Contribution to the learning process
In role-playing, a theme of importance for the group, such as conflict, is played as a game. The method aims at preparation of actions. According to REICH it is supposed to contribute to the development of perception, empathy, flexibility, openness, cooperation, communication, problem solution capability as well as the capacity for observation of self and foreign characters.
As for integration in the FyR-context see "Online cooperation in your river project".
To prepare for public presentation of results and in particular, to prepare for the expected critical questions
- Book of the River > My book (login) > our partnerships > Work spaces with partner schools > (select your work space) and there the tools:
Video conference (see Annotation)
Required time for preparation and realization
Medium but technically high
(Two) groups of learners
Requirements and preparation
Role-playing in the form as proposed here can be performed in case a group (called A) after having finished their investigation of the river will go before the public with the results.
The framework planned for the presentation (e.g. press conference or a speech in a community council meeting) has to be decided on.
Questions, method, duration and rules were agreed upon beforehand with all participants (within the groups participating or e.g. via E-mail).
(Compilation of materials, each group separately, 1-2 hrs):
- Some members of group A prepare a short presentation of their results, conclusions, and demands in form of a short communication or press release. This is made available to the other group.
- Some members of group B prepare their role as the target group of the presentation. Several roles should be cast, e.g. for a press conference: one representative each for the local newspaper, the Green-peace magazine, and the special journal for Internal (River) Navigation.
- The other members of both the groups prepare for their roles as observers; they prepare an observer data sheet.
Playing - video conference. Approx. 1 hour.
- The groups start the video conference. Each group has a camera, a microphon and a screen (beamer).
- The tutor welcomes the participants.
- Introduction of the roles of the game
- Normally the role-playing happes this way: at first the members of group A present their part and then members of group B have the chance to ask questions. According to the special roles and situation, questions may concern comprehension, more detailed data, and facts. The claims of group A may be supported or refuted.
- Dismissal: The players are released from their roles and become again normal group members. In the following reflection phase, the content of the roles is to be discussed – but not the personal performances as "actors".
- The video conference is then closed.
Reflection - each group does this separately and the results are written down and made available to the other group; ca 1 hour: The reflection may touch on several areas, a few suggestions being:
- Press correspondents (group B) write a report for their respective newspapers; the contents as well as the circumstances of the hearing are mentioned.
- Players of group A report on their sensations and emotions during the role play.
- Observers of the scene report on their observations. One of the purposes of this is to get hints of an optimal presentation of the results of work.
Both groups may use the results of the role-playing to learn more about their motivations in the project with the river, to think about emotions of the other parties, and to prepare their own actions.
Experiences / results
Role game is a well-proven method for presence-work. Up to now, no experience with the virtual role game.
Other scenarios could be choosen, too, e.g. one "ten years later". Leading assumption in this scenario is that all claims of group A are in the meantime realized. Representatives of the school, the community, the local trade and industry talk about their life at and with the river. The purpose then would be the anticipation of future developments, imagining how different groups of people are affected differently by different measures related to environmental protection and therefore may have different opinions about them.
To offer yet a web based role-playing or plan game, the video conference as an additional IT tool is essential for both the methods (plan game and role-playing). This tool is not yet a standard tool like chat or forum, and it will not be incorporated into the FyR platform. However, technique is developing so quickly that this may change soon.
The online cooperation as described here may be of real importance since group B does not know the details of group A’s work, and this seems much closer to reality than a situation in which pupils of group A with their inside knowledge take on the roles of representatives of press or the community.