How to design and arrange roleplaying activities to maximize learning

Effective training and learning activities need to be thought out and carefully designed if they are to result in maximum learning, and roleplaying is no exception. Here are some tips and suggestions about how to design role plays:

  • Preparation: Trainees should receive an explanation of the role play objectives and how to go about reading and absorbing any role descriptions provided. This should be specifically planned.
  • Enactment: Enactments or the actual role plays should be undertaken without drama, since the point is not to practice acting, but to achieve desired target learning.
  • Analysis: Plan to analyse participants' syuccess with applying the new behaviors rather than their acting ability. Arrange for trainees to demonstrate their alternate interpretations of foles.
  • Begin role playing sequences with simple ones, and build up to more complex role plays.
  • Define clear purposes and training objectives for role plays based on proper needs assessments, and ensure role plays are the most appropriate actions for the specific goals.
  • Design roleplays so as not to overtire participants (moderate complexity, moderate length).
  • For complex subjects have participants practice ONLY one or two skills or behaviors in any one roleplay.
  • Ensure adequate time is spend on providing feedback for roleplays. When using roleplays as practice sessions, there should be a roleplay --- feedback --- re-roleplay structure.


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