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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


The Channels of Time: A Global Simulation Scenario for the French Civilization Classroom

Véronique Flambard-Weisbart.

At the eve of the millennium, and in conjunction with the rise of the Internet, information has become global, that is to say accessible to all. This fact alone largely contributed to transform all the rules of communication. Today, it is possible to reinvent oneself in virtual space without any other intermediary than a computer. To survive in this era of global communication, we must then face – rather than resist virtual reality in the classroom as well.

To meet the need for savvy interactive tools in the learning environment, I propose 'The Channels of Time', a global simulation scenario for a college level French civilization (from its inception to present time) course. In this simulation, students become virtual contemporary explorers with a borrowed identity (historian, sociologist, philosopher, writer, archivist, etc). They will travel in space (France) and in time through a time-machine. While sharing their borrowed individual expertise with their peers, all students will collaborate to the making of a detailed chronological fresco of France from its inception to present time.

'The Channels of Time' is the presentation of a possible scenario, which includes: a description of global simulation and the interactive potential of this tool in the pedagogical context ; an inventory and a description of the textual productions that global simulation enables to create in 'cyberspace' – e.g. extensive, intensive and collaborative writing; tips on learning how to efficiently use authentic sources on the Internet; an example of a syllabus that can be transformed according to the specific needs of the courses taught; suggestions on how to create your own global simulation scenario across the disciplines.


Véronique Flambard-Weisbart  (United States)
Associate Professor
Department of Modern Languages & Literatures
Loyola Marymount University

Associate Professor of French in the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures, and Director of the European Studies Program at Loyola Marymount University. Research interests include French novel, film, cyberspace and global simulation pedagogy.

  • Global Simulation Pedagogy
  • Foreign Language Learning (FLL)
  • Teaching Culture & Civilization
  • Using the Internet for FLL

(30 min Conference Paper, English)