Dr. Allen Sens

Dr. Allen Sens, Professor of Teaching in the Department of Political Science, co-teaches the interdisciplinary course ASIC200- Global Issues in the Arts and Sciences at UBC with Dr. David Ng, Senior Instructor and Director of Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory and Educational Facilities of Michael Smith Laboratory. Intentionally structuring the course curriculum to promote open discourse between disciplines and encourage cross-pollination of ideas, the teaching team created an role-playing game (RPG) assignment. This layered assignment was developed to challenge their students to critically articulate their understanding of the intersection between disciplines on important global issues and to transform their understanding in collaboratively creating an future worlds RPG.

The teaching team kindly shared their creativity and expertise with the teaching and learning community at UBC and beyond through their contribution to the Open Case Studies project.

Assignment Details

As much as possible, each group will be composed of a mix of Science and Arts students.

In essence, students are asked to construct a future world consistent with what we know today. All students will submit two separate individual assignments of 1500 words and 2000 words respectively, detailing their own future world projection. In their groups, students will collectively design their future world (using notes from their solo assignments) for use in the next step of the group assignment: scenario design.

In this project, the exercise is to create the world in which a role-play game will be set. Think of this as an exercise in future studies or futurology, combined with elements of creating the setting for a futuristic novel or film.

Case Studies

  • Climate Change
  • Personal Genomics