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Wednesday, June 17 • 12:00pm - 12:30pm
CON02.05 - Using role-immersion games like the 'Reacting to the Past' series in larger classes

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Historical simulations have long if infrequently been used in classrooms, and recently a much more intense variation, promoted by the 'Reacting to the Past' consortium, has been advanced. Using terms like role-playing and role-immersion to distinguish them from much tamer versions (model UNs and the like) of the practice, these games have been touted as producing a large number of benefits and postive outcomes for students. However, the games were originally developed for classes at Barnard (NY), and are often designed for no more than about 20 students at a time. Over the last four years I have adapted one extant game and designed two role-immersion games, using them six times in first-year history classes of 80 students. I will discuss what mechanisms I have used including modifications of game rules as well as the use of factions and faction leaders, speaking rules, character descriptions, and indeterminate factions. I will also discuss the relative degrees of success, and my plans for the future.

Carnes, Mark C. (2014). Minds on Fire: How role-immersion games transform college. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674735354

Flaherty, Colleen. (2014, August 27). “Minds on Fire.” Inside Higher Ed. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/08/27/book-advocates-reacting-past-pedagogy

Lang, James. (2014, September 29). "Stop Blaming Students for Your Listless Classroom: How the Use of Games as a Teaching Methodology Has the Potential to Break the Long History of Student Disengagement in College Learning." (Part 3) The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Wednesday June 17, 2015 12:00pm - 12:30pm PDT
Thompson Room

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