This session introduced participants to ways to incorporate role playing game (RPG) tropes and mechanics to in-class activities. The Marveloso Valley is a fictional valley on the central coast of Peru that was designed to teach students how archaeologists conduct their field research. A series of lab modules located in this space were made with each module focusing on a different aspect or methodology. These labs used concepts such as long-term continuity and non-playable characters (NPC’s) so that students appreciated how research was conducted. Beyond teaching methods, these labs also taught students how data was interpreted, as there were no “right answers” to the labs and students had to develop the best theories supported by the data.
The goal of this workshop was to introduce instructors to the mechanics of RPG’s and discuss how they could be incorporated into class activities. These types of activities provided for an engaging environment where collaborative learning experiences could aide in students ability to learn. Instructors adopted the role of Game Master (GM), and it was their role to facilitate students as they explored the module. Treating class activities as games allowed students to pick up advanced concepts with greater ease. Participants would be given information on how to develop similar activities, what type of learning outcomes could be achieved from these activities as well as the role of the instructor in class.
Christopher Milan (College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences- Anthropology)
Materials used in the workshop activity