Leveraging the teaching team in a simulation

The more complex a simulation becomes, the more important a well-organized teaching team is for an instructor. Having multiple teaching assistants allows lead instructors to delegate responsibilities procedurally and purposefully. In this video, Mandell’s teaching team reflects on some of the different roles they play throughout simulations. These roles range from gathering data for the whole class debriefs after simulations to coaching students individually as they negotiate. 


Brian Mandell, Mohamed Kamal Senior Lecturer in Negotiation and Public Policy

Student Group



Harvard Kennedy School


Advanced Workshop in Multiparty Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Group Size

60 students 

  • If you have a teaching team, or even just one teaching assistant, find ways to strategically involve them in the simulation to enhance its facilitation. You might consider leveraging your teaching team to manage logistics, help facilitate the simulation, collect real-time data, or provide additional help to students.
  • If you decide to delegate teaching team members to coach students during or after the simulation, make coaching expectations clear beforehand and establish a precise structure so coaches provide help appropriately and consistently. 
  • If you do not have a teaching team or teaching assistant, you might develop classroom structures in which students themselves provide rotating facilitation support.
  • Planning a successful simulation session requires extensive planning in which the instructor identifies expected outcomes, and chooses a simulation to best fit those outcomes, content development, and logistical planning. Motola and colleagues provide a curriculum integration framework to help instructors design a simulation session (2013). The complexity of executing an effective simulation suggests that more than one instructor may be required to coordinate student progress. 
  1. An EdSurge article describes how college students can be leveraged to mentor high school students as they progress through an intense business simulation
  2. Unsure how your role or your teaching assistants’ roles will change when it comes time to facilitate a simulation or role play? Browse through this database of role play and simulation activities from Harvard’s ablconnect to better understand the many different roles a teaching team can play.