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Tips for using Frontline

Frontline is a simulation based on the challenges faced by relief workers in a war zone. It provides an ideal way to stimulate interest in the theme of conflict or alternatively can be used as an end of unit reward. Problem solving, decision-making and group work skills can all be taught and developed throughout the Frontline experience. A progress board keeps track of all players and adds a competitive element that motivates students.

How does it work?
Frontline can be played by individuals or a group. To increase the skills learnt through the experience we recommend groups. The instructions below assume groups but can easily be adapted to individuals.

There are five phases to the game. Applying to play and four decision-making scenarios. The game is programmed so the decision making scenarios have to be played a day apart. So it takes a minimum of four sessions at a computer to complete the game. These four sessions can be played anytime within the four weeks that applications are open of each school term. Check these dates online using the more info button on the welcome panel.

Preparation to play

  • Work out how to structure the minimum of four sessions and book computers accordingly (if this is necessary). Options include once a week for four weeks or 4 days in a row.
  • Divide the class into groups of 3-4 members.
  • Background the Frontline Simulation. Explain each group needs to apply to be a Rapid Response Team (RRT). If accepted they will be sent to a war zone to co-ordinate relief. The prime goal is to assist as many people as possible affected by the war.
  • Groups decide on a RRT name, User name and password.

Applying to play Frontline

  • Open Frontline from the sidebar menu on this page (If not currently on-line log on, go to http://frontline.worldvision.org.nz and click on the Frontline button to open the game).
  • Apply for a position as a RRT by clicking on the 'Apply Here' button in the welcome panel and following the instructions. It is important to remember the username and password for future sessions. An email is sent for the students' records.
  • Inform students of the competitive element. Progress as a team is recorded on the RRT Progress Board, based on people helped and funds available. Open the RRT Progress from side menu to see how other teams already playing are progressing.

Playing a Scenarios
Remember the game will take at least 4 sessions to complete. The intention of this is to encourage students to think carefully about each scenario and to build a learning community of players that extends beyond one classroom. To play a scenario:

  • Logon to the website (www.worldvision.org.nz/frontline) and open Frontline via the side menu or the Frontline box.
  • Login using username and password. (If you have forgotten use the 'Lost Password' button on welcome panel and follow the instructions. A reminder email will be sent automatically to the email address that was provided on application.)
  • Click on Director's Desk on side menu to access latest Brief. This outlines what the RRT is expected to do.
  • Remember to use the Information files to find background information to help make informed and appropriate decisions. These can be accessed via the Brief which has a link or by using the side menu.
  • Once ready to send decisions to the Director complete the Situation Report (Sit. Rep.). This can be done by clicking on the Sit. Rep. link at the bottom of the Director's Brief or going to the Sent box and opening the Sit. Rep.
  • Check the Results Brief which will appear in your Inbox immediately.
  • Check progress made against other RRTs by going to the RRT Progress board using the side menu.

Additional work and scoring
The Frontline game can become more than just the online experience. It has the potential to be an integrated unit of writing and/or media studies activity. Opportunity for this has been given in Sit. Rep. #2, #3 and #4 as materials for the media. Information File 2.4 gives examples of a press release, photos and video interview footage. These are just starting points. Teams using their imagination will think of other ways to get additional points and take their team to the top. Teachers need to decide how they will score according to the quantity and quality of materials submitted and what additional work they consider appropriate. A classroom wall display of the work produced plus a class scoring sheet that records the online score plus teacher awarded points for additional work will add to the students' motivation.

Group record of work
It can be helpful for the teacher and the students to keep a record of the group's planning, work and progress. Teachers need to organise students with a folder or other method of storing group information, planning, hard copy of Sit. Reps. and any additional work that has been produced. This can then be used as an assessment tool e.g. self management and competitive skills or social and cooperative skills.

If computer useage is an issue
Here's a suggestion of how to get around this, so students don't miss the Frontline experience. The teacher needs to apply and play each scenario. If played at speed without much thought this should take no more than 15 minutes per scenario over the minimum of four days. Print a copy of each Director's brief, Sit. Rep. and Information Files. Photocopy a set for each group. The students can then discuss and make decisions away from the computer reducing the time needed at a computer. One member per group could be responsible for applying and entering the decisions in their own time, either on a school computer (i.e. in the library) or at home. Alternatively teachers may want to enter the results for the groups themselves.

Playing more than once
Once a player has completed the Frontline experience it is possible to register again under a different RRT name, Username and Password. This is a great way to assess their increased knowledge and understanding.