Simulation Network

The Simulation Network (the Network) is one of NASPAA’s newest and immersive projects. The purpose of the Network is to promote greater collaboration among universities and institutions committed to simulation-based classroom learning around the globe. The Network is part of a broader initiative to promote innovative policy analysis and decision making in the public sector through technology and data. In order to achieve this mission, NASPAA and the Simulation Network seek to empower students and professors in public affairs to employ data driven technologies in the classroom, and go beyond theoretical, conventional modes of learning.

Currently, NASPAA partners with the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Public Policy to host a one-day simulation competition each year, which attracts hundreds of students, and takes months of planning and development. NASPAA seeks to expand the scope and scale of simulation-based learning activities beyond the annual competition by partnering with members of the Network to conduct multiple initiatives throughout the year. This will provide Network members the opportunity to showcase their own technology-based learning initiatives.

NASPAA is in process of recruiting several key institutions, leaders in the field and possess the technical expertise and capabilities to lead the Network. These are institutions that are passionate about simulation-based learning and are pursuing projects of their own. The six or seven Network leaders will be the principal advocates for the use of simulations in public affairs. These institutions will establish the foundation for simulation-based learning in the classroom. The Network will expand overtime to incorporate students, professors, and institutions that are immersed in simulation-based learning. If you are interested in being a Network leader contact


Expectations for Network members could include the following:


  • Members of the Network will be in involved planning meetings and events (virtually or - in person). NASPAA will hold meetings once every few months and will be in direct communication with each of the Network members.
  • A Network member is expected to conduct at least one simulation-based learning event each year. This could range from holding an online webinar, or an in-person workshop to hosting the annual competition.
  • The popular annual NASPAA-Batten Simulation Competition will continue as one of the main simulation initiatives in 2020. It is anticipated from here on that only Network members will serve as site hosts to ensure the highest quality student experience. We encourage Network members to serve as competition hosts, but this is not required to join.
  • Members of the Network will be active collaborators involved in open source learning.
  • They will be willing to provide each other feedback on current undertakings and serve as mentors to students and professors interested in developing simulations or using them in the classroom.
  • Members of the Network will be willing to showcase their own projects to NASPAA’s members institutions (this could entail simulations developed by students or future learning initiatives).