2013 Institute: Concurrent Sessions

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Liminal Classroom: RTTP According to Students

Students reflect on both the benefits and challenges of learning through RTTP. Topics include assessment of writing and speaking; lingering personal resentments; work management; and more. Thie session gives attendees a unique opportunity to engage the student perspective and to hear first-hand how RTTP has the power to change the academic experience.

  • Session Presenters: Student panelists

RTTP in a large class format: Rewards and challenges

Utilizing Reacting to the Past in survey classes or other large format classes presents many challenges. Balancing the needs of the survey class with the number and length of games sometimes means addressing students who signed up expecting to sit back and listen to lectures and who may drop the class once it becomes clear what the depth of their expected commitment is. This session will address strategies for inserting Reacting in survey courses, how to juggle role assignments in large classes, and how to address issues of student attendance and participation.

  • Session Presenter: Paula Kay Lazrus, Assistant Professor at St. John's University

Community Forum: RTTP’s Digital Face

This session is an attempt to help familiarize participants with what there is to offer when it comes to technology and RTTP, which now has a variety of cloud-based resources for instructors as well as growing online social networks to include Facebook and Twitter. In addition to reviewing these resources, this session offers you the opportunity to voice your opinion about what you feel RTTP should offer when it comes to technology.

  • Session Presenters: Tony Crider, Associate Professor of Physics, Elon University; Nicolas Proctor, Professor of History, Simpson College; Gretchen McKay, Associate Professor of Art History, McDaniel College; Jason Araujo, Membership and Outreach Coordinator, Reacting to the Past.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Gamemastering 101: Finding Your Inner Gamemaster

So now what? You’re on-board with the RTTP pedagogy, but how do you actually run a game? What does it mean to Gamemaster? How much intervention is too much/little? The Instructor’s Manual gives you guidance, but how do you handle those things that creative students come up with that aren’t dealt with in the manual? How do you motivate students? This session will focus on how there is no one ‘right’ way to Gamemaster and allow participants of various experience levels to discuss and share solutions to many of the questions and issues that arise while gamemastering.

  • Session Presenters: Rebecca Livingstone, Assistant Professor of History, Simpson College; Judy Walden, Assistant Professor of History, Simpson College; Jonathan Truitt, Assistant Professor of History, Central Michigan University.

Incorporating Reacting Elements for Engaging the Traditional Classroom

This session will share several activities that draw on successful elements of Reacting games like victory objectives, friendly competition, and play-acting, in order to increase dialogue and critical engagement in the traditional, non-Reacting classroom. These examples will then serve as a springboard for others to share how they have changed what they do in the traditional classroom as a result of thinking about Reacting pedagogy, and to discuss their own ideas and experiences.

  • Session Presenter: Shoshana Brassfield, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Frostburg State University.

Using RTTP in Community Colleges, Open Enrollment, and Commuter Schools

Reacting to the Past has a record of working wonderfully at more selective Colleges and Universities or amongst honors classes elsewhere. But the games depend on high attendance and a critical mass of students who are eager to engage the game, do outside independent work, and who organize faction meetings outside of class. But what happens when your student body’s habits make this a more difficult task? Can Reacting be used effectively? This concurrent session will be an opportunity to discuss adapting games to these environments, whether you are a veteran Reactor or thinking about whether Reacting is right for your class.

  • Session Presenters: Lisa Cox, Adjunct Professor of English, Greenfield Community College; Mark Higbee, Professor of History, Eastern Michigan University; Abigail Perkiss, Assistant Professor of History, Kean University; Kamran Swanson, Professor of Humanities and Philosophy, Harold Washington College.

Introduction to the Game Development Process

This session will explain the process by which new games advance from concept to publication. This will include a discussion of series’ standards, play-testing, the differences between full-length and "chapter" games, as well as an explanation of the functioning of the RTTP Editorial Board. This session is designed for participants who want a general overview of game development.

  • Session Presenter: Nicolas Proctor, Professor of History, Simpson College.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

RTTP and the Art of Public Speaking

This session introduces faculty to a simple, quick, and interactive video series that teaches Reacting students some critical public speaking skills: eye contact, posture, pacing, fluency, gesture, and tone. Here faculty will play the role of students, watching the short video clips, practicing the skills with partners, and offering and implementing immediate feedback. They will then have the opportunity to ask questions and offer feedback about using the curriculum in their own classes.

  • Session Presenter: Lily Lamboy, Graduate Student, Stanford University

Taking a Time-Out: Using Breaks to Improve Game-Play

One of the unique and powerful parts of the Reacting pedagogy is the student’s immersion in a role and game setting over an extended period of time. But what happens if the instructor deliberately stops this immersion by introducing a game break – a kind of intermission – into the game? This session will explore the benefits (and drawbacks?) of game breaks, and explore how game breaks can help Reacting instructors teach writing and oral communication skills, refocus attention on key texts, and even explore other aspects of the game setting, without diminishing the engagement that makes Reacting so effective.

  • Session Presenters: David Henderson, Professor of Chemistry, Trinity College; Stephanie Jass, Associate Professor of History, Adrian College; Judy Walden, Assistant Professor of History, Simpson College.

From Community College to 4-Year University: Reinforcing Pathways to Student Success With RTTP

Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC) and the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs are in the midst of implementing a new model of interlinking community colleges and four-year universities via the Reacting to the Past pedagogy. This partnership includes funding the development of five new Reacting-inspired chapter-length games that help to facilitate the success of community college students’ transition to the University of Colorado.

In this session we will outline how to: build faculty support for Reacting in both types of institutions; identify local funding for supporting RTTP workshops on campus and attendance of the annual Faculty Institute; develop common teaching approaches and student success measures across campuses; and promote cross campus RTTP curriculum planning sessions.

  • Session Presenters: Glenn Rohlfing, Assistant Professor of History, Pikes Peak Community College; Roger L. Martinez, Assistant Professor of History, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

Collaborative Play: A Roundtable Discussion of the Potential and Pitfalls of Joint Ventures in Game Design

This roundtable session will explore the collaborative potential in Reacting to the Past game development. Using as a case study the in-development game, Monuments and Memory-Making; The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1981-82, Rebecca Livingstone, Kelly McFall, and Abigail Perkiss will discuss the process of working together to develop a new Reacting module. The session will highlight both the mechanical issues of collaboration, the challenges of bringing together people from distinct disciplinary backgrounds and with varying RTTP experiences, and the new technologies that reshape the cooperative and collaborative experience. The session is intended for intermediate- and advanced-level Reacting instructors 

Session Presenter: Rebecca Livingstone, Associate Professor of History, Simpson College; Kelly McFall, Associate Professor of History, Newman University; Abigail Perkiss, Assistant Professor of History, Kean University.