Centre collégial de développement de matériel didactique

Player Scripts

Researchers

The researchers are the most numerous players in this scenario activity.

The researchers are members of different professional associations, referred to as Social Science Disciplines:

  • Anthropology
  • Business 
  • Economics 
  • Geography 
  • History 
  • Philosophy 
  • Political Science 
  • Psychology 
  • Religious Studies 
  • Sociology

The researchers are expected to think and act their way to winning the funds needed to complete their team’s research proposal. Each discipline team prepares a research proposal on the assigned topic and presents it to the Judges during the GAME PLAY, an in-class contest. Depending on class size and the number of disciplines selected, there will be between two and five members in each discipline team.

The judges will determine the funding criteria and dispersals for the $1,000,000 available in research funds to the Researchers.

Judges

The Judges make up the fictional Research Council that resembles the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

The Judges set the stage for a healthy contest among the Researchers who are organized into separate social science discipline teams (i.e., psychology, geography, political science, etc.).

The Judges establish the criteria for granting the $1,000,000 in funds, host the finding competition proceedings and decide which discipline receives what amount.

The Researchers must demonstrate to the Judges that their research proposals are worthy of being funded.

Journalists

In this role-play scenario, the two Journalists are specialists who cover scientific affairs for a number of reputable Canadian newspapers and magazines. One of them is a gifted photographer.

Specially invited by the Research Council Judges, the Journalists keep a watchful eye on the professional propriety of the Judges and the Researchers, especially when the competition heats up.

The Journalists pose questions during the Q & A period and cover the competition event in a News Report that is released a week after the GAME PLAY. Photos may appear in this in-class publication.

General Public

One other player, the General Public demonstrates non-scientific ways of thinking in this role-play scenario.

Instead of thinking scientifically, the General Public thinks in a more practical and commonsensical manner. In its most stereotypical form, the General Public makes hastily drawn conclusions based on limited information coming from such sources as common myths and conceptions, popular media, traditional authority and/or personal anecdotal experience.

Specially invited by the Research Council Judges, the General Public challenges the Researchers to provide cost-efficient and practical research solutions to the problems identified on the assigned topic.

At the commencement of the Fund$ Game, the General Public delivers an opening speech outlining the conventional wisdom regarding research on the assigned topic. The game closes with the General Public reflecting on the extent to which the Judges’ allocation of funds to the discipline groups accords with their own typically non-scientific ways of thinking.

Teacher

As a Teacher, you direct your students through an in-class role-play scenario about a social science research funding competition across the disciplines. You assign a topic, set the assignment parameters and watch as your students use role-play scripts to act the parts of researchers, judges, journalists and the general public. Finally, you evaluate the meaningful learning that takes place and benefit from the support materials provided on this website.

No matter how many times you play this game, it is always unique and always has its own dynamics and characters.

 

Researcher

INTRODUCTION

  • This form is designed to prepare you for the GAME PLAY.
  • Preview the Fund$ Game material before beginning this Script Form.
  • Each Player is expected to complete a Script Form before the GAME PLAY.
  • You are not “in character” while filling out this form.
  • Much of the first half of the form should contain your own individual responses, while in the latter half you will create the team’s proposal and speech.
  • Fill in the fields wherever you see the empty bullet symbol :
  • Your teacher may provide more specific instructions on which fields to complete and how.
  • To print the entire content of this script at once, please click on the PRINTER icon on this page.

 

What is your name?

What are the names of your team members?

What is the assigned topic for the game?

Step 1

GET INTO CHARACTER 

  1. Introduce yourself to your fellow team members.
  2. Get ideas for role-play names by consulting the professional associations, research institutes and university departments under your discipline name.
  3. Discuss prospective for names with your fellow team members and decide what to name your own character. For instance, conduct a web search by entering the following phrases: “Canadian Association of [discipline],” “American Association of [discipline],” “Research Centre” and “[discipline or topic],” “Department of [discipline].”

 What is your professional role-play name & title? e.g. Dr., Professor, Associate Professor, Director, Lead researcher.

What is your Institutional affiliation? e.g., a university or research centre.

What is your team name? e.g., a professional-sounding name that signifies something about your discipline as well as your approach to the assigned topic.

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Step 2

SIGNAL APPROVAL OF CODE OF CONDUCT

Review the Code of Conduct under the Rules and Code of Conduct and respond to the questions below.

Which part of the code of conduct do you think you will have no trouble adhering to?

Which part of the code of conduct do you think you may have some trouble adhering to? Why?

Step 3

KNOW YOUR DISCIPLINE

In point form, list what you, as an individual, are bringing to the team in terms of knowledge and interests relative to the discipline to which you have been assigned. Consider such things as courses taken, readings, essays written or orals delivered in courses relating to the discipline. Also consider any involvement in volunteer or club activities or jobs you have done that may relate.

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Spend 15 minutes browsing through the official website (Canadian or American) of the professional association of your discipline*, and answer the following questions individually (not as a team).

  1. Judging by what you see on the website, what kind of things do members of this professional association do?
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  2. What reasons or stated goals guide their activities as a professional association?
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  3. Provide a few concrete examples of programs, events or activities that they support (i.e., conferences, workshops, scholarships, job postings…)?
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  4. Where/how do they appear to conduct their research (geographic locations, in labs, in the field)?
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  5. What did you learn from this website that might help you to play the role of a researcher from this particular discipline?
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  6. Which two other disciplines appear similar to your assigned discipline? Explain briefly. Read the sample Topics and Proposal Abstracts to get a sense of which disciplines may be similar. You may also look at some other professional association websites to get a clearer idea of the similarities.
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Examples include the Canadian or American Psychological Association or the Canadian or American Political Science Association. For the Business discipline, these associations are more specific to areas within business, such as marketing, advertising, finance or accounting. 

Step 4

GENERATE IDEAS FROM EXISTING RESEARCH

Proposals do not emerge in a vacuum! Researchers generate ideas for future research from previous research.  

FIND AND SUMMARIZE A STUDY

Each team member finds, in the library’s periodical databases (e.g., Academic OneFile, JSTOR, ProQuest…), one peer-reviwed scholarly journal article specific to the discipline on the assigned topic.

HOW?

Combine the name of your discipline with the topic in the basic or advanced search box. Limit the search to:

  • Full text articles
  • Peer-reviewed journals
  • 2005 to the present

Be sure to choose an article that you can understand.

WHY?

The studies your team finds will be used to help your team design its own proposal on the topic. The aim is to build on research by researchers in your discipline. Building on previous research is a praiseworthy norm in scientific research.
In point form, take note of the following features of the study you have selected:

  1. Title of article
  2. Author(s) name
  3. Date of publication
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  4. Publication title
  5. Pages
  6. What is the main goal of the study? –or– Why was the study done?
  7. What is the thesis or hypothesis? (found in the abstract, at the end of the introduction or at the beginning of the methods section)
  8. Is the study experimental or non-experimental? How do you know this?
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  9. List at least three key variables or concepts under study:
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  10. Who or what are the units that were studied (e.g., people, countries, programs…)? 
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  11. What kinds of evidence or data were used to help prove the thesis or hypothesis?
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  12. In your own words, summarize the main findings or results of the study.
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SHARE YOUR FINDINGS AND FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR PROPOSAL

Find out about your fellow team members’ studies. Each of you in turn should present the information you extracted from your chosen study. Use the prompt questions below to guide you in your search for your own proposal ideas. Keep track of what you decide to borrow and from whom, as you should make explicit reference to the researchers and the titles during your presentation.

Address the following questions as a team and provide a brief account of the discussion under the three items listed below. For this item, depending on your teacher, your responses may be similar.

  1. Which study or studies in the team’s collection seem to offer the most inspiration for formulating our own proposal? In which ways?
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  2. Could a single study from the team’s collection be adopted in full (full replication) or in part (partial replication)? If so, which one and how?
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  3. What will your study sample and population be? Could you use the same or a similar sample and population as in one of the studies? See Decision Board #2 of the Decision Circuit for help on this item.
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Step 5

THE FOUR PILLARS OF A RESEARCH PROPOSAL

This template provides all the parts required for a research proposal.

FOUR PILLARS YOUR ANSWERS
(RESPOND IN POINT FORM AS A TEAM)

PILLAR A — THE DISCIPLINE PITCH

Try to find convincing evidence of the valuable work your discipline is doing on this topic. Remember, you are competing against the other discipline teams for research funding. You have to “sell” your discipline’s proposal.

  1. How important do you think this topic has been in your discipline?
  2. What value do you think your discipline brings to the scientific understanding of the topic?
  3. How has your discipline contributed to enhancing people’s lives in this topic area?
 

PILLAR B — THE METHOD PLAN

Use the DECISION CIRCUIT for this. Each of the numbered items listed here corresponds to numbered items on the decision boards. Review each DC decision board with your team members and write down your selections in the adjacent column. Elaborate on your responses so that the choices clearly refer to the specifics of your plan.

Developing a worthwhile question is the key to winning the judges’ support. Take the time to really think about this. It is a good idea to borrow suggestions for worthwhile questions from existing studies and better still if you attribute the idea to the original researchers and identify the titles of the article and the publication.

 

PILLAR C — THE BUDGET AND TIMEFRAME

Seek online information for rough, estimated prices of things such as materials, travel costs and salaries.

  1. What is the estimated time to complete the entire research project?
  2. What is the estimated salary cost?
    1. What does this include?
    2. For how many employees?
    3. For how long?
    4. For what purposes?
  3. What is the estimation for software, hardware, office supplies, internet/fax, phone and the like?
  4. If you need to rent office space, how much will this cost?
  5. What, if any, travel expenses are involved?
    1. For how many?
    2. To go where?
    3. For how long?
    4. Using what mode(s) of transportation?
  6. What is the grand total estimated cost?
     

    PILLAR D — THE CLOSING PITCH

    Highlight key elements of proposal and briefly remind the judges why they should support your proposal.

    1. Why is this proposal from this particular discipline so important?
    2. What difference do you hope to make?
     

     

    Step 6

    ADJUSTING TO THE JUDGES’ CRITERIA

    • Add the JUDGES’ criteria to the numbered items in the first column of the table below.
    • Place a check mark in the box that best describes your team proposal’s degree of alignment with each of the criteria.

    Checklist: level of adherence to judges' criteria

    CRITERIA NONE AT ALL VERY LIMITED MODERATE HIGH VERY HIGH
    1.                                                                                             
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    Based on the checklist results above, provide an individual prescription of what you believe could be improved in the proposal and how this could be accomplished.

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    Step 7

    CUE CARDS TO PREPARE A WINNING PROPOSAL

    Fill in the Cue Card Sheet Template below so you and your team members will know who is presenting what and in what sequence. If a team member is prevented from delivering their portion, someone else in the team can step in to fill the gap.

    Using material from the completed Design Proposal Template in STEP 5:

    1. Divide each pillar into sub-sections so that one member does not have to present the entirety of a pillar.
    2. Insert the material from the FOUR PILLARS (A B C D) into the corresponding cells of the Cue Card Sheet Template below.
    3. Assign a colour to each team member.
    4. Divide up the material between team members. 
    5. Colour code each cell to match the team member responsible for presenting that portion of the material.
    6. Decide on the sequence for presenting material (it is strongly advised to present it in the order shown).
    7. Finalize the template with team members (ensure you all have the same one).
    8. Print out a full-page view of the template on a colour printer for a practice run and the GAME PLAY.

    Cue card sheet template

    See Sample Cue Card Sheet for an example of a completed version.

    Pillar A
    Discipline Pitch

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Pillar B
    Method Plan

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Pillar C
    Budget and Timeframe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Pillar D
    Closing Pitch

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    Legend

    COLOUR NAME OF PRESENTER
                                                                                                               
       
         
       

     

    Step 8

    PRACTISE & CHECK

    1. Hold a practice run either during class/lab time or on your own.
    2. Discuss what needs to be improved.
    3. Test your time to ensure you are within the time frame set by the judges/teacher.
    4. Complete the Presentation Checklist below.
    5. If two or more of the items on the Checklist are not in order, please indicate here in point form what you plan to do as an individual to address this.
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    Presentation checklist

    Place a check mark beside items that are in order.

    • In case a member is absent for the actual GAME PLAY, each team member has a hard paper copy of the completed Cue Card Sheet Template and can present the material of the other members with no problem.
    • Each team member has practised the portion of the presentation they are responsible for and is prepared for the presentation.
    • The practice run lasted for the required 5 minutes or as otherwise specified by the teacher.
    • Each team member has contributed in a timely fashion.
    • The presentation clearly shows the importance and value of the discipline.
    • The research question puts the proposal in a solid research context.
    • The research method and sampling plan will provide appropriate data to address the research question.
    • Proper scientific names have been used to identify the research method and sampling plan.
    • We have provided a clear and concrete sense of how we will make sense of the data.
    • The proposal complies with the ethical rights of the research subjects and the protection of the vulnerable.
    • The budget and timetable are fair and accurate appraisals of the costs and time involved.
    • The closing statement provides clear reminders of why this proposal by this discipline deserves the required funding support.

    Step 9

    PERFORM

    • Bring the necessary materials with you for the presentation during game play.
    • Reread the Code of Conduct to ensure you follow proper protocol.

    Step 10

    Write reflection

    Step 11

    SUBMIT ASSIGNMENT MATERIAL

    • Complete the required post-game work and submit as per teacher instructions.

    Researcher Sample Materials

    Sample Research Proposal

    Discipline: Religious Studies
    Topic: Immigration

    We are researchers from the Canadian Institute for Religious Studies – CIRS. Professors Anthony and Gordan are from the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Waterloo, Dr. Lily is currently the Director of the Centre for Therapeutic Uses of Spiritual Practices, and Dr. Samantha is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester’s Religious Studies Department and the lead researcher for the Immigrant Religion Project. 

    PILLAR A — DISCIPLINE CONTEXT

    What is Religious Studies?

    Religious studies is one of the oldest of the social science disciplines, with roots reaching back to ancient philosophy and theology. It was in the 19th century, however, when the systematic study of religious belief systems and practices got underway in the universities.

    Misconceptions abound about us as researchers. One such misconception is that we are not researchers, but rather proselytizers trying to convert people to a particular faith. This is not at all true, as we aim to illuminate not the eyes of people’s souls, but the scientific understanding of phenomena we consider to be religious.

    We study the migration and immigration of peoples of many faiths. Our approach is both historical – by looking to past events, especially religious persecution and genocides – and comparative.

    As scientists, we frequently compare different belief systems, practices and behaviours across time and socio-demographic factors. To do this, we typically use surveys (questionnaires, interviews…), fieldwork, case studies and the analysis of available statistics. Our focus on religion, as a discipline of science, has given us very tangible insight into major issues affecting immigrants, across time and geographical locations.

    Many immigrants are known to have religion-based adjustment issues in host countries, and religious studies can help to identify and address these adjustment issues.

     

    PILLAR B — THE method PLAN

    Problem formulation

    After reviewing the research on religion and immigration, we found a Statistics Canada report on the “healthy immigrant effect” that we would like to build on. Edward Ng (2011) and the Longitudinal Health and Administrative Data research team analysed the health characteristics of immigrants and non-immigrants and found that immigrants, especially those with strong religious and traditional values, suffer fewer instances of chronic disease, disability, depression, suicide and drug addiction.

    The Ng (2011) study challenges the conventional wisdom that immigrants are a strain on the medical system, yet it does not seek explanations: Why/how might religion factor into the “healthy immigrant effect”?

    Therefore, we would like to address the following as-yet unanswered questions:

    • Which immigrant characteristics generate positive health outcomes?
    • How does “religious belief” factor into the “healthy immigrant effect”?

    Finding answers to these questions could benefit agencies and social and religious community networks that have regular contact with immigrant groups. A better understanding of how and which religious factors contribute to healthier outcomes could provide more targeted and cost-efficient policies and programs for immigrant groups.

    What we want to do is to systematically conduct two hypothesis tests:

    • H1 Religious factors contribute to the “healthy immigrant effect” in Canada’s immigrant population.
    • H2 The levels of religious belief and traditional values of recent immigrants to Canada positively correlate to levels of well-being and health.

    The approach will be descriptive in orientation. The goal is to develop a more accurate understanding of how religious belief and values impact on the immigrant experience.

    Data collection design

    We are seeking funding to support our investigation into how religion factors into the “healthy immigrant effect.”

    There is no need to directly source the data ourselves with reactive methods requiring us to go out to collect raw data, as fortunately there is an abundance of quantitative data already available in Statistics Canada and Health Canada datasets. This data is readily available, free of charge, via the Internet.

    The units studied will be recent Canadian immigrant groups. The sampling strategy is to purposively select non-representative Statistics Canada data sources for the past decade on recent Canadian immigrants by religious belief and health status. Thus far, we are aware of two major datasets. The selection strategy used by Statistics Canada for each data set will be clearly indicated. It should be noted that in some cases, the data were collected from the entire target population, not a sample proportion of the population.

    We may have some trouble finding more than basic information related to religious factors. We will therefore need to consult with some specialists at Statistics Canada and Health Canada for some assistance in getting access to more detailed datasets. The sampling strategy is therefore open-ended and somewhat theoretical in orientation.

    Secondary analysis will be the technique used to systematically collect and process the data. Using data that have already been gathered by reputable agencies such as Statistics Canada and Health Canada is cost-effective and allows for valid testing of the hypotheses.

    A standardized plan is in place to use the data processing tools in a spreadsheet program, Microsoft Excel. The data will be entered into Excel spreadsheets and the appropriate statistical tables and graphic displays will be generated to reflect the two planned hypothesis tests.

    Analysis, limitations and ethics

    A variety of deductive types of analyses will be used to test the two hypotheses. We intend to enter the available medical and socio-demographic data into Excel and run the following statistical tests: chi-square and independent samples t-test to test for differences in religious groups, and linear regression to test for strength, direction and predictive value of associations. Some more inductive types of analysis will also be used, mostly in the form of the descriptive statistical analysis of differences based on measures of central tendency and spread.

    There are several sources of bias and limitations inherent in this study design. Firstly, illegal immigrants and immigrants awaiting formal status recognition, especially recent refugees, will not be properly accounted for in the datasets and as such could produce a systematic underrepresentation of this group in the results. As well, since we have opted to not collect the data ourselves and rather use available data, we are not able to fully manipulate the data according to our needs. For instance, we may not be able to obtain information for specific aspects of religious adherence such as degree of religiosity and specific forms of religious beliefs. We find these limitations to be acceptable as the costs and time required to conduct our own lengthy survey of a large country-wide target population are prohibitive.

    In terms of ethics, there will be no need to obtain voluntary consent from the research subjects as the data were already collected by reputable government agencies and medical staff. The sources of information will be fully credited.


    PILLAR C — WHAT IS THE BUDGET AND TIMEFRAME?

    The four of us expect to complete the gathering, processing, analysis and reporting of the data in 12-16 months. At $70 per hour with all four of us working on a part-time basis, we estimate salary expenses to amount to about $145,000 over the year. We will require some support ($50,000) for data software, computer units and Internet access for the four of us. Some travel to Ottawa and other data centres will be necessary on occasion. We may even have to purchase some datasets which, combined with the travel, could account for roughly $5,000. All of this will come to a GRAND TOTAL of $200,000 CDN.


    PILLAR D — CLOSING STATEMENT

    Too many misconceptions surround immigration and immigrants. Immigrants are often considered to be expensive dependents, costing Canadian taxpayers more than the immigrants are expected to contribute to the Canadian economy. Ng (2011) has already demonstrated this to be a misconception and the idea needs to be challenged further. Such misconceptions contribute to a dangerous climate of anti-immigration and should be countered with a cold, hard look at the facts.

    • This religious studies research team can make positive contributions to the existing body of knowledge on immigrants and immigration – give us the chance!
    • Say thank you in five languages.

    Sample Cue Cards

    LEGEND

    Anthony / Gordan / Sam / Lily 

    PILLAR A


    4 qualified applicants from CIRS:

    • Professors Anthony and Gordan, Department of Religious Studies, University of Waterloo
    • Dr. Lily, Director, Centre for Therapeutic Uses of Spiritual Practices
    • Dr. Samantha, Senior Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, University of Chester, and lead researcher for the Immigrant Religion Project. 

    One of oldest disciplines: Goes back to ancient philosophy and theology, more recently in 19th century

    We are scientists; not trying to spread faith or religious belief

    Use many techniques: survey method, fieldwork, available statistics …


    IMMIGRATION important – religious studies compare across time & socio-demographic factors of religious belief, practices & behaviours of different IMMIGRANT groups.



    PILLAR B


    Edward Ng (2011) and the Longitudinal Health and Administrative Data research team: healthy immigrant effect.

    • Lower incidence of chronic disease, drug abuse, depression
    • Misconception that costly to Canadian taxpayers
    • Needs systematic analysis
    • Draw on Ng’s original research and address WHY questions

    Questions:

    • Which immigrant characteristics generate healthy outcomes?
    • How does “religious belief” factor into the “healthy immigrant effect”?

    Hypotheses:

    • H1 Religious factors contribute to the “healthy immigrant effect” in Canada’s immigrant population.
    • H2 The levels of religious belief and traditional values of recent immigrants to Canada positively correlate to levels of well-being and health.

    Main variables in H1:

    • health status of immigrant groups
    • religious affiliation and groupings of recent immigrants

    Main variables in H2:

    • intensity of religious belief
    • physical and mental well-being

    Adopting linear path


    Decided not to use direct/reactive methods – no need. Lots of data already available as shown in Ng (2011) study that we are building on.

    Secondary analysis of available statistical data is the strategy. Statistics Canada/Health Canada datasets from the years 2000-2010. Data collected from medical files and cross-referenced with socio-demographic information relating to country of origin, religious denomination.



    Cost-effective and valid way to test our hypotheses.


    Enter the data into reputable data processing software – Excel. 

    Run the following statistical tests: chi-square and independent samples t-test to test for differences in groups, and linear regression to test for strength of associations.


    The target population will be recent immigrants to Canada in the past decade. There is no sample as the data collected by StatsCan is the available target population.




    PILLAR C



    12-16 months to gather, process, analyse & report



    4 of us at $70 per hr part-time = $145,000



    $50,000 for data software, computer units and Internet access for the four of us



    $5,000 for occasional travel to Ottawa and other data centres



    GRAND TOTAL $200,000




    PILLAR D



    Lots of misconceptions: immigrants as costly, lazy, nothing to contribute…Leads to hatred, distrust.


    Current perceptions are not based on facts.Requires scientific evidence and Religious Studies understands the value of religious beliefs and traditional values.



    Accentuate the positive …



    Say thank you in five languages.



    Judge

    INTRODUCTION

    • This form is designed to prepare you for the GAME PLAY.
    • Preview the Fund$ Game material before beginning this Script Form.
    • Each Player is expected to complete a Script Form before the GAME PLAY.
    • You are not “in character” while filling out this form.
    • Most of the form should contain your own individual responses (with the obvious exception of the parts where you are establishing the criteria and the forms).
    • Fill in the fields wherever you see the empty bullet symbol :
    • Your teacher may provide more specific instructions on which fields to complete and how.
    • To print the entire content of this script at once, please click on the PRINTER icon on this page.

     

    What is your name?

    What are the names of your fellow judges?

    What is the assigned topic for the game?

    Step 1

    GET INTO CHARACTER

    Take about 15 minutes to search online for information regarding funding agency judges and what they do. Go to the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) website and explore SSHRC merit reviews.

    Did you know that...

    A research council typically consists of a number of eminent scholars and distinguished experts from industry and government who have been selected by the governing body of a funding agency. At the federal level in Canada, the Ministry of Industry oversees the operations of three federal granting agencies, referred to as the Tri-Council.

    The Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is one of these three councils, the others being Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).

    Combined, their mandate is to support post-secondary scientific inquiry in academia and in the public and private sectors. Council members are selected for their expertise and professionalism and are usually drawn from different sectors of society.

     

    Based on your search of SSHRC, provide brief responses to the following questions: 

    1. What is meant by an independent merit review process?
    2. Briefly explain the value of a few of the principles that guide this process.
    3. What are the main qualifications for becoming a SSHRC reviewer (judge)?
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    Take another 15 minutes to explore the governance section of the SSHRC website. Look for prospects for a role-play name and title. Discuss the prospects with your fellow judges. Choose a name, professional title and institutional affiliation.

    What is your: 

    1. Role-play name?
    2. Professional role-play title? e.g., Dr., Chairperson, Director, Lead researcher…
    3. Institutional affiliation? e.g., a university or research centre…

    Assign each judge a specialized council position, such as President, Vice-President, Chairperson, Secretary, or Treasurer.

    1. What is your specialized position on the council?
    2. What are the other positions?
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    Step 2

    SIGNAL APPROVAL OF CODE OF CONDUCT

    Review the Code of Conduct under the Rules and Code of Conduct and respond to the questions below.

    Which part of the code of conduct do you think you will have no trouble adhering to?

    Which part of the code of conduct do you think you may have some trouble adhering to? Why?

    Step 3

    KNOW THE DISCIPLINES

    Read the Topics and Proposal Abstracts for The FUND$ GAME 

    Using the table below, on a scale of 1-10 where 1 represents the lowest level of knowledge and 10 the highest, estimate your level knowledge for each of the disciplines: 

    DISCIPLINE COMBINED LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE ON 1-10 SCALE, LOW TO HIGH
    Anthropology  
    Business  
    Economics  
    Geography  
    History  
    Philosophy  
    Political Science  
    Psychology  
    Religious Studies  
    Sociology  

     

    Compare rankings above with your fellow judges. Identify three disciplines about which you, as a team, have deficient knowledge and briefly explain how you intend to redress this.

    Which two disciplines do you feel you know the least about?

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    Visit the professional association website for these two disciplines. Navigate through each site for a few minutes. Eventually, jot down a few points you have learned about each discipline. (Search “Canadian” or “American” before the discipline name, followed by the word “Association,” such as “Canadian Political Science Association.”)

    1. Which sites did you select?
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    2. What did you discover about them?
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    3. What kinds of research or interests do they appear to promote?
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    4. What reasons or stated goals guide their activities?
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    Step 4

    BUILD EXPERTISE

    Read the Sample Research Proposal on your own and identify three features that you believe should be subjected to scrutiny. In other words, what aspects of the proposal stand out as elements that should be evaluated by you, the judges?

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    What is your assigned topic for the FUND$ GAME?

    Consult a specialized social science encyclopedia in your college library’s e-book collection, book stacks or database. Search for an entry/article on the assigned topic.

    The length of these entries ranges between 1 to 5 pages. Aim for an entry that provides an overview of the research and the disciplines or fields involved. Popular encyclopaedias such as Britannica or Wikipedia are not appropriate as there is no guarantee that the authors are qualified specialists in the field. For instance, The International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences is a 26-volume specialized encyclopedia that is available in most academic libraries. You may require the teacher’s guidance for this item.

    Take note of the following:

    1. Title of encyclopedia (publication title)
    2. Editor(s)
    3. Volume number (where applicable)
    4. Page numbers
    5. Title of entry in encyclopedia
    6. Author(s) (usually found at beginning or at end of specific article/entry)
    7. List three elements of the entry that help you to understand the research on the topic:
      •  
      •  
    8. Find an excerpt that concisely describes the research on the topic, then copy-paste the quote within the parentheses 

       

       

       


      Page number: 

    Step 5

    DETERMINE FUNDING CRITERIA

    1. To get ideas on how to establish your own criteria for awarding the grant money, read the Sample Funding Criteria and research granting agencies such as the SSHRC or the National Research Council of Canada (simply go to their websites).

      Based on your research, list at least five ideas for funding criteria that you found relevant:
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    2. Share your individual findings with the other judges. Start establishing your group criteria.
      • Identify three mutually exclusive criteria and list them in the first column of the table below.
      • For the second column, assign a few performance indicator(s) to each criterion (i.e., if comprehensiveness of plan is a criterion, then a suitable performance indicator would be provide detailed, thorough accounts of data gathering and analysis plans). 
    FUNDING CRITERIA PERFORMANCE INDICATOR(S)
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    Step 6

    1. Finalize the criteria as quickly as you can.
    2. Deliver to all players by the class before the GAME PLAY, at the very latest.
    3. The teacher may ask you to explain the criteria to the other players.

    Step 7

    PREPARE GAME PLAY MATERIALS

    Create score sheets for use during the GAME PLAY.Design them with efficiency in mind. While judging, you will be multi-tasking; actively listening, taking notes, scoring performances, directing presentations. The players will expect the judges to sustain an even, brisk pace. There will be only a minute between presentations to complete your scoring and then, after all the proposals are presented, only 15 minutes to make your funding dispersal decisions. Well-designed score sheets are indispensable.

    • For ideas, review the two Sample Score Sheets.
    • As a team, discuss what you would like to see on your score sheet.
    • Design your own score sheet and put it at the bottom of this page

    As a team, determine how you plan to announce the winners and the losers. For fairness and equivalence, it is advisable to tabulate numeric scores using the criteria. Judgment will be required to apportion the $1M. Some teams may receive nothing. In this case, you may consider suggesting that the team address those areas in need of improvement and re-submit for the following round of funding.

    • Not only will you be expected to announce the funding amounts, but you will have to provide reasons. Aim to deliver constructive feedback. Consider dividing responsibility for this among yourselves.
    • The Decision Sheet Template has served students well in the past. Feel free to modify it. It is most effective if visible to all players.

    Review the GAME PLAY Agenda & Set Design. As a team, list all the equipment and printed or electronic materials needed for the GAME PLAY. You may want to discuss these plans with the teacher.

    • Use the Checklist below as an organizer. In the first column, place checkmarks beside items you are personally responsible for. In the second column, indicate responsibility by entering “team,” “teacher” or specific team members for the items.
    I AM
    RESPONSIBLE
    FOR THESE ITEMS
    OTHERS ARE
    RESPONSIBLE
    FOR THESE ITEMS
    (WHO?)
    ITEMS FOR GAME PLAY QUESTIONS

     

      Access to score sheets for judges  

     

      Team name placards  

     

      Funding currency  

     

      Access to GAME PLAY Agenda & Set Design  

     

      Materials/Equipment for reporting information (markers, projector, screen …)  

     

      Judge’s gavel or other such device  

     

      Timer  

    Step 8

    take charge and render decisions

    • From setting up the room to closing the game play, you are in charge of chairing the game play from start to finish.
    • Ensure you have all the requisite materials with you.
    • Carefully watch the time, follow the agenda and abide by the Code of Conduct.

    Step 9

    Write reflection

    Step 10

    SUBMIT ASSIGNMENT MATERIAL

    • Complete the required post-game work and submit as per teacher instructions.

    Judge Sample Materials

     Sample Funding Criteria

    CRITERIA PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
    1. Well-organized & prepared
    • Presented in an orderly, thoughtful way
    • Consistently followed through on key elements
    • Appeared confident they knew what they were talking about
    2. Positive repercussions on society
    • Recognizable account of projected value of the research
    • Convincing justification for social impact
    3. Cost-effectiveness
    • Evidence they factored reduced costs into the design
    • Careful detailing of costs in budget
    • Demonstrated strong management skills and abilities

     

    Sample Score Sheets 

    EVALUATION GRID

    Discipline: _________________

    CRITERIA 1-3 4-7 8-10 SCORE
    1. Sound, Logical 
    Proposal
    Proposal is vague and unclear; lacks grounding in research field; limited reference to scientific terms or data gathering or sampling plan; may not be ethical (probably too vague to determine). Proposal makes some sense and is fairly logical in sequence; some connection to existing research in the discipline; weak/limited choice of methods for gathering data, selecting sample and analyzing data; limited use of scientific terminology; could be ethical. Proposal is very clear and makes lots of sense; grounded in existing research in the discipline; excellent choice of methods for gathering data, selecting sample and analyzing data; sophisticated use of scientific terminology; ethically sound.  
    2. High Impact 
    Potential
    Little to no evidence provided of the value of investing in this research; unclear or vague path to impact in the field. Some support for research leading to breakthroughs; evidence of some potential for making improvements; some justification for investing in this research project. Convincing case for research leading to major breakthroughs; demonstrated potential for research to contribute to improvements; justified value of investing in this research project.  
    3. Professionalism Researchers lacked professionalism in some ways: 
    Weak team work, disorganized presentation, potentially unethical plans or work processes, lack of accountability for monies and materials required.
    Researchers demonstrated some professionalism: worked together, presented in an organized fashion, adhered to ethical rules of conduct, costed and planned work with some degree of accountability. Researchers demonstrated professionalism: worked well together presented in a highly organized fashion, adhered to ethical rules of conduct, costed and planned work in a detailed and accountable manner.  
    TOTAL
    SCORE
    Comments

     

    TALLY SHEET

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

     

    Decision Sheet Template

    To show funding distribution choices of Judges and General Public. $1,000,000 in research funds to be distributed

    SOCIAL SCIENCE DISCIPLINES RESEARCH COUNCIL $ GRANTS GENERAL PUBLIC $ GRANT OPINION
    Anthropology    
    Business    
    Economics    
    Geography    
    History/Classics    
    Philosophy    
    Political Science    
    Psychology    
    Religious Studies    
    Sociology    

     

    GAME PLAY Agenda and Set Design

    The judges are in charge of chairing the GAME PLAY. This is the recommended agenda. The total time for the in-class competition is 2-2.5 hours.

    AGENDA

    STEP WHAT THE JUDGES NEED TO DO TIME IN MINUTES
      Set-up
    • Arrange seating & materials (i.e., team name placards)
    • Install equipment if/where necessary (i.e., online stopwatch or projection of criteria or other such information)
    • Give everyone some time to organize their materials
    ~15-20
    1. Welcome
    • Call the funding competition meeting to order
    • Greet everyone and thank them for attending
    • Briefly review agenda & time frame
    • Explain protocol (presentation order & placement, speaking time regulations, break…)
    ~5
    2. General Public Speech
    • Invite the general public to make a 2-3 minute speech
    • Thank the general public once complete
    ~5
    3. Discipline Group Presentations
    • Invite and thank each group in turn (keep momentum going)
    • Allow ~5 minutes per presentation
    ~60
    4. Judges’ Deliberations
    • Call a 15-minute break for everyone except yourselves
    • Determine allocation of funding
    • Ask everyone to leave the room for the designated time for privacy and quiet
    ~15
    5. Announcement of Funding Winners
    • Present your funding decisions
    • Justify your funding allocation decisions
    ~10
    6. Question & Answer Period
    • Hold a Q & A period
    • Specifically call on Journalists and General Public to pose some questions
    ~10
    7. Adjourn
    • Ask for motion to adjourn the meeting
    • Thank everyone
     

     

    Set design: Configure classroom seating by role grouping:

    • Set up equipment and place materials such as placards, score sheets, gavel, timer …
    • Provide sufficient space for discipline teams to present and move as per your requirements.
    • The teacher has templates for name placards and funding currency.
    • A gavel may be hard to come by, so be inventive and bring an improvised device, hopefully nothing that will damage furniture or promote hearing loss.

     

    CLASSROOM CONFIGURATION MAP

    Classroom Configuration Map

    Journalist

    INTRODUCTION

    • This form is designed to prepare you for the GAME PLAY.
    • Preview the Fund$ Game material before beginning this Script Form.
    • Each Player is expected to complete a Script Form before the GAME PLAY.
    • You are not “in character” while filling out this form.
    • Much of the first half of the form should contain your own individual responses, with the obvious exception being the parts where you are creating the joint news article.
    • Fill in the fields wherever you see the empty bullet symbol :
    • Your teacher may provide more specific instructions on which fields to complete and how.
    • To print the entire content of this script at once, please click on the PRINTER icon on this page.

     

    What is your name?

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    What is the name of the other journalist?

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    What is the assigned topic for the GAME?

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    Step 1

    GET INTO CHARACTER

    Sketch a professional character profile. Take about 15 minutes to search online for some examples of journalists and their credentials.

    What would you like to imagine about your character?

    1. Age?
    2. City/town of residence…?
    3. Writes for which newspapers/magazines?
    4. Education?
    5. Years of experience
    6. Awards?

    With your fellow journalist, take about 15 minutes in online searches to explore possible pen names for yourselves as well as your intended publication and article titles. You will eventually use these names and titles for the news article you will compile. View the News Article Template that you will be using. Feel free to openly discuss your considerations with your fellow journalist. You could opt to assume complementary roles or be altogether unique.

    1. Role-play pen name?
    2. Publication title?
    3. Article title?

    Step 2

    SIGNAL APPROVAL OF CODE OF CONDUCT

    Review the Code of Conduct under the Rules and Code of Conduct and respond to the questions below.

    Which part of the code of conduct do you think you will have no trouble adhering to?

    Which part of the code of conduct do you think you may have some trouble adhering to? Why?

    Step 3

    KNOW THE DISCIPLINES

    You should find out about the assigned topic and the different social science disciplines that are competing for research funding.The following items should help you become more knowledgeable. Complete this as individual work.

    Read the Sample Research Proposal. Briefly explain what you understand as the goal of this religious studies research team.

    Read the abstracts for each of the disciplines in the Topics and Proposal Abstracts. Beside each discipline name, place a few keywords that help you to understand how that discipline conducts research.

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

    Which of the two disciplines do you feel are most similar? Why?

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    Which of the two disciplines do you feel are most dissimilar? Why?

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    Which of two disciplines do you feel you know the least about?

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    Visit the professional association website for these two disciplines. Navigate through each site for a few minutes. Eventually, jot down a few points you have learned about each discipline. (Search “Canadian” or “American” before the discipline name, followed by the word “Association,” such as “Canadian Political Science Association.”)

    Consult a specialized social science encyclopedia in your college library’s e-book collection, book stacks or database. Search for an entry/article on the assigned topic. For instance, The International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences is a 26-volume specialized encyclopaedia that is available in most academic libraries. Popular encyclopaedias such as Britannica or Wikipedia are inappropriate choices. You may require your assistance from your teacher or librarian for this item. 
    Take note of the following:

    1. Title of encyclopaedia (publication title)
    2. Editor(s)
    3. Title of entry in encyclopaedia
    4. Author(s) (usually found at beginning or at end of specific article/entry)
    5. Volume number (where applicable)
    6. Page numbers
    7. List three elements of the entry that help you to understand the topic:
    8. Find an excerpt that helps you to understand the assigned topic. Place the quote here :

       

       

       

       

       

    Page location

    Step 4

    ABC of RESEARCH REPORTING

    Read the Sample News Report. After carefully reading the Sample News Report, address the following questions: 

    How is the information structured? (chronologically, thematically?)

    What kinds of information are featured? (maps, quotes from famous people, funding figures, trends, reactions from…)?

    Find two newspaper or magazine articles that have covered research funding issues or events. For each article, identify the following:

    BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION FOR ARTICLE 1

    Article title

    Publication title

    Author (s)

    Publication date

    Page #

    URL

    What can be learned from this article and applied towards the writing of your own article?

     

    BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION FOR ARTICLE 2

    Article title

    Publication title

    Author (s)

    Publication date

    Page #

    URL

    What can be learned from this article and applied towards the writing of your own article?

    Step 5

    LOCATE BACKGROUND INFORMATION

    Consult research granting organizations online for insight into issues from within the research granting community. The official website of the Social Science and Humantities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is a great place to start investigating. List a few of your discoveries here:

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    Track down some recent statistics or expert testimony about social science research. Place a few statistics here (add URL for each source of information).

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    Step 6

    INVESTIGATE AND PROBE

    On your own, compose three potential questions for the Q & A period during the GAME PLAY. Try to ask questions to all types of players: judges, general public and researchers.

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    Step 7

    KEEP RECORDS

    Journalists are known for keeping detailed records of their inquiries. During the GAME PLAY, take copious notes about what is happening, who is saying what and how; consider taking photographs.

    The news article requires accurate accounts of the funding allocations, the presentations and the reactions and discussions that take place. Bring a notepad or a laptop with you to the session.

    Please confer with the teacher first about the logistics of using a laptop or taking photographs during the GAME PLAY.

    Step 8

    WRITE THE NEWS ARTICLE

    The news article should be composed shortly after the GAME PLAY and completed as specified by your teacher. It can include photographic images as long as you received permission from the players and as long as the distribution of the article is limited to the students in the class. The word count should be between 350-500 words. You can use the suggestions in this template to compose the article.

    News Article Template

    News Article Template

    Step 9

    Write reflection

    Step 10

    SUBMIT ASSIGNMENT MATERIAL

    • Complete the required post-game work and submit as per teacher instructions.

    Journalist Sample Materials

    Sample News Report

    Sample News Report

    General Public

    INTRODUCTION

    • This form is designed to prepare you for the GAME PLAY.
    • Preview the FUND$ GAME material before beginning this Script Form.
    • Each Player is expected to complete a Script Form before the GAME PLAY.
    • You are not “in character” while filling out this form.
    • Much of the first half of the form should contain your own individual responses, with the obvious exception being the speech part.
    • Fill in the fields wherever you see the empty bullet symbol:
    • Your teacher may provide more specific directions as to which fields to complete and how.
    • To print the entire content of this script at once, please click on the PRINTER icon on this page.

     

    What is your name?

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    What is the name of the other member of the General Public?

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    What is the assigned topic for the GAME?

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    Step 1

    CHARACTER SKETCH

    Sketch a character profile of a member of the General Public. Feel free to openly discuss your considerations with the other member of the General Public. You could opt to assume complementary roles or be altogether unique individuals.

    What are the background characteristics of your character?

    1. Live: City/town of residence…?
    2. Occupation?
    3. Family status: single, with children, spouse, widowed…?
    4. Activities: political, leisure…?
    5. Education?

    What do you want your character to look like? 

    1. Visible minority?
    2. Young, middle-aged, senior?
    3. Dressed casually, uniformed, formally attired, outfitted in a particular style?

    Image

    Roughly sketch or find an image of a character that best fits your character preferences. Place it in the box below.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    What are some characteristics of speech that you would like to employ?

    1. Tone of voice: conversational, abrasive, respectful, candid, humorous, serious…?
    2. Vocabulary: formal, informal, colloquial?
    3. Accent or particular speech pattern?

    Contrive a few anecdotal accounts relative to the topic and reflective of the character features you have defined. 

    1. What did your character just read about in the newspaper with regard to the assigned topic?
    2. What eventful thing recently happened to one of the character’s close friends that has a bearing on the topic?
    3. What does your character hear in the streets about research work on the topic?

    Step 2

    SIGNAL APPROVAL OF CODE OF CONDUCT

    Review the Code of Conduct under the Rules and Code of Conduct and respond to the questions below.

    Which part of the code of conduct do you think you will have no trouble adhering to?

    Which part of the code of conduct do you think you may have some trouble adhering to? Why?

    Step 3

    HOW TO THINK NON-SCIENTIFICALLY

    The best way to get into a non-scientific mindset is to read or watch some popular media sources of information and public opinion polls. Here are some navigational hints to help you find these sorts of information on the Internet.

    Try to locate at least one source on the assigned topic in each of the following three areas:

    • A recent newspaper or popular magazine article
    • An “open electronic communication thread” such as online discussion forum or twitter feed
    • Public opinion poll results from existing websites (list provided below)

    Copy and paste information and links directly into the relevant fields below.

    Provide the following information for the recent newspaper or magazine article:

    1. Author(s):
    2. Article title:
    3. Publication title:
    4. Date:
    5. URL:
    6. After reading the article, briefly outline the popular view of the topic, research activities and government policies or actions.
    7. Provide the following information for the “open electronic communication thread”:

    Extract three brief comments that are of relevance to the public’s views on the topic and place them in the table below:

    OPEN ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION TYPE (ONLINE FORUM, TWITTER FEED, FACEBOOK…) GIVEN USER IDENTITY/ONLINE NAME COMMENT
    USE QUOTATION MARKS WHERE NEEDED
    1.          
     
     
    2.      
     
     
    3.     
     
     

     

    Find two online public opinion sites with public opinion facts on the assigned topic. Choose from this list:

    • Angus Reid Institute org
    • COMPAS INC.
    • CROP
    • Decima Research Inc.
    • Canadian Opinion Research Archive CORA
    • Ipsos-Reid Canada
    • Léger Marketing
    • POLLARA
    • Environics Research Group
    • PEW Research Group
    • Gallup
    • Eurostat
    • Eurobarometer
    • World Values Survey
    • OECD

    What did you find?

    NAME OF PUBLIC OPINION SITE & URL ARTICLE TITLE RELEVANT FACTS ON PUBLIC OPINION
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    Step 4

    FRAME OPENING SPEECH

    This speech, delivered in a few short minutes, should inform the Researchers and the Judges that the tax-paying public has its own share of concerns regarding the assigned topic. 
    If you are not the only player for the General Public, be sure to work on this step together.

    Before starting on your own speech, read the Sample Research Proposal to get a sense of what the research teams are presenting for the GAME PLAY. After reading it, copy and paste excerpts from the speech that exemplify scientific ways of thinking:

      • An excerpt exemplifying how scientists gather data
      • An excerpt where a research question is raised
      • An excerpt expressing a challenge to conventional wisdom on the topic

    Read the Sample Opening Speech and then copy and paste excerpts from the speech that exemplify non-scientific ways of thinking:

      • An excerpt exemplifying a conversational style of communication
      • An excerpt exemplifying a non-scientific way of coming to a conclusion
      • An excerpt expressing the goal of “research” from the general public’s perspective

    Opening Speech Template

    THE FOUR PILLARS QUESTIONS YOUR ANSWERS
    (RESPOND AS IF YOU WERE DELIVERING THE ANSWERS FOR A SPEECH)
    A. INTRODUCTION
    (Start by borrowing material from your STEP 1 - CHARACTER SKETCH.)
    1. Who are you? Why are you here? Who asked you to speak?
    2. What basic interests do you, as a representative of the general public, have in research on the assigned topic?
     
    B. MAJOR CONCERNS
    1. What major concerns does the general public have with regard to the topic? How do you know this? Where did you obtain this information?
    2. What are some specific examples of these concerns?
     
    C. RECOMMENDATIONS
    1. How does the general public want social science researchers to address these problems?
    2. Why do problems persist in spite of years of research?
    3. How should the research funds be spent? What should be the priorities?
     
    D. CLOSING REMARKS
    1. Why should Researchers listen to the General Public?
    2. What do you hope to see in the upcoming research proposals?
     

     

    Step 5

    JUDGING JUDGES

    1. Add the Judges’ criteria to the numbered items in the first column once they have made them available.
    2. Individually place a check mark in the box that best describes your (the General Public’s) degree of agreement with each of the criteria.

      CRITERIA NONE AT ALL VERY LIMITED MODERATE HIGH VERY HIGH
      1.          
      2.          
      3.          

       

    3. To be better prepared to react to the Judges’ funding decisions during the GAME PLAY, identify two specific areas where you and the Judges definitely do not concur in terms of the judging criteria (briefly explain):
      •  

    Step 6

    PRACTISE OPENING SPEECH

    Practise running through the speech with the other member of the General Public or a fellow student and fill out the CHECKLIST below.

    • Adequate statement of concerns on the topic.
    • Coherent representation of General Public position.
    • Clear distinction between “us” (non-scientists) and “them” (scientists).
    • Sufficient examples to back up the more general points.
    • Adequate justification for General Public’s recommendations for future research.
    • Character personification provides authenticity to speech.
    • Convincing communication style.
    • Delivered in a few minutes.

    Identify two areas of the speech that need improvement :

    •  

    Step 7

    deliver SPEECH

    • Make the opening speech during game play as per specifications provided by your teacher.

    Step 8

    QUESTION FUNDS ALLOCATION

    • After judges announce their funding decisions, provide a brief explanation to all assembled of how you, the general public, view these decisions. Where do you agree and disagree?

    Step 9

    Write reflection

    Step 10

    SUBMIT ASSIGNMENT MATERIAL

    • Complete the required post-game work and submit as per teacher instructions.

    General Public Sample Materials

    SAMPLE GENERAL PUBLIC OPENING SPEECH

    Topic: Sustainable Development
    General Public: Megan Strett from Nova Scotia
    Speech: Delivered in a conversational manner at beginning of the GAME PLAY

    INTRODUCTION

    Hello distinguished judges and researchers. My name is Megan Strett and I hail from a small town in Nova Scotia. I am a retired bank teller and mother of three and grandmother of five.

    I am here at the invitation of the Research Council judges. The judges wanted me to act as a representative of the general public. I will do my best to provide you all with some sense of what the general public may think about the topic of sustainable development. I reckon that means you all expect me to show you how ordinary citizens want the research money spent. That money comes from our tax money. The hope is the judges will make some sound and responsible decisions as to how that tax money should be spent. 

    You may be wondering what I do that qualifies me to talk about sustainable development. Well, for the last few years I’ve been involved in a local environmental group. I am now the official spokesperson. We are concerned about ocean pollutants and over-fishing off our Atlantic coast. I actually did some homework for a Press Release for our group this week. According to a 2003 Environics poll, 62% of Atlantic Canadians feel greater responsibility should be given to stakeholders in the management, protection, and sustainable use of fisheries and marine resources. Regular folk like us feel left out of the equation, pure and simple!

    From where I sit, government folks wheel and deal with other big wheels in large corporations and other government agencies; they rub elbows with each other at black tie events, travelling across large land masses and seas without ever really seeing and touching the real world. They are so far removed from the streets and the streams. The little people like me are intimately involved in our neighbourhood ecosystems. We cannot afford private jets or fancy cocktail gowns. 

    Hopefully, researchers can find more effective ways to make decisions about the fisheries problems.

    MAJOR CONCERNS

    A little closer to home, my cousins in Nova Scotia wanted me to tell you of their worries: farm-raised fish companies on or near our coastal waters and sky-rocketing fuel prices.

    Frankenfish or “mad fish disease” worries many in my family as there have been mega-fish farms set up all along our coast. As noted by a Fisheries & Oceans Canada study in 2005, “aquaculture issues, such as farming operations, escaped fish, diseased fish, pollution, genetic contamination, capacity” are all of concern to many in the general public living in coastal areas around the country. Our people in Halifax were seen as having the most serious reservations about the sustainability of these new fishing operations. An example of this is my brother Bob catching this ugly creature of a fish. It looked like a skinned rabbit with gills and a beaver tail. Bob says mad scientists are receiving research money by our government to scramble DNA and mess with the natural order of things. Why? God help us!

    Gas prices have increased dramatically over the past three years and yet nothing is being done to lessen our dependence on fossil fuel sources for energy. Some serious re-thinking is required. Researchers need to find ways to put the consumers in the driver’s seat. Why not support more organizations like GasBuddy to let the public know the cheapest location to pump up? Let the researchers find ways to undercut the power of giant corporations and petro gangsterism.

    It is as if the companies do not care enough about us, the consumers, who are paying such high prices. Corporations are making record profits yet the environment and regular people like me only suffer and lose. This is not sustainable economic development. Regular people are stunted in their development, like the environment which we all depend on for the air we breathe and the water we drink.

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    Do not accept research funding from these big corporations, as their needs are too well-researched and the regular folk end up suffering. I watch Michael Moore documentaries so I know about how decisions are actually made. 

    We really need researchers to investigate the high cost of living and the lack of sustainable energy sources for our environment. What are our governments doing to help us? Obviously, not enough. Why is corporate greed so prevalent? Why does economic growth trump sustainable fisheries and affordable fuel sources?

    Therefore, I plead for you, as highly capable investigators, to find solutions, viable solutions, ones that normal people can benefit from and feel the effects of in the near future.

    CLOSING REMARKS

    Regular folks hear very little about what you do as researchers. I can only hope that your priorities are our priorities; that you can keep corporate greed at bay and find ways to help the little people…please put your investigative skills to practical use. 

    I thank you, judges, for taking the trouble to include me in these proceedings and hope that I have helped to put a more public face on the problem of sustainable development.

    Thank you!

    Teacher

    INTRODUCTION

    • Each Player is expected to complete a Script Form before the GAME PLAY.
    • To print the entire content of this script at once, please click on the PRINTER icon on this page.

    Step 1 - Get into Character

    GET INTO CHARACTER

    • This role-play scenario requires the teacher to play a role as well. Instead of the traditional knowledge-transfer role with the teacher driving the learning, the teacher assumes the role of facilitator in a largely student-driven learning environment. Oversee the learning, but let the students take charge of creating the content in a playful, yet serious way.
    • Role-play scenarios are popular tools in clinical and technical apprenticeship training. In this case, the learning environment of a funding competition allows the learners to generate knowledge about the research world by being active participants – experiencing, reflecting, thinking and acting. Facilitate your students’ socialization into a professional community of practice.
    • Depending on your learning/teaching style and the diverse learning styles of your students, a role-play scenario could be a challenging undertaking. Without getting into the details of the extensive research underpinning experiential teaching/learning, suffice it to say that to a large degree, teacher and student worries can be offset by careful planning of the learning activity. This involves having clearly stated expectations, timelines, deadlines and support materials in place. This is exactly what this Fund$ Game provides. Guide the students through the four stages (set-up, preparation, game play and post-game work) of the activity in a timely and encouraging way. Expect different reactions from your students. Some will thrive in this participatory environment while others may struggle to adapt.

    Suggestions

    1. It is reassuring for learners to know that the teacher is also playing a role in the game. Be frank with the students about the role that you will be assuming for the game. Invite them to review the Teacher Script.
    2. As some students may be intimidated by role-play, provide reassurance that we all play roles (student, athlete, sibling, friend…). This game is intended to provide them with a low-stakes environment to learn something about the dynamics of knowledge production in the social sciences. A positive by-product may be that they learn something about their own skills in a professional setting that they will be able to draw on in a job interview.

    Step 2

    CREATE ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS AND ORDER MATERIALS OR EQUIPMENT

    • View the main touchpoints of the website material under the Fund$ Game section, especially the other Scripts.
    • Refer to the Setting Assignment Parameters to help you devise your own assignment instructions.
    • See the Sample Assignment Instructions and Evaluation Grids for guidance.
    • If you want the players to take the preparatory work seriously, be sure to assign a grade value to the completion of the role-specific SCRIPT FORMS. These take three to five hours to complete (see class/lab/homework weighting in their scripts).
    • Consider how and when players will need access to various parts of the website material.
    • Complete the assignment instructions and deliver them to the students as soon as you determine a start date. Most teachers deliver instructions and assign roles on the first scheduled day of classes; some wait a while.
    • Decide what materials and equipment you may need to order in advance for the GAME PLAY. Refer to the Materials and Templates for the menu of GAME PLAY paraphernalia.

    Suggestions

    1. Carefully review the completed assignment instructions with the students during lab or class time.
    2. Navigate through the main touchpoints of the Fund$ Game material to ensure they understand the connection between your assignment instructions and the website material.
    3. Explain how the students will be expected to behave and speak in ways befitting their respective roles:
      1. During class or lab time, discuss the Fund$ Game Code of Conduct as a way to introduce them to forms of professional standards of behaviour.
      2. Authenticate the experience by explaining that you will incorporate name placards, gavel, currency…

    Step 3

    ASSIGN ROLES

    Consider which disciplines to include, all or some, and how well the assigned topic will work for these disciplines.

    Role Assignment Parameters for ~40 students

    PLAYER GROUPS NO. REQUIRED
    Journalists 2
    Judges 3
    General Public 2
    Discipline 
    Teams/Researchers
    • 10 teams
    33 (3-4 per team)
    Total 40 students

     

    • Decide how to configure the allotment of roles based on how many students you have.
    • Also decide how to assign the roles – self-assignment or pre-assignment.
    • Set limits for the number of students in each role category.
    • Try to ensure no student is alone in any one of the roles and that team members are scheduled during the same lab period. (In some colleges, the lecture group is divided into two separate lab groups.) Consider using the Sample Role Sign-Up Sheet for sign-up purposes.

    Suggestions

    • Briefly introduce the students to highlights of the assigned topic (definitions or significant research).
    • Show them the list of disciplines and briefly explain how disciplines function in the social sciences.
    • Explain where the research proposal is located in the research cycle.
    • Focus their attention on creating the team and how to work collaboratively.
    • Show them the schedule for completing the numbered steps of their Scripts and invite them to get started.

    Step 4

    TRACK STUDENT PROGRESS

    • Review the PREPARATION stage in each of the four scripts to ensure that each group is advancing in tandem. The players are required to search for a variety of source information. They will need some instructional guidance for these searches.
    • Bear in mind that the Researchers and General Public have a heavier load at the beginning, while the Journalists and Judges have their work spread out over a lengthier period.

    Suggestions

    Deliver a brief instructional session* on the following:

    • Searches for discipline-based research sources.
    • Value of overview material for researching a topic. This is especially useful since most of the scripts require them to consult a specialized social science encyclopaedia entry on the assigned topic.
    • Online searches.
    • Differences between popular and scholarly sources.

    Manage their Script Form work as follows

    • Confer with each group and ask to see their Script Forms to see how they are doing with the PREPARATION stage.
    • Provide a friendly reminder that even though they are working collaboratively, much of the Script Form is individual work.
    • Make sure that the Judges communicate their judging criteria to all participants by no later than five or six days after the roles are assigned.
    • Spend a bit of time coaching the Judges on how to run a meeting: how to be organized, fair, on track and directive during the GAME PLAY.

    *You could arrange in advance to have all or part of the instructional session delivered by library staff, if available. This is highly recommended for teachers new to teaching and to the library’s resources.

    Step 5

    RUN DECISION CIRCUIT ACTIVITY

    • Schedule some time to review the materials for the DECISION CIRCUIT before the players start using it in earnest.
    • The DC consists of three decision boards that are clustered around a series of method questions, with choices offered under each question. A glossary of terms is available.
    • The Researchers will use it to design the Method Plan component of the Research Proposal Template as explained in their Script Forms. The other players will need to understand its logic and vocabulary.

    Suggestions

    • Since the Researchers will use the DECISION CIRCUIT as a template to construct their research proposals, you should take some time to navigate through this material with them, explaining the main touchpoints.
    • Schedule some class or lab time for Decision Circuit work as it is best done when the discipline teams can work on it collaboratively.
    • Arrange to give the players access to the necessary website material.
    • Encourage the other players to spend some time examining the DECISION CIRCUIT as well.
    • Show and discuss the video Plan Your Research the Decision Circuit Way and the Decision Circuit In Use podcast.

    Step 6

    OVERSEE GAME PLAY

    • In advance, take a look at the Agenda and carefully plot out the time required to run the game. With a full retinue of disciplines presenting and a time limit of five minutes per team, you require approximately two hours. This can be split up into two or more sessions or run during a single, lengthy class.
    • Reserve 15 minutes at the beginning and 15 minutes at the end for briefing, arranging the classroom and de-briefing. All players are asked to help with set-up and re-set, especially the Judges. If you are running a one-session show, then you need a 15-minute break at the end of the presentations for the Judges to finalize their decisions. Otherwise, you fade into the background during the GAME PLAY.

    Suggestions 

    • Once the room is set up, make a few pre-game announcements: remind everyone again of the Fund$ Game Code of Conduct, assignment requirements such as taking notes during presentations, the agenda for the day and the fact that the Judges will be in charge and that the Players can only leave or attend to non-game matters during the scheduled break.
    • Turn over control of the class to the Judges and let the game begin. Sit in an inconspicuous location. Do not encourage the presenters to establish eye contact with you during presentations. Also, resist answering questions by individuals during the GAME PLAY.
    • Intervene only if there are serious breaches in the Fund$ Game Code of Conduct or something out of the ordinary occurs (e.g., a student develops a bloody nose). If the Judges have difficulty controlling the class or staying on track, discreetly request they address the problem at hand. One effective option is to communicate with the Judges by text message during the GAME PLAY.

    Step 7

    WRITE AND SEND REFLECTION QUESTIONS

    • Devise a series of questions designed to get the students to think about the GAME PLAY experience.
    • Read the Sample Post-Game Reflection Questions for ideas but try to devise questions related to your own GAME PLAY experience. No two GAME PLAYS are alike and the students should be drawing on their notes and experiences in the GAME PLAY.
    • Send out the reflection questions within 24 hours of GAME PLAY completion and give the students a few days to a week to complete them.

    Step 8

    COLLECT AND EVALUATE WORK

    • Give the students no more than a week to complete the remaining work. Too long a delay makes it difficult to recall details.
    • Inform the students what is due, when it is due and how it should be submitted.
    • Clearly distinguish between individual and group work, as this is occasionally a source of confusion.
    • Evaluate student learning based on your evaluation criteria and grade weight value.

    Step 9

    READ THE JOURNALISTS’ NEWS ARTICLE TO THE CLASS

    • Discuss with the Journalists how they would like to share their article with the class.
    • Use it as an opportunity to talk about the experience of playing the game with the class.

    Step 10

    CONTINUE CONNECTING TO THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE

    • Playing the game can be an exhilarating experience. The students are usually quite eager to continue with the research methods course material at this point. Take the opportunity to take stock of what has been accomplished and build on it.
    • Consider engaging the students with the other two role-play scenarios provided on this website.

    Ponderations

    These ponderations show the estimated weighting for a three-week compressed version of the Fund$ Game according to the Lecture-Lab-Homework (#-#-#) division of coursework.

    Aim to complete the SET-UP and PREPARATION in the first two weeks, reserving the third week for GAME PLAY and POST-GAME WORK. This could be extended by adding an extra week or two to the PREPARATION stage.  

    Researcher

    SET-UP (1-2-3)

    • Get to know your team members.
    • Quickly scan the website material.
    • Read the assignment instructions provided by the teacher.
    • Begin filling out fields in your Researcher Script as per the teacher’s instructions.

    PREPARATION (2-2-3) 

    • Complete the Researcher Script during designated class/lab times and as homework.
    • Pay attention to in-class/lab instructions and guidance provided by the teacher.
    • Consider the Judges’ funding criteria.
    • Prepare a proposal with your team for the upcoming GAME PLAY.
    • Consult with your teacher when necessary.

    GAME PLAY (2-2-1)

    • Help the Judges to set up the classroom for GAME PLAY.
    • The JUDGES will follow the recommended meeting agenda below:
      1. The GENERAL PUBLIC opens with a brief speech
      2. The RESEARCHERS present their research proposals
      3. The JUDGES announce funding support for the winners
      4. The GENERAL PUBLIC critiques the JUDGES’ funding dispersals
      5. The JOURNALISTS ask questions
      6. Q & A period
      7. Meeting adjourned
    • Help to re-set the classroom before leaving.

    POST-GAME WORK (0-0-2)

    • Submit all or some of the following, depending on the teacher’s requirements:
      1. Reflection on the learning
      2. Completed Researcher Script
      3. Role-specific material, such as presentation material

    Judge

    SET-UP (1-2-3)

    • Get to know the other Judges.
    • Quickly scan the website material.
    • Read the assignment instructions provided by the teacher.
    • Begin filling out fields in the Judge Script as per the teacher’s instructions.

    PREPARATION (2-2-3)

    • Complete the Judge Script during designated class/lab times and as homework.
    • Pay attention to in-class/lab instructions and guidance provided by the teacher.
    • Communicate the funding criteria to the players in advance of the scheduled GAME PLAY.
    • Review the GAME PLAY agenda with the team.
    • Prepare materials with the team for the upcoming GAME PLAY.
    • Consult with your teacher when necessary.

    GAME PLAY (2-2-1)

    • Set up the classroom for the GAME PLAY.
    • Chair the GAME PLAY following the recommended GAME PLAY Agenda and Set Design.
    • Re-set the classroom before leaving.

    POST-GAME WORK (0-0-2)

    • Submit all or some of the following, depending on the teacher’s requirements:
      1. Reflection on the learning
      2. Completed Judge Script
      3. Role-specific material that you generated such as judges’ score sheets/criteria

    Journalist

    SET-UP (1-2-3)

    • Get to know the other journalist.
    • Quickly scan the website material.
    • Read the assignment instructions provided by the teacher.
    • Read the Sample Material in this Journalist Script.
    • Begin filling out fields in the Journalist Script as per the teacher’s instructions.

    PREPARATION (2-2-3)

    • Complete the Journalist Script during the designated class/lab times and as homework.
    • Pay attention to in-class/lab instructions and guidance provided by teacher.
    • Consult with the teacher when necessary.

    GAME PLAY (2-2-1)

    • Help the Judges to set up the classroom for GAME PLAY.
    • The JUDGES will follow the recommended meeting agenda below:
      1. The GENERAL PUBLIC opens with a brief speech
      2. The RESEARCHERS present their research proposals
      3. The JUDGES announce funding support for the winners
      4. The GENERAL PUBLIC critiques the JUDGES’ funding dispersals
      5. The JOURNALISTS ask questions
      6. Q & A period
      7. Meeting adjourned
    • Help to re-set the classroom before leaving.

    POST-GAME WORK (0-0-2)

    • Submit all or some of the following, depending on the teacher’s requirements:
      1. Reflection on the learning
      2. Completed Journalist Script
      3. News Report 

    General Public

    SET-UP (1-2-3)

    • Get to know your fellow general public member should you have one.
    • Quickly scan over the website material.
    • Read the assignment instructions provided by the teacher.
    • Begin filling out fields in your General Public Script as per the teacher’s instructions.

    PREPARATION (2-2-3)

    • Complete the General Public Script during designated class/lab times and as homework.
    • Pay attention to the in-class/lab instructions and guidance provided by the teacher.
    • Consider the Judges’ funding criteria.
    • Practise the opening speech for the upcoming GAME PLAY.
    • Consult with the teacher when necessary. 

    GAME PLAY (2-2-1)

    • Help the Judges to set up the classroom for GAME PLAY.
    • The JUDGES will follow the recommended meeting agenda below:
      1. The GENERAL PUBLIC opens with a brief speech
      2. The RESEARCHERS present their research proposals
      3. The JUDGES announce funding support for the winners
      4. The GENERAL PUBLIC critiques the JUDGES’ funding dispersals
      5. The JOURNALISTS ask questions
      6. Q & A period
      7. Meeting adjourned
    • Help to re-set the classroom before leaving.

    POST-GAME WORK (0-0-2)

    • Submit all or some of the following, depending on the teacher’s requirements
      1. Reflection on the learning
      2. Completed General Public Script

    Teacher Sample Materials

    Setting Assignment Parameters

    TOPIC

    See Topics and Proposal Abstracts for The FUND$ GAME

    OBJECTIVES

    What do you hope to achieve with this assignment?

    • Which elements of the course competencies can be addressed? How?
    • How can the learning from this assignment contribute to the learning during the rest of the semester (and beyond)?

    EVALUATION AND STUDENT PERFORMANCE CRITERIA

    • Identify key criteria that could reasonably and fairly be used to evaluate student learning.
    • Determine what each of the role groupings need to produce and submit for evaluation of the learning (should be roughly equitable in terms of input of time and output of words and documented proof). The Player Scripts do this for you.
    • See the samples provided for guidance.

    GRADE VALUE

    Overall, what do you think this assignment should be worth?

    • General practice has been about 10% of the total grade value for the semester.

    TIME TABLE

    Set the dates for following through on the four stages (Set-up, Preparation, Game Play, Post-Game Work), culminating in a final due date.

    Communicate this to the students before game set-up.

    Sample Assignment Instructions

    RM LAB #1 Winter 2016
    The Fund$ Game
    “VIOLENCE”

    General Instructions

    This game is a simulation of a competition for research funding. It is designed to help you learn more about the dynamics of social science research. Each student is expected to faithfully play the role of a stakeholder (journalist, researcher, general public or judge) and fully contribute to each stage of the simulation, from library research to class presentation. You will be evaluated on the basis of your quality of engagement, script preparation, presentation and reflection.

    The game will be played in Week 4 of the lecture class. After the game, each of you will submit a completed script and a reflection (the Journalists will also produce a news article). This collection will be submitted as individual work and will be graded out of 10 lab marks.

    Refer to the evaluation grid below for details. Unexcused absences during the simulation will mean you cannot fully complete the lab work. 

    EVALUATION GRIDS 

    EVALUATION GRID (1) - The Fund$ Game Grading Scheme @ 10%

    Student name: _______________________ Student role: ________________________

    Engagement/Quality of intervention/presentation Complete Partial Insufficient   /2
    Script Complete Indicates limited individual effort Incomplete/Missing   /4
    Reflection (300-400 words)
    • Relevant
    • Thoughtful
    • Integrates material presented in GAME PLAY & textbook
    Well done Satisfactory Needs Work   /4
       /10

     

    EVALUATION GRID (2) - The Fund$ Game Grading Scheme @ 15%

    Student name: _______________________ Student role: ________________________

    JUDGE JOURNALIST GENERAL PUBLIC RESEARCHER
    Quality of criteria/judging   /3 Substantive news article   /3 Quality of speech/interventions   /3 Quality of presentation/team work   /3
    Thoughtfully completed script   /6 Thoughtfully completed script   /6 Thoughtfully completed script   /6 Thoughtfully completed script   /6
    Well-considered reflection   /6 Substantive news article   /6 Well-considered reflection   /6 Well-considered reflection   /6
        /15     /15     /15     /15

     

    Sample Role Sign Up Sheet

    Journalists (2)

    1.   

    Research Council Judges (3)

    1.   
    2.  

    General Public (2)

    1.   

    Anthropology (3-4)

    1.  
    2.  
    3.  
    4.  

    Business (3-4)

    1.  
    2.  
    3.  
    4.  

    Economics (3-4)

    1.  
    2.  
    3.  
    4.  

    Geography (3-4)

    1.  
    2.  
    3.  
    4.  

    History (3-4)

    1.  
    2.  
    3.  
    4.  

    Philosophy (3-4)

    1.  
    2.  
    3.  
    4.  

    Political Science (3-4)

    1.  
    2.  
    3.  
    4.  

    Psychology (3-4)

    1.  
    2.  
    3.  
    4.  

    Religious Studies (3-4)

    1.  
    2.  
    3.  
    4.  

    Sociology (3-4)

    1.  
    2.  
    3.  
    4.  

    Sample Post-Game Reflection Questions

    The students are instructed to provide responses to a few reflection questions. The goal is to have them step back from the game experience and consider how social science knowledge is produced. The parameters for the responses are that each response is written in full sentences, is thoughtfully formulated and makes very specific and concrete references to the game and the textbook (where relevant). The usual word length is 300 to 500 words in total (excluding the question).

    QUESTION BANK

    Here is an extensive bank of questions that have been used by a variety of teachers. Select the ones that best coincide with your GAME PLAY experience.

    • This role-play scenario is designed to provide players with an “inside view on the inner workings of researchers and research decisions.” Based on the role you played, how were your views of science impacted by this role-play scenario?
    • What is the value, if any, of having social science researchers compete for research funding?
    • The real world of research does not operate like a den of venture capitalist dragons, eager to get a “cut of the profits.” What do you suppose would happen to the research on the topic if the research council judges really were motivated by private profit?
    • If any of the disciplines could combine their resources and expertise to work together to research this topic, which ones would you choose? Briefly explain.
    • The natural sciences and the social sciences each have distinct fields or disciplines of study. What do you suppose are the reasons for the existence of distinct disciplines of study in the social sciences?
    • Which two aspects of [topic] research do you want to know more about?
    • Previous research studies were referred to in many of the proposals. Why? What is the logic behind referring to previous research?
    • What have you learned about how the social science community conducts research that you did not realize before playing the game?
    • Were most of the proposals exploratory, descriptive or explanatory (in textbook)? Briefly explain.
    • What is the value of a council of judges dispensing research money based on pre-set criteria?
    • Critically evaluate the judges’ criteria used in our competition. What worked? What did not work? What would have been more valuable?
    • Scientific ways of knowing differ from non-scientific ways of knowing. Contrast the general public’s concerns to the scientific concerns of the social scientists in our competition.
    • As demonstrated in the competition, what were the noticeable differences between the general public (common sense) ways of knowing about the topic and the social scientific ways of knowing?
    • The discipline proposals provided ample examples of research questions on [topic]. Generate three research questions related to this topic. Be sure to formulate social science questions that are researchable (where the answer is not obvious).
    • What did this game teach you about how social science knowledge is produced?
    • What purposes do research proposals serve in the research process? Make specific reference to the actual competition.
    • Should competition for research funding be enhanced or diminished? Explain your position in light of this competition experience.
    • Which two social science disciplines deserve the most funding and support for research work on this topic? Briefly justify.
    • What was so outstanding about the top two research proposals?
    • Which discipline had the most developed and sound research proposal? Briefly justify your choice.
    • Which research proposal do you see yourself potentially using as a basis for following through with your own research on this topic? Briefly explain.

    GAME PLAY PARAPHERNELIA

    Although it may be peripheral from a pedagogical standpoint, making team placards and having a gavel for the judges add authenticity to the GAME PLAY experience.

    • Make some simple group name placards – 13, one for each of the 10 discipline teams and one for each of the following player groupings: judges, journalists and general public. Print on 8X12 card stock, with the names on top and the group on the bottom, and folded lengthwise.
       placards
    • Gavels can be purchased in a trophy store or ordered online. Or consider buying a toy one at a dollar store or have your judges make one out of cardboard. In a pinch, a shoe will suffice.