Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Doug Peterson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Scott Breuninger, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Steve Ward, M.A.


Reacting to the Past, High Impact Practices, honors program, student engagement, college retention, honors students

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Psychology | Psychology


Reacting to the Past (RTTP) is a roleplaying pedagogy highly regarded as an innovative high-impact practice. RTTP consists of elaborate historical games informed by major texts in the history of ideas and takes place during major historical turning points. The effectiveness of this methodology, in terms of its impact on students’ intention to stay in honors, was examined using a nonequivalent groups design composed of first semester students in the Honors Program at the University of South Dakota. Students that took a RTTP course and students that took a different honors course their first semester were given the same survey at two points: after midterm but before the simulation started, and during the last week of class, after the simulation took place. Analysis of results revealed that students in the RTTP course reported a higher intention to stay in the honors program than those students who did not take RTTP. Additionally, the relationships among several measures of engagement were explored and related to student intention to stay in the honors program.



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