There are two types of player roles in the Research Institute scenario – Research Director & Research Scholar. The teacher plays the Research Director and the role of Research Scholar is assigned by discipline to the students in the class.
Using discipline-based groups allows the Research Scholars to focus on knowledge in a single discipline on the designated theme. Otherwise, the material is just overwhelming. When a broader social science perspective is required, discipline scholars will be called on to account for their discipline approach in a multidisciplinary activity.
For the multidiscipline part to be viable, a few students must be assigned as Research Scholars in at least five of the ten social science disciplines listed:
- Political Science
- Religious Studies
Decide on how to allot the disciplines to the students in your class:
- Set lower and upper limits for the number of students in each discipline.
- Aim for roughly equivalent numbers in each discipline.
- Ensure no student is alone.
- Schedule discipline members during the same lab period if you have students divided into separate labs.
- Decide how the disciplines will be distributed – by choice or assignment.
- Show them the Research Scholar Script Form:
- Invite them to get started
- Explain the timeline
- Clarify that the script form work is largely individual, and specify where it is not
- Show them the list of disciplines and briefly explain how the disciplines function in the social sciences.
- Define multidisciplinarity and discuss multidisciplinary approaches to addressing research problems.
- Discuss the fact that the competition is external not internal – collegiality is the norm. A concrete way to reinforce this is to discuss the Research Institute Code of Conduct, which they have as a Checklist in Step 2 of their Research Scholar Script Form.
- Consider making adherence to the Code of Conduct subject to evaluation and worth a portion of the grade.