Advertisement

Using Role-Play to Improve Students’ Confidence and Perceptions of Communication in a Simulated Volcanic Crisis

  • Jacqueline Dohaney
  • Erik Brogt
  • Thomas M. Wilson
  • Ben Kennedy
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Volcanology book series (VOLCAN)

Abstract

Traditional teaching of volcanic science typically emphasises scientific principles and tends to omit the key roles, responsibilities, protocols, and communication needs that accompany volcanic crises. This chapter provides a foundation in instructional communication, education, and risk and crisis communication research that identifies the need for authentic challenges in higher education to challenge learners and provide opportunities to practice crisis communication in real-time. We present an authentic, immersive role-play called the Volcanic Hazards Simulation that is an example of a teaching resource designed to match professional competencies. The role-play engages students in volcanic crisis concepts while simultaneously improving their confidence and perceptions of communicating science. During the role-play, students assume authentic roles and responsibilities of professionals and communicate through interdisciplinary team discussions, media releases, and press conferences. We characterised and measured the students’ confidence and perceptions of volcanic crisis communication using a mixed methods research design to determine if the role-play was effective at improving these qualities. Results showed that there was a statistically significant improvement in both communication confidence and perceptions of science communication. The exercise was most effective in transforming low-confidence and low-perception students, with some negative changes measured for our higher-learners. Additionally, students reported a comprehensive and diverse set of best practices but focussed primarily on the mechanics of science communication delivery. This curriculum is a successful example of how to improve students’ communication confidence and perceptions.

Keywords

Education Learning and teaching Volcanic crises Science communication Role-play Risk management Disaster risk reduction 

References

  1. Adams WK, Wieman CE (2010) Development and validation of instruments to measure learning of expert-like thinking. Int J Sci Educ 33(9):1–19. doi: 10.1080/09500693.2010.512369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adams WK, Perkins K, Podolefsky N, Dubson M, Finkelstein N, Wieman CE (2006) New instrument for measuring student beliefs about physics and learning physics: The Colorado learning attitudes about science survey. Phys Rev Spec Top Phys Educ Res 2(1):1–14. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.2.010101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alexander D (2007) Making research on geological hazards relevant to stakeholders’ needs. Quat Int 171:186–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bales RF (1976) Interaction process analysis: a method for the study of small groups. University of Chicago Press, Cambridge, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  5. Barclay EJ, Haynes K, Mitchell T, Solana C, Teeuw R, Darnell A, Crosweller HS, Cole P, Pyle D, Lowe C, Fearnley C, Kelman I (2008) Framing volcanic risk communication within disaster risk reduction: finding ways for the social and physical sciences to work together. Geol Soc Lond Spec Pub 305(1):163–177. doi: 10.1144/SP305.14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barclay EJ, Renshaw CE, Taylor HA, Bilge AR (2011) Improving decision making skill using an online volcanic crisis simulation: impact of data presentation format. J Geosci Educ 59(2):85. doi: 10.5408/1.3543933CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blake M (1987) Role play and inset. J Furth High Educ 11(3):109–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Borodzicz E, van Haperen K (2002) Individual and group learning in crisis simulations. J Conting Crisis Manag 10(3):139–147. doi: 10.1111/1468-5973.00190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brown JS, Collins A, Duguid P (1989) Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educ Res 18(1):32–42. doi: 10.3102/0013189X018001032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bryner V (2012) Science communication vodcast assignment: 7 cs of science communication Youtube user: science with Tom. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grhrLT8tfjg. Accessed 15 July 2016
  11. Burns T, O’Connor D, Stocklmayer S (2003) Science communication: a contemporary definition. Publ Underst Sci 12(2):183–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cohen L, Manion L, Morrison K (2007) Research methods in education, 6th edn. Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, New York. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8527.2007.00388_4.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cole JW (1978) Andesites of the Tongariro Volcanic Centre, North Island, New Zealand. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 3:121–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Crane A, Livesey S (2003) Are you talking to me? Stakeholder communication and the risks and rewards of dialogue. In: Andriof J, Waddock S, Rahman S, Husted B (eds) Unfolding stakeholder thinking 2: relationships, communication, reporting and performance. Greenleaf, Sheffield, pp 39–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. DeNeve KM, Heppner MJ (1997) Role play simulations: the assessment of an active learning technique and comparisons with traditional lectures. Innov High Educ 21(3):231–246. doi: 10.1007/BF01243718CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Department of Homeland Security (2008) National incident management system, p 156. https://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nims/NIMS_core.pdf. Accessed 15 July 2015
  17. Dohaney J (2013) Educational theory and practice for skill development in the geosciences. Dissertation, University of CanterburyGoogle Scholar
  18. Dohaney J, Brogt E, Kennedy B, Wilson TM, Fitzgerald R (2014) The volcanic hazards simulation. VHUB: collaborative volcano research and risk mitigation. https://vhub.org/resources/3395. Accessed 15 July 2016
  19. Dohaney J, Brogt E, Kennedy B, Wilson TM, Lindsay JM (2015) Training in crisis communication and volcanic eruption forecasting: design and evaluation of an authentic role-play simulation. J Appl Volcanol 4(1):1–26. doi: 10.1186/s13617-015-0030-1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dohaney J, Brogt E, Wilson TM, Hudson-Doyle E, Kennedy B, Lindsay J, Bradley B, Johnston DM, Gravley D (2016) Improving science communication through scenario-based role-plays. National project fund research report, Ako Aotearoa, National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, Wellington, New ZealandGoogle Scholar
  21. Donovan LA, Maclntyre PD (2004) Age and sex differences in willingness to communicate: communication apprehension and self-perceived competence. Commun Res Rep 21(4):420–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ellis K (1995) Apprehension, self-perceived competency, and teacher immediacy in the laboratory-supported public speaking course: trends and relationships. Commun Educ 44:64–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Engleberg IN, Ward SM, Disbrow LM, Katt JA, Myers SA, O’Keefe P (2016) The development of a set of core communication competencies for introductory communication courses. Commun Educ 4523(July):1–18. doi: 10.1080/03634523.2016.1159316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Errington EP (1997) Role-play. Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Incorporated, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  25. Errington EP (2011) Mission possible: using near-world scenarios to prepare graduates for the professions. Int J Teach Learn High Educ 23(1):84–91Google Scholar
  26. Fischhoff B (1995) Risk perception and communication unplugged: twenty years of process. Risk Anal 15(2):137–145. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.1995.tb00308.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fisher A (1991) Risk communication challenges. Risk Anal 11(2):173–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fortney SD, Johnson DI, Long KM (2001) The impact of compulsive communicators on the self-perceived competence of classroom peers: an investigation and test of instructional strategies. Commun Educ 50(4):357–373. doi: 10.1080/03634520109379261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Friese S, Ringmayr TG (2011) ATLAS.ti6 User Guide. http://atlasti.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/atlasti_v6_manual.pdf. Accessed 15 July 2016
  30. Glik DC (2007) Risk communication for public health emergencies. Annu Rev Publ Health 28(1):33–54. doi: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.28.021406.144123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Grunig JE, Repper FC (1992) Strategic management, publics and issues. In: Grunig JE (ed) Excellence in public relations and communication management. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ, pp 117–157Google Scholar
  32. Hales TC, Cashman KV (2008) Simulating social and political influences on hazard analysis through a classroom role playing exercise. J Geosci Educ 56(1):54–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hammer O (2015) PAST: Paleontological Statistics instruction manual, Version 3. Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Norway, p 243. http://folk.uio.no/ohammer/past/
  34. Harpp KS, Sweeney WJ (2002) Simulating a volcanic crisis in the classroom. J Geosci Educ 50(4):410–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Haynes K, Barclay J, Pidgeon N (2007) The issue of trust and its influence on risk communication during a volcanic crisis. Bull Volcanol 70(5):605–621CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Haynes K, Barclay J, Pidgeon N (2008) Whose reality counts? Factors affecting the perception of volcanic risk. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 172(3):259–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Heath C (2000) The Technical and non-technical skills needed by Canadian-based mining companies. J Geosci Educ 48(1):5–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Herrington A, Herrington J (2006) Authentic learning environments in higher education. IGI Global, Hershey, PA, USA. doi: 10.4018/978-1-59140-594-8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Herrington J, Reeves TC, Oliver R (2014) Authentic learning environments. In: Spector JM, Merrill MD, Elen J, Bishop MJ (ed) Handbook of research on educational communications and technology. Springer, New York, NY, pp 401–412. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-3185-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hobden BJ, Houghton BF, Davidson JP, Weaver SD (1999) Small and short-lived magma batches at composite volcanoes: time windows at Tongariro volcano. N Z J Geol Soc 156(5):865–868. doi: 10.1144/gsjgs.156.5.0865CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hudson-Doyle EE, Johnston DM, McClure J, Paton D (2011) The communication of uncertain scientific advice during natural hazard events. N Z J Psychol 40(4):39–50Google Scholar
  42. IAVCEI Task Group on Crisis Protocols (2016) Toward IAVCEI guidelines on the roles and responsibilities of scientists involved in volcanic hazard evaluation, risk mitigation, and crisis response. Bull Volcanol 78:31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Jones F, Ko K, Caulkins J, Tompkins D, Harris S (2010) Survey of hiring practices in geoscience industries. CWSEI Report, University of British Columbia, p 18Google Scholar
  44. Kreps GL, Query JL (1990) Health communication and interpersonal competence. Speech communication essays to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Speech Communication Association, pp 293–323Google Scholar
  45. Kruger J, Dunning D (2009) Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. Psychology 1:30–46. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10626367
  46. Lincoln YS, Guba EG (1985) Naturalistic inquiry. Sage PublicationsGoogle Scholar
  47. Livingstone I (1999) Role-playing planning public inquiries. J Geogr High Educ 23(1):63–76. doi: 10.1080/03098269985605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lombardi MM (2007) Authentic learning for the 21st century: an overview. Educause Learning InitiativeGoogle Scholar
  49. Luk CL, Wan WWN, Lai JCL (2000) Consistency in the choice of social referent. Psychol Rep 86:925–934CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Lunce LM (2006) Simulations: bringing the benefits of situated learning to the traditional classroom. J Appl Educ Technol 3(1):37–45Google Scholar
  51. Lundeberg MA, Fox PW, Puncochar J (1994) Highly confident but wrong: gender differences and similarities in confidence judgments. J Educ Psychol 86(1):114–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lundeberg MA, Fox PW, Brown AC, Elbedour S (2000) Cultural influences on confidence: country and gender. J Educ Psychol 92(1):152–159. doi: 10.1037//0022-0663.92.1.152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Maddrell AMC (1994) A scheme for the effective use of role plays for an emancipatory geography. J Geogr High Educ 18(2):155–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Maguire P, Pitceathly C (2002) Key communication skills and how to acquire them. Br Med J 325(September):697–700CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Maguire P, Booth K, Elliott C, Jones B (1996) Helping health professionals involved in cancer care acquire key interviewing skills: the impact of workshops. Eur J Cancer 32A(9):1486–1489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. McCroskey JC (1982) Communication competence and performance: a research and pedagogical perspective. Commun Educ 31(January):102–109Google Scholar
  57. McCroskey J (2006) An Introduction to rhetorical communication: a western rhetorical perspective, 9th edn. In: Bowers K, Wheel B (eds). Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, p 333 Google Scholar
  58. McCroskey JC, McCroskey LL (1988) Self-report as an approach to measuring communication competence. Commun Res Rep 5(2):108–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. McCroskey JC, Daly JA, Richmond VP, Falcione RL (1977) Studies of the relationship between communication apprehension and self-esteem. Hum Commun Res 3(3):269–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. McCroskey JC, Beatty MJ, Kearney P, Plax TG (1985) The content validity of the PRCA-24 as a measure of communication apprehension across communication contexts. Commun Q 33(3):165–173. doi: 10.1080/01463378509369595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Miller MD (1987) The relationship of communication reticence and negative expectations. Commun Educ 36:228–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Miller S (2008) So where’s the theory? On the relationship between science communication practice and research. In: Cheng D, Claessens M, Gascoigne T, Metcalfe J, Schiele B, Shi S (eds) Communicating science in social contexts. Springer Science and Business Media, Netherlands, pp 275–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Miller S, Fahy D (2009) Can science communication workshops train scientists for reflexive public engagement? The ESConet experience. Sci Commun 31(1):116–126. doi: 10.1177/1075547009339048CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (2009) The guide to the national civil defence emergency management plan, 3rd edn, 266 ppGoogle Scholar
  65. Morgan MG, Fischhoff B, Bostrom A, Atman CJ (2002) Risk communication: a mental models approach, 1st edn. Cambridge University Press, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  66. Morreale S, Pearson J (2008) Why communication education is important: the centrality of the discipline in the 21st Century. Commun Educ 57(2):224–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Pielke RA (2007) The honest broker: making sense of science in policy and politics, 1st edn. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. http://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511818110
  68. Reynolds B, Seeger M (2005) Crisis and emergency risk communication as an integrative model. J Health Commun 10(1):43–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Reynolds BJ, Shenhar G (2016) Crisis and emergency risk. In: Koenig and Schultz’s Disaster medicine: comprehensive principles and practices, p 390Google Scholar
  70. Richmond VP, McCroskey JC, McCroskey LL (1989) An investigation of self-perceived communication competence and personality orientations. Commun Res Rep 6(1):28–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Roth WM, Roychoudhury A (1993) The development of science process skills in authentic contexts. J Res Sci Teach 30(2):127–152. doi: 10.1002/tea.3660300203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Rovins JE, Wilson TM, Hayes J, Jensen SJ, Dohaney J, Mitchell J, Johnston DM, Davies A (2015) Risk assessment handbook. GNS science miscellaneous series. 84:67 ppGoogle Scholar
  73. Rubin RB, Morreale SP (1996) Setting expectations for speech communication and listening. New Dir High Educ 96:19–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Rubin RB, Rubin AM, Jordan FF (1997) Effects of instruction on communication apprehension and communication competence. Commun Educ 46(2):104–114. doi: 10.1080/03634529709379080CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Shearer R, Davidhizar R (2003) Using role play to develop cultural competence. J Nurs Educ 42(6):273–276. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12814218
  76. Trench B, Miller S (2012) Policies and practices in supporting scientists’ public communication through training. Sci Publ Policy 39(6):722–731CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015) Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction 2015–2030. Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  78. Van Ments M (1999) The effective use of role-play: practical techniques for improving learning, Kogan Page PublishersGoogle Scholar
  79. Weingart P, Engels A, Pansegrau P (2000) Risks of communication: discourses on climate change in science, politics, and the mass media. Publ Underst Sci 9(3):304. doi: 10.1088/0963-6625/9/3/304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Whittle SR, Eaton DGM (2001) Attitudes towards transferable skills in medical undergraduates. Med Educ 35(2):148–153. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2923.2001.00773.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Wolfe EW, Hoblitt RP (1996) Overview of eruptions. In: Fire and mud: eruptions and lahars of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines, vol 18, pp 3–20. doi: 10.2307/3673980CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Open Access   This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this chapter are included in the chapter’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the chapter’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geoscience Education Research GroupUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.Academic Services GroupUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  3. 3.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations