Step 4


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:

  1. Anthropology
  2. Business
  3. Economics
  4. Geography
  5. History
  6. Philosophy
  7. Political Science
  8. Psychology
  9. Religious Studies
  10. Sociology

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.