Flow of a LegSim simulation
LegSim is a virtual space for a mock Congress. It is not a computer game.
The following graphic describes the typical flow of a simulation, which is designed to take place over several weeka or most of a semester in conjunction with a course.
The fact that LegSim is web based means that many of these activities can occur outside of the classroom. Instructors with less time can also bypass some of these activities (for example by appointing students to committees and acting as the chamber leaders to manage the floor agenda).
Additional information about how instructors use LegSim can be found on the Syllabus and Tutorials page.
Each student chooses a constituency to represent and creates a member office. This office serves as the repository for all legislative activities and is the best place to track the progress of legislation. Other legislators visit the office to learn about a member’s constituency, priorities, and legislative activities.
Dear Colleague Letters
Each member can easily distribute communications to the chamber as a whole, select groups or individual lawmakers.
Caucuses and Parties
Students create and join caucuses and political parties. These groups become important gathering points for communicating and strategizing with like-minded colleagues.
Chamber and committee leaders possess special access that allows them to manage legislation and schedule, debates and votes, and keep the chamber updated on developments. The instructor has automatic access to all of these roles.
Bill drafting and feedback
Students draft legislation and invite others to provide comments before introducing the legislation to the chamber. The chamber leader then refers this legislation to the appropriate committee.
Cosponsorship and amendments
Members can signal their support for legislation that other members sponsor. They can also propose amendments at the committee and floor stages of the process.
Members request committee positions. The chamber leader assigns members to committees and appoints committee leaders. The committee leader controls the committee agenda, scheduling hearings, votes, and reports bills to the floor. Committee members debate, amend and decide whether to table or report legislation.
Reported (or discharged) legislation goes to the leader’s desk. The leader manages the legislative calendar, including scheduling floor debates and voting. Bills can then be debated on line (asynchronous), and put to a vote. In addition, votes that do not occur on-line can be entered into the record by the chamber leader or the instructor.
The instructor administers the site and can customize her session to reflect theparticular needs of the class. For example, she can limit the committees available to students to ensure adequate membership and decide whether students must formally vote to report legislation from committee.
Resources and Model Assignments
We provide resources to help students become more effective legislators. We provide instructors with teaching resources, sample assignments, and samples of student responses to those assignment