Simulation efficacy and applicability: Reported learning from a virtual computer-based pandemic simulation on skill-based competencies among public affairs students

Computer-based simulations in public affairs curricula are thought to better prepare graduates for responding to an increasingly complex public policy environment upon entering into or advancing within public sector careers. Using survey results from 221 participants in the 2021 NASPAA-Batten Pandemic 2.0 simulation competition, the authors analyze the extent to which participants reported skill-improvement across constructs that align with the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration’s (NASPAA) Universal Competencies. A factor analysis suggests a relationship between students’ participation in the simulation and their perceived improvement of important practical skills relevant to NASPAA’s universal competencies.