2015 Institute: Concurrent Sessions

Schedule Subject to Change

**Recommended for those new to RTTP

Friday, June 12

Workshop: Warming Up to Reacting**

James Al-Shamma, Belmont University; Mary Beth Looney, Brenau University; Daniel Shaw, Pikes Peak Community College
This workshop’s purpose is to give instructors some useful “warm-up” tools to implement early in a class that is new to Reacting. While Reacting is not about staging a theatrical play, engaging in some dramatic play in the classroom at the onset can help lighten the mood and open the eyes. This session will offer a sampling of warm-up and character immersion exercises to get a classroom of erstwhile strangers to become more relaxed with the prospect of ‘performing’ Reacting roles. Yes, we will practice them, so come prepared to try easy exercises for any professor, classroom, or discipline for incorporation prior to the use of specific speaking skills exercises and intensive game preparation.

Roundtable: Making RTTP Writing Better: Designing Successful RTTP Writing To Learn Assignments

Emily J. Beard-Bohn, Saginaw Valley State University; Deborah Maltby, University of Missouri-St. Louis; Elizabeth Robertson, Drake University
Sometimes, writing in-role yields predictable, cursory, or overly generalized results. But carefully designed writing assignments can complement or lead into papers written in-role, helping students to understand and use complex primary texts more effectively in their RTTP roles. This roundtable discussion focuses on the design of RTTP writing assignments that promote learningn and encourage revision. After briefly presenting the design principels of such assignments, we'll discuss some sample assignments, including a new take on the position paper, and a creative research project. We'll then invite faculty members who shared assignments (previously solicited) to discuss how their assignments worked.
D. Maltby Fall 2015 English 1111 final project assignment
D. Maltby Greenwich Village Reposition Paper Assignment
Elizabeth Robertson Assign Reflective on Athens
Elizabeth Robertson Final Reflective Paper
JKlauke Athens Game prep PlatoQuiz
Nick Proctor writing assign Yalta game
Beard Assignment Character
Beard Argumentative Research Paper

Roundtable: Coups, Assassinations, and Other Game Derailments

Dorothea Herreiner, Loyola Marymount University; Paula Kay Lazrus, St John's University; Jonathan Truitt, Central Michigan University
Despite the best design efforts and preparation, games occasionally take off in directions that are unforeseen or unhelpful to the overall intentions of a game. Unexpected directions can emerge because of students’ choices in a game (or the lack thereof); in other instances, new, surprise, or random elements might help instructors redirect the game. Here, we will explore the kinds of actions that can derail a game and the strategies that faculty use to put things back on track. Join us for a discussion of common derailments, resetting strategies, and their impact on student learning.

Presentation: Including Reacting to the Past in Experiential Education

Shoshana Brassfield, Frostburg State University 

When liberal arts instructors are called to find ways of implementing experiential education, this frequently poses quite a challenge. Reacting to the Past provides one way of meeting that challenge. In order to bring recognition to RTTP as a type of experiential education, however, we need to promote and call attention to some of the broader and more inclusive conceptions of experiential education. This presentation will look at some conceptions of experiential education, and how they are met by RTTP courses.

Saturday, June 13

Student Panel: “The Liminal Classroom”**

Student Panelists, TBA
Students reflect on both the benefits and challenges of learning through “Reacting to the Past.” Topics include motivation and teamwork; assessment of writing and speaking; lingering personal resentments; work management; and more. 

Roundtable: "What Did You Learn in This Course?": Student Perceptions of RTTP's Value at American and Norwegian Universities

Jeffrey Hyson, Saint Joseph's University; Jan Erik Mustad, University of Agder; Sean Taylor, Minnesota State University-Moorhead

This session will explore the ways in which Reacting pushes students to think more carefully and self-consciously about how they learn. Jeffrey Hyson will draw on several semesters of reflections and evaluations to examine how first-year seminar students describe and assess RTTP's pedagogical impact. Sean Taylor and Jan Erik Mustad will discuss the ups and down of using Reacting in Norway to increase English-language ability for non-native speakers, highlighting how RTTP can used to enhance language education. From these case studies, we'll then open up a broader conversation about the connections (and occasiional conflicts) between faculty expectations and student perceptions of Reacting's value.

Roundtable: The Post-Mortem as a Means of Reconciling Reacting Selves

Julie Casey, University of Texas-Austin; Kelly McFall, Newman University

As students embody the identities and beliefs of their assigned game characters, they often times find themselves deeply troubled, acting in ways they would not normally act. In “Minds on Fire,” Mark Carnes argues that this collision between one’s own self and one’s fictional Reacting self generates critical thinking of the deepest kind. The post mortem can be a time to make this convergence explicit, and perhaps a time, too, to ritually move beyond those fictive roles. This session will explore the role of the post-mortem session in helping students reflect on their own learning experience

Presentation: Specifications Grading for Reacting to the Past

T. H. M. Gellar-Goad, Wake Forest University
This session will explain and apply to the teaching of Reacting to the Past a methodology developed by Linda Nilson in her recent book Specifications Grading: Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students, and Saving Faculty Time. In specifications grading, which can be implemented across a course, or for only a portion thereof, all assignments are evaluated pass/fail according to detailed lists of criteria (presented either as checklists or single-row rubrics), and students choose what final course/unit grade they receive by completing a set number of assignments according to these criteria. This method is a huge time-saver that gives students clarity and focus.

Sunday, June 14

Presentation: Game Management 101: Making the Game Success in Your Class**

Gretchen Kreahling McKay, McDaniel College; B. Kamran Swanson, Harold Washington College
This session will focus on how to successfully run Reacting games in your class. Reacting games need good teachers, and we’ll offer a few tips, but we’ll also focus on how to make Gamemastering work for you. It’s not a one-size-fits-all method, but Reacting games can fit your class and comfort level as a teacher.

Roundtable: RTTP, Student Success, and the Concessions We Make

Jessica Blatt, Marymount Manhattan College; Amy Curry, Lone Star College-Montgomery; Bethany D. Holmstrom, LaGuardia Community College, CUNY; Betsy Powers, Lone Star College-Montgomery
Are there large numbers of under prepared students in your classrooms? Do you want to use Reacting but need ideas on how to support your students to ensure their success? How do you make the games your own? Regardless of our disciplines and institutions, we face similar challenges. This session offers a discussion with audience participation on the various methods and adaptations many of us using RTTP make in our unique classrooms. The goal of this roundtable discussion is to encourage collective problem solving.

Roundtable: Issues with Hateful Discourse in RTTP Games

John Eby, Loras College; Joseph Engwenyu, Eastern Michigan University; Robert Goodrich, Northern Michigan University; ; Dorothea Herreiner, Loyola Marymount University; Mark Higbee, Eastern Michigan University; Abigail Perkiss, Kean University; Nick Proctor, SImpson College
Many RTTP games explore issues and discourses that remain explosive today--especially hierarchized discourses from the modern era such as anti-Semitism, homophobia, racism, sexism, etc. Multiple problems arise from attempts to explore these realities in role play: students may shut down when confronted with such language; professors may find themselves facing disciplinary charges; and the RTTP consortium, Norton publishing, and the university may face litigation. The roundtable will explore these ramifications and consider game mechanics as well as possible RTTP policies to regulate such discourses.