In Caroline Light's course, WGS1238: Consuming Passions, students participate in a simulation where each student acts out the persona of either an invented/fictional character or a real public figure. They then debate a question regarding globalization in order to develop critical thinking and contextual skills around the course's topic on agency in the global marketplace.
Professor Güven Güzeldere uses debates extensively in several of his courses, including Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, and Philosophy of Religion. The debates consist of two teams of two or three students each, presenting and defending two opposing positions on a particular philosophical question (e.g., Can we attribute genuine emotions to robots or computational systems on the basis of affect-appropriate behaviors?). Each team gets a first period for presenting, and then a second period for a rejoinder to the opposing team and their own response. The debate concludes with an open question-answer period that involves the whole class.
The purpose of this activity is for students to present a complicated academic debate within their own debate. Asher Orkaby assigned students to a position in the debate and had them prepare their arguments before class. The students were paired together and asked to debate JFK's performance during the Cuban Missile Crisis. They based their arguments on readings assigned for the week. After presenting their arguments, the students fielded questions from their classmates.
How did race, gender, employment, and other characteristics condition people's responses to revolutionary activities during the American Revolution? In this activity, students take on different personas and consider whether they would support a boycott of British goods.