FANCY BEING PRIME MINISTER? 10 DOWNING STREET – AN ECONOMIC POLICY NETWORK SIMULATION BY IE BUSINESS SCHOOL THE CONCEPTUALIZATION, DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A SERIOUS GAME
IE Business School (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:10 Downing Street is a simulation, played in a network, which focuses on economic policy issues in a fun and engaging environment. Students adopt the role of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and must guide the country carefully through the complications of a national recession. The objective of the simulation is to encourage debate about the different economic tools that governments have available for policy making, allowing students to put their theoretical knowledge into practice. As well as the dynamic game format, a highlight of this simulation is the extensive use of videos, increasing realism and making the experience more engaging.
The game is turn based with students forming teams of 2 or 3 people and making decisions across six turns (one term in office), with the dynamic being the following: At the start of each turn students watch a video collectively on the central projector of the classroom. This video depicts a problem (for example the insolvency of an important bank) and three of the Prime Minister’s most trusted advisors give their advice regarding what actions they would take. The teams then take some minutes to discuss the problem as a class and the three possible solutions available, after this time each team then has 30 seconds to “vote” in private from their computers, for one of the three options available. The vote of each team is counted and the decision with the most votes is taken. (The design of the game means that over 300 pathways can be taken through the game depending on the majority vote of the class). Teams then see the feedback to their decision in a second video. The game continues in this manner with students making decisions about monetary policy, fiscal policy, GDP growth etc. across the six turns. At the end of turn 6, its time for the general elections and the Prime Minister can win re-election if the class has managed the economy correctly across the six rounds.
Throughout the game, the class as a whole, as well as each of the teams individually, can compare their decisions to those of IE’s economics professors.
The presentation will begin by demonstrating one round of the game with participants being involved in order to experience the simulation from the student’s perspective. It will continue by describing the development process for such a project, focusing on possible pitfall areas and best practices. Conclusions will focus on discussing how such resources benefit students and can form a vital part of a modern teaching arrangement.
The 10 Downing Street Simulation has been included in the International press over the past few months, with features in the New York Times, Clarin from Argentina, and the Times of India, amongst others. At the local level, three professors are already regularly using the simulation in their economic environment classes, with the simulation receiving an average evaluation of over 9.5 out of a maximum 10 in the student evaluations.
IE Business School has developed over 240 interactive resources including tutorials, case studies, graphs and questionnaires, simulations and serious games. These are used regularly across all Masters programs at IE. A selection of these is available for free use by individuals under a creative commons license: www.ie.edu/multimedia.