There are a few different ways to jazz up your discussions – role playing, debates, interviews, case studies, jigsaws, etc. A few of these will be discussed on this blog in the coming months, but today we’re focusing on role-playing discussions.
In this discussion format, students are assigned a role and are asked to answer open-ended discussion questions as a person in the role they were assigned. One of our management courses used this discussion format this summer. Using the Groups tool, students were randomly placed into one of three groups (or roles) – Employees, HR Managers, and Employers.
There was a discussion area for each group/role. Students answered open-ended discussion questions from the perspective of someone in their assigned role in their group’s discussion area. Then, they replied to posts in other groups’ discussion areas. Students were required to “stay in character” throughout the discussion. If a student’s role was HR Manager, they answered the initial discussion questions and replied to posts in the Employees and Employers discussion areas from an HR Manager’s perceptive.
After several days of discussion, each group created a group summary that summarized the importance of their assigned role in an organization and whether their perception of their role changed during the discussion.
This discussion was assigned after students read course materials about these roles. This discussion made students think about how these three groups of people interact with each other and the roles these groups play in Human Resource Management.
If you decide to implement this in your course, you can participate in this discussion format too!
- Make connections between course content and real-life applications, especially if you were in one of the roles before.
- Ask students probing questions (remember, they have to answer in character).
- Share your knowledge or an interesting article.