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Research, Role Playing, and Social Justice

Designed for the Active Learning Leaders Teaching Conference on October 29, 2016. Active learning is essential for students to develop a deeper understanding and engage in topics in a more meaningful way particularly with social justice issues. Attendees

The Rules

The Procedures


The game will officially begin class 9 on July 26th. I strongly recommend you start reading AND researching your role on July 14th (Date All But the Term Paper is Assigned – your research can work for both of these projects).  My role in this game is to facilitate, answer questions, and serve as final arbiter of point distribution. The rest of the game is up to the class.


July 14  - We will briefly review the rules of the game and I will hand out role assignments.


July 14 – Start researching Net Neutrality! Read an overview. Read articles pertaining to your role.


July 21 – Research your company and your company’s position on Net Neutrality.


July 26 – I will meet with groups and individuals to go over basic information and answer questions. Starting at 2:30 pm to 4:15 pm group and faction meetings in class; during this time you are free to exchange information with others in your group, craft a strategy to convince the Supreme Court judge, coordinate your presentations, etc.


July 28 – 1 to 3 pm This is your time to finalize your strategy, determine whether you are presenting as an individual, group, or faction. You come to class in your role as CEO or Chairman, negotiate, meet, and plan. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet with all of the other groups/actors. Individuals and groups are free to appeal to the Supreme Court judge directly or defect and move from one faction to another, as long as there is a logical reason for doing so. At the end of class we will draw names to determine the order of presentations.



In the context of legal ruling above, telecomm companies are preparing to appeal the situation to the Supreme Court. Others maintain that Net Neutrality is essential for an open, unhindered internet. Participants will take on one of the following roles:

CEO’s from telecomm or streaming video services

Chairman FCC

Supreme Court Justices



This class will be divided into representatives from four organizations (Comcast, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or the FCC). Each student will be assigned a role and for a series of class sessions his task will be to research and represent the role (accurately and consistently) both within the group and to the class.


  1. Students will need to research their individual in Biography in Context, Credo, Company Website, and Interviews in current news sources
  2. Students are required to research their corporations in Business Source Premier to locate SWOT Analyses, Company Profile, and Industry Profiles, and review current news sources.




The Objective


If you represent a telecomm, FCC, or streaming media service your goal is to sway the consumer to take action in support of your position. You may act as a group or as a faction.


The winners of the game will be determined by the Supreme Court Justice.

The justice has the ability to award up to 5 points to an individual, group, or faction based on what actions she decides to take. Points may only be awarded to individuals in they are working alone. If awarding points to a group or faction all members are awarded the same number of extra-credit points.





This project is worth 60 points and 10% of your grade. The point breakdown is as follows:


Participation (30 points)


From July 26 to August 2nd you are IN ROLE while we are working on this project in class. That means you must accurately, consistently (and respectfully) represent your actor during class interactions (regardless of whether you personally agree with his position). Anything you do to make your portrayal authentic (e.g. appropriate dress, demeanor, accent, etc), and to make the game more realistic (e.g., by lobbying others, organizing demonstrations, advertising, press releases, using props, etc.) will enhance your grade. Failure to adequately assume your role or to actively participate in all aspects of the game will results in a failing participation grade for this assignment. In addition, each student must submit a completed workshop evaluation after every day of negotiations in order to get full credit for participation. Absences will have an adverse effect on your grade.


Presentation (30 points)


Each student must prepare a 5 minute presentation to give to the class on August 2nd. (See guidelines below.) Be sure to practice and time yourself. The time limit will be strictly enforced. All students must turn in a copy of their presentation on August 2nd.


Presentation Guidelines


In your presentation you should clearly state who you are [don’t be shy about stating what power (if any) you wield], and your position on the issue. You must offer specific points of evidence to support your position. Finish the presentation by suggesting concrete actions you think the court should take. This is your last chance to sway the judge.


Factions should think carefully about how to coordinate the presentation to avoid inconsistencies and redundancy. Remember that your goal is to win this game! Not everyone will get bonus points. Part of your task is to figure out the best strategy for convincing the judge to support your position. This requires cooperation and coordination within your group and with the other members of your faction.


Presentations must not exceed the time allotment. You are welcome to use PowerPoint or other video resource. You must turn in a copy of your presentation (list of talking points, ppt slides) on the day you present.


The consumer will introduce himself and state the basis for the ruling for the majority position. Bonus points will be given out and based on the quality of the final positions.


DO NOT read your presentation! Memorize it and deliver it with confidence and conviction!


Anything you do to enhance the presentation (infographics, handouts, props, etc.) will enhance your grade.


Justice: In your presentation you must introduce yourself (provide a short description with important defining characteristics) and state what specific action you will take (if any) and clearly explain why. You must clearly state how many points you are awarding a particular individual/group/faction and explain why.