Maymester Institutes

CTL is excited to partner with other entities at the University to offer week-long institutes on topics such as redesigning curricula and exploring pioneering, game-based pedagogies.

Reacting to the Past

May 20-23, 2014

Reacting to the Past is an award-winning pedagogy that transcends traditional disciplinary divisions and gives students a unique opportunity to engage in active learning. Reacting was introduced at UGA in Fall 2003 and has expanded from an initial two departments and programs to nine. The pedagogy consists of elaborate games, set in the past, in which students (who run the class sessions themselves) are assigned roles that are informed by classic texts in the history of ideas. The games draw students into the past, promote engagement with big ideas, and improve a variety of intellectual and academic skills. Furthermore, it supports cross-disciplinary thinking, which is a critical element of a 21st-century education. Reacting to the Past involves students in the skills that we know are essential in the modern economy: critical thinking, teamwork, problem-solving and, of course, content knowledge.

The Center for Teaching and Learning in collaboration with UGA Reacting will offer a week-long Maymester Institute focusing broadly on gaming in education and specifically on the Reacting to the Past pedagogy.  Participation is by invitation only, and well-recognized pedagogues from across the humanities as well as the sciences, social sciences, engineering, and the medical fields will take part in this pedagogy-centered event. Topics will include course redesign, educational game theory, active learning, and Reacting to the Past pedagogy.

Each spring the UGA Reacting Program (reacting.uga.edu) hosts a very successful Reacting conference and introduces a number of new faculty to the pedagogy. Participants overwhelmingly report that they are excited and enthusiastic about Reacting. Despite this very positive introduction, however, many are reluctant to redesign their current courses in order to embed a game into their curriculum.

It is our hope that this Institute will turn more faculty from Reacting samplers to Reacting pedagogues by giving them an opportunity to work with expert course designers and experienced Reacting faculty to work a Reacting game into one of their courses. Increasing the number of Reacting faculty will bring this pedagogy to many more students at UGA and involve them in this kind of active learning.

Questions about this Maymester Institute can be directed to Chase Hagood, tchagood@uga.edu, CTL's Coordinator of Faculty Development and Recognition.​