MENAS 462 - Web Based Mentorship: Learning Through Character Play
Fall 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Middle Eastern and North African Studies (MENAS)
Department: LSA II: Middle Eastern and North African Studies
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Lab Fee:
May be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/29/22 - 12/9/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


This seminar revolves around Place Out Of Time (POOT), a web-based character-playing simulation involving college, high school, and middle school students. You will have a dual role in the simulation: you will play a character yourself, and you will also act as a project leader and mentor to the younger participants.

POOT is run in cooperation with the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies and the School of Education at UM-Flint. The core of the simulation is anchored in the years 711 through 1492 and the cultures in and around what was known as Muslim Spain, or “al-andalus.” However, the simulation draws from all periods of history and all world cultures. The simulation revolves around a trial - different each time the simulation is run -- based on events and people from history. While the details are everchanging, timeless and universal themes, such as "identity," "freedom," and "security," are the backdrop for POOT.

This class is different because you are responsible not just for your own learning, but for the learning of younger peers who are depending on you. In order to fulfill that responsibility, though, you will (collectively) need to understand and articulate a variety of cultural and historical perspectives, as filtered through the personalities that appear in the simulation. We have chosen to utilize character-playing simulation for two reasons. First, we see great value in character playing as an exercise of the imagination. Being forced to “walk in the shoes” of another, and to consider the ideas and the perspective of someone from another time or place, can be a powerful catalyst to learning. Secondly, both you and the student participants will be asked to do this character playing in a taskoriented way. Mentors and students will learn about their character’s lives, their points of view, and the societal contexts in which their characters lived. You will then be presented with a contemporary problem, which you will consider from the perspective of your character. The idea is to help the students to construct a bridge between historical times and the present day, to gain a heightened appreciation for other worldviews, and to wrestle with some (hopefully) interesting questions in a way that will deepen our learning about history…and about ourselves.

It is often said that the best way to learn something is to teach it. To that, one might add that the next best way to learn something is to play a game with it. This class tries to combine both of those methods.


MENAS 462 - Web Based Mentorship: Learning Through Character Play
Schedule Listing
001 (LAB)
 In Person
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22
Note: Web-Based Mentorship: Learning Through Character Play Meets together with EDUC 462-001

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for MENAS 462.001

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

No Syllabi are on file for MENAS 462. Click the button below to search for a different syllabus (UM login required)

Search for Syllabus

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)