Enhancing Teaching, Adaptability and Presentation Skills through Improvisational Theater
Thomas J. Marlowe
Improvisational theater, creative role-playing and open-ended scenarios are increasingly being used as ways to emphasize the importance of combining planning with flexibility and evolution to respond to changes in context. These skills and capabilities are extremely valuable in teaching, especially for strengthening communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the capacity for critical thinking and problem solving. Further, this combination of planning with flexibility is also a major theme of agile software development and a number of other problem-solving domains, and in the collaborative development of intellectual property in technical areas. With improvisation, the plan becomes less of a fixed framework, and more of a guideline. In software engineering, it becomes a mutable structure on which to hang goals and objectives, progress, processes, artifacts, and properties. In this submission, we explore the ramifications of this approach.