Role-Playing Games in the Classroom

Students take center stage

To foster student-centered, active learning, PACE is promoting Reacting to the Past (RTTP) role-playing games across the IUB campus. Developed by historian Mark Carnes at Barnard College, RTTP offers an option for faculty who are looking for ways to boost student engagement, generate excitement for classroom learning, and hold students to rigorous standards.

Students learn by taking on roles based on elaborate historical scenarios. They develop their ability to communicate, work in teams, exercise leadership, think critically and solve problems. And they have fun doing it.

A growing body of research suggests that Reacting to the Past is working.

To facilitate the adoption of RTTP at IUB, the PACE Institute for Role-Immersive Teaching and Learning (PIRTL), funded by PACE and the IU College of Arts and Sciences, provides training and resources to faculty and graduate students. IUB faculty who have already incorporated RTTP games in their curriculum hail from PACE, History, English, Philosophy, French and Italian, LAMP and Psychological and Brain Sciences. Games can be adapted to a wide variety of time frames.

IUB has joined the Reacting Consortium, a group of some sixty colleges and universities around the nation that provides national training workshops, conference discounts, and a large online library of game resources accessible to university and college faculty.

Reacting to the Past is on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.


Faculty Training Workshop on Role-Playing Games in the Classroom
Friday, March 29, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Indiana Memorial Union, State Room West
Free (includes continental breakfast and lunch) and open to all IU system faculty and graduate students  **Registration is now closed**

Engage your students with the innovative Reacting to the Past pedagogy that puts them in the driver’s seat. At this workshop, attendees will play abbreviated versions of Reacting games, and learn about the opportunities and challenges associated with running the games in our classrooms. Game materials and role assignments will be provided in advance.  Sponsored by the PACE Institute for Role-Immersive Teaching and Learning (PIRTL) and the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL). 

Contact us

Carl Weinberg
PACE Institute for Role-Immersive Teaching and Learning (PIRTL)
Indiana University
Woodburn Hall 221
1100 E. Seventh Street
Bloomington, IN 47405