Co-Authors

Both authors will be attending the conference.

Track

Research Project / Learning Theories and Pedagogy

Proposal Abstract

Higher education is increasingly focused on raising class sizes as a point of economy. Engaging non-science majors in STEM courses can be challenging in large enrollment classes. Active learning strategies such as role playing can be particularly effective in large classes. Role playing is a familiar activity for students, from video games to Ren fairs, from tabletop games to cosplay. Using role playing activities that employ small-group collaboration can humanize complex topics, immerse students in the learning process, and help create ownership of knowledge. While more common in business, medical and social sciences, role playing can easily be incorporated in STEM courses. We introduced a one-day role play exercise about regional water allocation in SW FL in a sustainability course, and a semester-long Earth Summit role play was used in an Introduction to Environmental Science course. Significant improvement in student attitude and self efficacy in science were found using a pre/post survey in the Introduction to Environmental Science course. We describe the outcomes of these exercises, the process for preparing role playing exercises, how to conduct them and how to assess learning outcomes. A short role-play exercise will be conducted.

Session Format

Presentation Session

Location

Room 217

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

 
Mar 30th, 11:00 AM Mar 30th, 11:45 AM

Role Play in Large Enrollment STEM

Room 217

Higher education is increasingly focused on raising class sizes as a point of economy. Engaging non-science majors in STEM courses can be challenging in large enrollment classes. Active learning strategies such as role playing can be particularly effective in large classes. Role playing is a familiar activity for students, from video games to Ren fairs, from tabletop games to cosplay. Using role playing activities that employ small-group collaboration can humanize complex topics, immerse students in the learning process, and help create ownership of knowledge. While more common in business, medical and social sciences, role playing can easily be incorporated in STEM courses. We introduced a one-day role play exercise about regional water allocation in SW FL in a sustainability course, and a semester-long Earth Summit role play was used in an Introduction to Environmental Science course. Significant improvement in student attitude and self efficacy in science were found using a pre/post survey in the Introduction to Environmental Science course. We describe the outcomes of these exercises, the process for preparing role playing exercises, how to conduct them and how to assess learning outcomes. A short role-play exercise will be conducted.