Dec 072019
 

Call for Articles: Special issue of Simulation & Gaming on Facilitation

Background
Simulations and games come in many forms –e.g. roleplay and face to face activities, boardgames, computer-based simulations, military exercises and technical (e.g. flight) simulators. Facilitation skills are acknowledged as vital components of successful use of all such activities; however, this has not led to extensive analysis of the skills involved in successfully enacting the role. This special issue of Simulation and Gaming intends to address this gap in the literature by providing a balanced perspective – drawing on both theory and practice to
_guide novice facilitators in developing their capabilities towards expertise
_assist expert facilitators to better understand the theoretical roots of their capabilities
_help those who commission simulations and games for learning – but do not direct facilitate them – understand the complex web of issues that contribute to achieving learning outcomes
_provide to the wider simulation community a framework for understanding and valuing the facilitator’s role, and the skills required of its occupants

Combining elements of theory with exposition of relevant practical skills, articles should explore aspects of what is/can be expected of a facilitator when a simulation/simulation game is in action. A tentative set of topics is listed below and this call for expressions of interest is intended to reach the widest possible range of potential authors, so please share it widely.

Content – possible questions and themes
We anticipate that articles may address such topics as those listed below. However, this is not a comprehensive list and we welcome responses from anyone interested in contributing to this vital aspect of the simulations and gaming body of knowledge.

What makes simulation and games a ‘special case’ when considering the task of facilitation?
What are the discernable differences between what was understood about the task and role of facilitation circa 1969 and what is now understood about its parameters in 2020? What are/might be the implications of such changes in understanding?
What existing work on the facilitator role, such as that done by the IAF (2019) and Kortman and Peters (2017), is relevant to developing expert simulation/games facilitation capabilities?
How do people acquire the skills required to work effectively in simulation contexts?
What do participants/commissioning agents need to know, to assess a facilitator’s capability?
How do 21st-century concepts such as ‘complexity’, ‘complex adaptive systems’, uncertainty, differing domains of knowledge, etc. impact on the work of the facilitator?
What is the scope of facilitation in the specific context of the ‘life cycle’ simulations and games from beginning (briefing) to end (debriefing) and beyond?
Stories from the trenches –this is envisaged as a collaborative effort. Authors are invited to contribute shorter case-study style reports of experiences anywhere on the spectrum from -“Excellent/Outstanding”…to…“Oh dear! Never Again, please!” (and places between)
The special edition team will add a commentary guiding readers through the ‘trenches’
Facilitation through the phases of simulations/games – briefing/action/debriefing. How does a novice facilitator decide what behaviour is relevant for each phase?
“It’s a poor workman who blames the tools” – exploring how things may go wrong and why the activity itself is seldom to blame but is scapegoated to avoid loss of face.
“What can go wrong? How to recover – when all seems lost?” – an exploration of recovery options after things have ‘gone wrong’
Exploration of theories/concepts helping to shape and inform facilitators’ capabilities including education, group dynamics, psychology, understanding of complexity as a factor in managing an activity, impact of personal learning preferences, etc.
What is needed to improve understanding of how facilitation skills are acquired and developed?
Case studies/stories from expert individuals outlining their paths to expertise, including pitfalls / learning points along the way
A meta-analysis of skills and knowledge involved in being an expert facilitator, perhaps including results of a survey of individuals considered by their peers to be experts
What do facilitators need to know about theories of learning (e.g. pedagogy, andragogy, heutagogy, constructivism and so on)?
How might better understanding of the role influence design and management of simulations and games and shape (and re-shape) the role of the facilitator?
Timeframe
We anticipate that this special issue may take up to twelve months to complete and invite abstracts from interested authors and writing teams to submit an abstract outlining your topic/theme and approach to addressing one or more of the questions and issues noted above.

This is the anticipated time frame for completion – it may change in accord with the journal requirements

November 2019 – Call for articles
February 2020 – Submission of abstracts
March 2020 – Notification of acceptance of abstract
May 2020 – First drafts of accepted papers –
July 2020 – Review of first drafts – peer review using journal procedures via SAGE website
September 2020 – Revisions and re-submissions in accord with journal requirements
November 2020 – Finalisation of issue requirements
Initial submission process
To facilitate the submission process, please use the following link to post your initial proposal.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1BPN37faS4dJzHut3LuYlBpi-ub64D7CT

Items posted here will be transferred to a secure site, as they arrive.

Email for communication: elyssebeth@gmail.com

In your initial proposal please include:
1. Author names, email and affiliations, indicating the author of ‘primary contact’
2. Draft title (we accept this may change as your work is developed, so this is to give us an indication of possible themes)
3. Abstract – up to 500 words
a. at this first step we are looking for concepts and themes you will explore, referencing is optional, however we recommend that you check the links below for final submission guidelines as these will be rigorously applied once articles receive initial acceptance.
4. A note (i.e. text not be included in the word count) about your ability/willingness to help with reviewing.

Guidelines
Please visit the journal website at – https://journals.sagepub.com/home/sag

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