Design Hypotheses


The Millennium Village Simulation was created to address specific curricular goals. The first three hypotheses are central to the Challenges of Sustainable Development course while the last three are characteristic of social science simulations in general. The Final three areas are common to learning games.

Challenges of Sustainable Development Benefits

The MV Sim helps students synthesize the disparate disciplines of Sustainable Development

  • An understanding of how all disciplines within Sustainable Development must be accounted for when coming up with solutions

The MV Sim helps students absorb the connection between the theoretical and concrete/actual

  • Ability to take theoretical knowledge learned from the curriculum and apply it to a complex real-world situation

The MV Sim helps students to immerse themselves in the curricular topics

  • Emotional Connection/Identification with Family/Village in simulation, uninterest --> disinterest --> interest
  • Enjoyment/addiction to playing the sim

General Simulation Benefits

General Cognitive Benefits of The Sim

  • Ability to perform better in the class
  • Increased ability to problem solve in complex situations

Learning Flow Benefits of the Sim

  • Students are immersed in the subject matter
  • Students associate learning with play, experimentation, freedom and fun
  • Students spend extra time in the learning "zone"

Systemic Understanding Benefits of the Sim

  • Students learn how to absorb, analyze and extend complex systems
  • Students learn how to anticipate new situations based on models of previous situations