Role-Playing Overview

In Role-Playing, a student assumes the perspective of a participating character in a scenario designed to create greater understanding of a topic, surrounding issues, and human interaction.     

Although student input may be sought, the instructor stages the role playing exercise, identifying the topic, characters, issues motivating interaction, and purpose.  Before the play begins, students should research the topic, study their roles, and have a preliminary knowledge of the context and meaning of the situation presented.  The playing out of the scenario can be relatively unstructured, allowing students to express the perspectives they represent, and how they impact or are impacted by the situation.  Role-play is followed by small group or class discussion to guide and consolidate learning. 

Role-play has wide ranging educational applications, from the professions to the humanities, on any topic calling for understanding of diverse perspectives and attitudes.   Today, online role playing scenarios and virtual learning environments are possible and potentially available.

See Also