Role-play made easy

Do you want your students to see history from different perspectives?

Do you want to spark a debate that leads students to think critically and collaboratively?

VOXPOP's media-rich lessons provide historical roles and structured debates, turning the classroom into a lively town hall.

How does VOXPOP work?

VOXPOP's software is easy to use both in person and in remote classrooms.

A teacher uses a laptop or desktop computer to guide students through the role-play, playing videos on a Smartboard or projector, asking questions, leading discussion and calling votes.

Each student in the class uses any web-enabled device to view their profile, get more information and cast votes.

Each role-play includes:

  • A class screen that delivers historical context, tracks voting and guides play.

  • Facilitator controls that help the teacher guide the session.

  • Player screens that provide students with a bio, key info, and buttons to cast votes. 

How long does a role-play take? 

In person, you can run a role-play in a one-hour class period, or split over two 40-minute periods. If you're running VOXPOP remotely, we recommend budgeting a little more time because students have to be sorted into breakout rooms. 

What does a VOXPOP role-play look like?

As students log in, the VOXPOP software divides them into several groups (e.g. Bankers, Farmers, Regulators and Traders in the Shays Rebellion role-play).


Students use their laptops or tablets to view their unique bios, details about their groups, and the information they need at each stage of the role-play.

Each individual role-play is divided into several phases:

  • Welcome - A short video provides historical background on the topic. Student read their profiles and introduce themselves.

  • Values ​- Students meet in assigned groups to discuss their values. Then they share their perspective with the town hall.

  • Issues ​- Videos provide more detail on three main issues causing the crisis.

  • Compromise ​- Committees pick proposals to send to a town hall vote.

  • Vote - Groups present their proposals. The class debates, and then votes on each proposal.

  • Discussion ​- The teacher leads a facilitated discussion about the different viewpoints and how the crisis relates to contemporary issues.

  • What Happened ​- A final video provides an overview of what really happened.

Interested in trying out VOXPOP? 


Over the past year, even amidst the COVID Pandemic, I used several of the VOXPOP activities with my high school students, with impressive results.  As a thirty year veteran educator, I have used a number of interactive activities, none matching the level of engagement I observed in my students.  Most importantly, the VOXPOP activities reinforce Deep Learning as outlined by the global partnership, New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (NPDL).  Through these activities, students have the opportunity to develop the Six Global Competencies of Character, Citizenship, Collaboration, Communication, Creativity and Critical thinking in a way that they find enjoyable - a teacher's dream!

—  Thalia Wood, Social Studies Department Head

Toll Gate High School, Warwick, RI

A walkthrough of how to use VOXPOP in the classroom