History role-playing games provide an interactive learning environment that draws students more deeply into historical contexts, promotes peer engagement and improves intellectual and academic skills. The department began using the games concept in 2005, which has fundamentally changed the way history is taught in the program. The ultimate goal is for students to apply what they learn from history to what they read in today’s news.
Students are assigned roles for a historical point in time, such as the French Revolution or the Council of Nicaea. As a team, they prepare to debate important issues relevant to their historical time period with their arguments based only on what was known at that time. The game sessions are run by students with minimal instructor guidance. Students are able to apply what they read in classic history texts to the role-playing games, which offers a challenging, engaging and team-oriented learning experience.