First INOTLES Working Paper


We are happy to announce the publication of the first INOTLES Working paper by our colleague, Simon Usherwood, from University of Surrey.

INOTLES Working and Policy Paper Series welcome contributions from INOTLES community and external audience on innovative teaching methods and tools in the field of European Studies. It encourages the sharing of best practices worldwide in pedagogical innovation, case studies or comparative analysis of various aspects of promotion of teaching innovation within higher education.

In case you are interested in contributing to INOTLES Papers series, please contact us at: info[at]

You may find specific guidelines and suggested topics at the following link:

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INOTLES Working Paper No.1/2016

Usherwood, Simon. 2016. 'Teaching simulation game design: A model, tested in the field,' INOTLES Working Papers, No.1/2016


One of biggest challenges in increasing the uptake of simulation games in higher education is the difficulty of learning how to design and run such games. In this paper, a training model is presented that demonstrates the benefits of a mixed method approach, as evidenced by the outcomes of a major research project involving six European countries. The model uses an active-learning approach, whereby users are exposed to a variety of simulation types, both as players and as designers, with additional group discussion deepening individual reflection and confidence. Use is made of a simulation game generator, as well as an asynchronous online simulation, to provide opportunities for users to experience a wide breadth of possibilities within the pedagogy. The benefits and challenges of this approach are considered in light both of general pedagogical theory and of its actual implementation in the EU-funded project, Innovating Teaching and Learning of European Studies (INOTLES). Overall, the paper argues that while teaching simulation game design is not without challenges, it is also possible to provide meaningful support to new users and further stimulus to those who already have some experience. As a result, the approach offers much potential as a means of mainstreaming the use of simulations and in building a culture of active-learning. 

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