Experiencing complex stakeholder dynamics around emerging technologies: a role-play simulation

Klaasjan Visscher*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    66 Downloads (Pure)


    This paper presents and evaluates a role-play simulation called ‘Theatrical Technology Assessment’, in which students learn about complex stakeholder dynamics around emerging technologies. This role-play combines insights from Constructive Technology Assessment, improvisational theatre and educational role-play designs. It was implemented in an online setting with bachelor students of an interdisciplinary engineering programme. Based on collected chat conversations and reflection reports in seven different simulations, we qualitatively analysed what students learned about stakeholder dynamics. The study shows that students gained novel and relevant insights regarding stakeholder perspectives on technologies, the effects of uncertainties on decision making, collective stakeholder dynamics, and strategies to steer technology development. Students considered the role-play simulations to be engaging learning experiences. The dual set-up of the role-play, with students as players and co-designers, and the integral use of improvisational theatre are novel elements of educational role-play designs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages19
    JournalEuropean journal of engineering education
    Early online date11 Apr 2023
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 11 Apr 2023


    • emerging technologies
    • responsible innovation
    • Role-play simulations
    • theatrical technology assessment
    • transdisciplinary engineering education
    • UT-Hybrid-D


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