. Our simulations have been used by academic institutions in 53 countries and 48 U.S. states. From a catalog of ready-to-use simulations to a full range of custom simulation development services, ICONS can help you bring an engaging educational role-play simulation exercise to your course or program.

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ICONS Project