a beginner’s perspective
How did you feel?
- Lost in the software
- Not sure what the boundaries were
- Excited but terrified that I would do something really bad
- Worried about the time commitment and the timing of the whole thing.
Frustrated at the way the program was actually set up. Not being able to
edit or proofread was very annoying. If you forgot the subject line, you
couldn’t go back.
- Overwhelmed at the sheer number of threads in some of the forums like
street talk. Found it really hard to find the time to read them all thoroughly.
Not being able to expand all messages was a real pain. It would have
saved me heaps of time being able to do this.
- Almost obsessed at some points - had to get in there and check it out
to see what was happening, but really frustrated that I didn't really have
the time to put into it that I would have like to.
- Got into the role
Tried to make alliances but didn’t really seem to be able to. I
would have thought there would have been more camaraderie with the staff,
found out at the debrief the two staff members were having private emails
basically deciding to circumnavigate my role. Of course I wasn't aware
of this at the time.
- Found some parts really difficult. Felt had very formal role that conflicted
with private/public persona
Found the technology very frustrating. Threaded discussion as I’ve
discussed in another section, but also the chat room. I met Robyn in the
chat room on a Saturday. The actual chat was very painful. The screen kept
refreshing and I’d lose my place and have to start again. When I
got into the chat room, Robyn didn’t really seem very interested
in talking. She kept fobbing me off which I found very annoying and disconcerting.
She’d gone out of her way to set up a chat on a Saturday but then
only wanted to literally spend 10 mins. It may have been the technology,
but I was left really wondering what was going on. No adequate explanation
was given why she didn’t really want to chat after she had gone
to all the trouble of getting me there.
Found I didn’t really have anyone to turn to for advice. I was pretty
much out there on my own. The staff appeared to have taken over the P&C
forum rather than the staff room, which I found quite disconcerting.
did you learn?
hidden agendas are not always easy to ascertain
- Lots goes on behind the scenes that you may not be aware of
- Role play is a valuable teaching/learning tool
- Need to have the time to commit to the role play
- The difficulties of trying to communicate with people out of context.
Just suddenly plunged into a world may have limited knowledge about. Found
it very difficult being so isolated. Not having a 'higher authority to call
on' or even directives to look at.
- The limitations of the technology and how it can discourage you, but
at the same time being a bit of a clicker, I just clicked around until I figured
out how to do it.
To remember not to give away who I was by giving information that would
put me in context, eg. I think I said in one of the discussions that I
was taking the year 6 kids on an excursion so wouldn’t be around
much. The only other person I knew in the simulation was working with me
on another project and because of this knew that I was actually going to
Sydney on an excursion with my Diploma 2 students. It obviously wasn’t
a great leap for her to figure out who I was. I know I almost gave it
away another time by mentioning I was going to Sydney, which would have
everyone that I was one of the NSW people.
does this relate to your context?
versus private persona. This was a very interesting situation. I
like to be part of the crowd, but found it difficult to do so. The
talk was so big and confronting that I found it took a
long time to get into it. These people seemed to be so at ease with
the whole thing, especially
Simmo, who I now know was in her fourth simulation and
found that this worked the best. I was asked at the debrief why I
didn’t sign the
petition. The major reason for this was that it would have given away
my private agenda very publicly very early on.
Fostering debate within the community. This was one of Bernard’s
core roles. He was very keen to do this and did it quite well. I don’t
know that it got anyone anywhere though.
Able to practice strategic questions. This is a personal goal of mine (Margaret
not Bernard). I went to this great workshop based on the work of Fran Peavey
that demonstrated the use of strategic questions. I’m trying to use
them within my work and personal contexts. (Work seems to be easier than
home I have to say). One of the first questions to ask rather than Why
don’t you agree is what concerns you most about this issue. It
cuts to the central core of the matter. There are also questions on feeling.
It is very similar to these questions but there are 11 different question
types in total.
Shows there is not always an easy or obvious solution. This was probably
my greatest concern with the whole thing. This money suddenly seemed to
be available. I find that in real life, money is often not available. People
were happy that the council were going to pay for a wire fence and rose
hedge/garden, but the realities are often that people make these promises.
I think it was stated that when the money was available. Maybe I’m
a bit of a cynic, but when they say things like this I don’t think
the money ever comes available. This actually was one of the hardest
things about the whole thing for me. People were promising money or going
the government, but the realities were that we were all making it up.
Made me aware of people's hidden agendas. I’m pretty much an open
book. What you see is what you get. I tend to say what I think and try
to stand up for my beliefs. However I am realising more and more many people
do not do this. I have to confess I find this one of the most frustrating
things when I’m dealing with people., especially students. Many people
seem unwilling to foster debate and to disagree. As a teacher I really
like it when students challenge me. Get me to put my money where my mouth
is. I try to do the same to them. If it expands both our understandings
of issues then it’s worthwhile. Many people do not seem to want
to look deeper into issues, and want to find the superficial quick answer.
Oops seem to have got a bit carried away!
if....(any changes you would make)
allowing teachers access to the P&C forum. I think teachers and
parents need to chat, but I felt the P&C Association was a much more
formal agenda than it was given. It is almost the public face of the parents.
In my experiences of being a parent, also a teacher and president of the
P&C the three do not always mesh so easily. I think you almost need
3 different rooms. One for parents that cannot be seen by staff. In my
children’s school, much of the P&C discussions do not happen
during P&C Meetings. Often meetings will start with everyone in the
room being aware of an issue that the Principal is not aware.
- Teachers and parents will often chat in the playground or down the street.
The Principal may not be aware of these chats unless one of the parties
- Be able to see all posts expanded.
next? ( Your conclusions)
big question here is would I use this sort of thing in my classes.
What did I get out of it? Was it worthwhile? Would I do it again?
Would I have played any differently? I sit here pondering all of
and draw a big blank. I don’t think I would use the needle
stick application only because it doesn’t really match
up with any learning outcomes. I could see some different applications
being relevant to my
field, which could potentially be able to be used within my subject
area. For example it could be set around a Child Care Centre,
the issue of
children with HIV being in the centre. You would have the potential
of a number of different people including the 9 staff in the
even be more). The council administrators (being a council run
centre – at
least 3 – 4 people) the media, parents in the service and
so on. My biggest concern about the whole thing would be that
of control. I would need to be assured that I was meeting the
learning outcomes of the modules. Changing attitudes and beliefs
is very much
core to what we do, however they are not always evidenced in
the learning outcomes that we teach.
students into a role could help them see the other side of
the issue. I wonder if you should actually get people to take
a role that is
totally foreign to them so they can see the other side of it.
But it if is totally alien, they may be so out of their comfort zone
operate in character. When debriefing with the other participants
in needle stick, this is one of the issues that came up that
were very different from their real life persona. Some found
it great, others confronting. I think I made Bernard more like
formal side of
me. I didn’t like that he was seen as ineffectual so I
tried to get him to do things that were within the role such
to everyone, but
found that in actual fact he couldn’t really do much about
the whole thing.
would also need to convince the participants that it was a valuable
learning experience. Like Kate has done,
to have some pre-work to get everyone to look at it as more
than a game. I think
the learning outcomes need to be really clear and able to be
developed and assessed by all individuals and of course the
I found it really valuable. I just wish I had more time to have really
put into it what I would have like to.
been more people involved to form alliances, negotiate etc
||complexity | intuition | unpredictability | comparisons | personality | emotion | communication
||designers as learners:
igniting the spark for web-based roleplay | 2003