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Overall Awesomeness Award: Practicing Crisis-Management at Duquesne University with Live Video

April 26, 2017

This is part of a continuing series highlighting the 2017 Enterprise Video Award finalists.


Students in the International Relations program at Duquesne University study the historical, political and cultural forces that shape the interactions between states and international organizations. The program promotes peace and justice in a global society.

To teach that, students — many of whom go on to work in government agencies, law firms, multinational corporations, etc. — need to experience a variety of situations to practice their problem-resolution skills and crisis management.


What better way than to simulate scenarios and livestream students’ mock press conferences? It doesn’t get any more “real-world” than that, and nothing creates an adrenaline rush quite like having a homework assignment live streamed to peers.

Simulex is a decision-making simulation game created at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Students break into national decision-making teams to test how they respond to certain grave scenarios with limited information. They need to resolve the international crisis by making the best possible decisions.

“You have the opportunity for public diplomacy. There are media opportunities. You can send in a talking head. It could be your president or your beloved ever-victorious leader,” said Father John Sawicki, Simulex Coordinator.

The “leaders” read a prepared statement, which is live streamed via Mediasite to all the other “countries,” i.e. other groups in separate classrooms, and the videos are also available on-demand for review.

These video press conferences, complete with backgrounds and podium overlays for each “country,” help to immerse the students into the game.


Before Mediasite was used in the Simulex, press releases were done solely on paper – they were just passed around for everyone to read.

Now that Mediasite is involved, students can easily go back and review their work to find areas to improve. Plus, these scenarios are not only more realistic but they’re more fun.

“It’s not a game based on war, and it’s certainly not a game based on peace,” Sawicki said. “It’s really a game based on pressure and how decision-making units, in this case the national teams, are able to respond to that crisis.”

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