Synthesizing simulation takeaways through lecture

If simulations plunk students right in the middle of the action, what is the role of the instructor? Though instructors in simulation-based classrooms typically play the role of facilitators rather than lecturers, a strategically placed lecture gives the disciplinary expert in the room a chance to distill key conceptual takeaways from student-centered activities. This video shows how Brian Mandell commences full group sessions by delivering a mini-lecture that responds directly to what students just experienced. The analytic lecture aims to, in Mandell’s words, provide students a “seamless narrative about multi-party negotiation and mediation.”


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  

  • Deliver mini-lectures strategically to highlight and review the major takeaways and themes gleaned from simulations.
  • Find opportunities to put students’ simulation experiences into dialogue with broader concepts and frameworks used in your field. 
  • Conceptual frameworks often make more sense to students after they have used them to solve a specific problem. Expose students to relevant problems and frameworks in simulations and then use synthesizing lectures to describe other potential applications and uses of these frameworks.