It's too easy to point out Confucius' saying that ends with "I do and I understand". But it's also true! Learners must be highly involved in experiential teaching strategies to be successful 21st century citizens.

The last post briefly spoke to equal roles for all participants. This point is so important that I thought I’d spend an additional post on the premise. Remember too, that the previous post spoke about role-taking and role playing. Insofar as these concepts are important on whole they are that much more essential in designing roles so that each student / participant feels that whatever role they have taken has value.

Where the previous post elaborated on assuring that each role player understood clearly, their own and where applicable, their whole group’s tasks, this notion must be balanced by an even distribution of responsibilities for each.

Few things turn off an individual in an experiential strategy when they either have too much or too little to “do”. The CEO in a simulation like “Cutthroat” (see http://www.activelearningconsult.com) may have all the fun, all the decision making authority, get to be the boss where on the other hand, the lowly accountant might be twiddling her thumbs waiting for some action.

Bear this carefully in mind and when in doubt, eliminate a trivial role by combining whatever tasks you envisioned for the minor role by combining it with either another so-called minor role to assure a good distribution of things to do.

In a later post, one about the actual operation and facilitation of a simulated experience, we can explore how sequencing the process can positively or its opposite, affect the simulation’s effectiveness.

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