What is it about?

Research about good teaching practices typically emphasize using active learning activities to engage students better. We add to this research by examining the results of using an activity that we designed for our courses to teach students about how social connections affect job hiring after college. Our activity is a role-playing activity where students are assigned a character to play and given specific objectives to achieve and background information. We show that this role-playing activity was successful at achieving our learning objectives for the lesson and that students really enjoyed doing it. We recommend that other college instructors use role-playing activities in their courses.

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Why is it important?

This article shows evidence that role-playing activities and active learning activities are effective teaching mechanisms. We also explore the advantages and disadvantages of creating such activities for usage in college classrooms.


This activity is often my students' favorite day of class, so I was glad for the opportunity to demonstrate its effectiveness and share the idea with the larger community of college instructors.

Alanna Gillis
University of North Carolina System

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Social Networks and Labor Market Inequality: A Role-playing Activity to Teach Difficult Concepts, Teaching Sociology, December 2018, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0092055x18817585.
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