Theatrical technology assessment: A role-play simulation for transdisciplinary engineering education

Klaasjan Visscher*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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    To be able to contribute to societal challenges, engineering students need to learn how to interact with societal stakeholders and incorporate their viewpoints in technology development. This proves to be difficult, especially when it concerns newly emerging technologies, which are characterized by uncertainty and ambiguity. This paper presents a novel educational method - Theatrical Technology Assessment - which combines insights from Constructive Technology Assessment and improvisational theater in a role-play simulation that enables engineering students to explore the socio-technical dynamics and alternative futures of emerging technologies. This method is tested with bachelor students at the University of Twente. Students were involved as players of the role-play simulation, but also as co-designers and role-instructors. The pilot study corroborates that a role-play simulation is a powerful means for students to learn about the complexity of societal interactions around emerging technologies. They learn about differences in stakeholder perspectives and ways to anticipate or transcend these, and about general patterns in socio-technical dynamics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSEFI 48th Annual Conference Engaging Engineering Education, Proceedings
    EditorsJan van der Veen, Natascha van Hattum-Janssen, Hannu-Matti Jarvinen, Tinne de Laet, Ineke Ten Dam
    PublisherSociete Europeenne pour la Formation des Ingenieurs (SEFI)
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Electronic)9782873520205
    Publication statusPublished - 2020
    Event48th SEFI Annual Conference on Engineering Education, SEFI 2020 - Online, Enschede, Netherlands
    Duration: 20 Sept 202024 Sept 2020
    Conference number: 48


    Conference48th SEFI Annual Conference on Engineering Education, SEFI 2020
    Abbreviated titleSEFI 2020
    Internet address


    • Emerging technologies
    • Responsible innovation
    • Role-play simulation
    • Technology assessment
    • Transdisciplinary engineering education


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