Empirical study in cooperation with the University of Göttingen and pupils from North-Rhine-Westphalia

Research cooperation: Advantages of EU simulation games in school teaching

We have long been convinced that pupils can learn a lot and have fun during our simulation games on the EU. However, so far we haven’t been able to prove this. Instead we have had to rely on our gut feeling and our own subjective observations. Until now!

Not even specialist literature provides reliable data, let alone robust empirical studies on the question whether simulation games are actually successful at increasing EU-related competencies in pupils.

Prof. Dr. Monika Oberle from Georg-August-University in Göttingen has been conducting research on this topic. In 2013 and 2014 we were given the opportunity to help her with her research and provide her with more than 200 “guinea pigs” through our EU-related simulation games. “Test laboratories” were established in seven schools in North-Rhine-Westphalia. There, we conducted short simulation games as part of Europe Week. Before and after the simulation game, the participants filled in a questionnaire designed by Prof. Dr. Oberle.

Using this partially standardized questionnaire with closed-ended, semi-open and open-ended items in pre-post design, the effects of the simulation game in relation to specific political competencies were examined. By way of a more extensive evaluation of methods, the pupils’ expectations as well as their own post-game evaluations were also considered.

The study’s results are to contribute to a more appropriate assessment of the values of the simulation game as a method for conveying EU-related content and increase the success rate when using simulation games in schools – music to our ears.


Facts + Figures

Target group

The scientific community

  • To what extent is the simulation game as a method suited to increase EU-related political competencies in pupils?
Project partner
Universität Göttingen, FB Politikwissenschaft/Didaktik der Politik, Prof. Dr. Monika Oberle

3 h each

Number of participants

about 200


Seven schools in North-Rhine-Westphalia