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OMOLE, A.R. (Mrs.)

At the end of the session, participants should be able to:

define role-play;

list the approaches to role-playing;

identify the role-play learning theories;

list steps in writing a role-play; and

write and enact a role-play.

Role-play is: a technique by which learning is reinforced to have a lasting impact on the trainee and bring about a desired attitudinal change.

acting out a part, especially that of somebody with a particular social role in order to understand it better. a simulation of the essential features of a role or skill as an aid to study or training.

Introduction Learning Objectives Definition of Role-Play Basic approaches to Role-Play Basic Learning Theory Steps in writing a Role-Play Activity: enacting a Role-play Conclusion

A Role-Play Scenario with the audience (observers) watching.

To inform, educate, create awareness and influence behaviour positively. To set objectives, standards and control. To give job instructions, provide rules and procedures. To change attitudes, behaviour, work methods and practices.

Pre-planned or Structured role-playing - very formal - controlled processes/content - prior preparation - subject to external influence Spontaneous role-playing - naturally unrestrained - less formal - natural processes - no apparent external influence.

Learning by doing Learning through imitation

Learning through observation

Learning through analysis and conceptualisation

The Excitement Real Behaviour Spontaneity Experiment

Feedback and Analysis


Pre-planned role-playing preparation Identify general problem area Collect data Determine specific training goals Write cases Enactment and Discussion

Multiple Role-Play

Multiple Role-Play - This is where we have more than one person acting out a role. Single Role- Play - A person acts a single role through-out the play Role Rotation - This is when you have actors in a role-play performing dual or more roles, that is, the same person can act as a customer and also act as a sales representative. Role Reversal - This is when an actors role is changed to suit the play. The actor who took the role of a king may take up the role of a slave in another scene. Doubting

Consider these questions:

Do the objectives fit what is needed? Is it a realistic problem? Do the characters have distinctive conflicts? Is it clearly written? Are there two or more characters? Are there instructions for observers? Do we need to write or adopt one?

It should be based on facts not opinions It should be based on first hand observation for realism i.e. practicality It should show more than it tells It shows formal and informal interpersonal relationship It describes key people in the role-play It indicates a progressive change when observation stopped.


Determine the learning objectives of the role-play Choose a scenario or situation from reality that highlights the key concepts of the course. Once you have selected a scenario, you need to consider the various stakeholders and their perspectives and adapt the situation to the classroom



Step 1: define the theoretical principles or skills you wish the trainees to learn.

Step 2: convert these theoretical principles into training objectives by describing the relevant skills/behaviour you need to highlight listening, negotiation, persuasive
Step 3: identify the population of trainees e.g. their culture, occupational background, position, level of experience etc. Use suitable language and avoid unknown jargon.

Role-Play Brainstorming Session

Step 4: establish a situation that allows trainees to develop the required skills by thinking over your experiences, seeking more information and brainstorming ideas Step 5: develop the problem in terms of briefs* for the role-players and guides** for the observers.
appear real

*briefs are the underlying traits/behaviours/skills/information that makes the role

**guides are the questions that should be developed directly from the learning objectives
which seeks to know if the desired learning has taken place.

Step 7: Test the role-play you have written. Preferably use a sample of the trainee population for whom it is written. Allow some fellow trainees to read it Test for consistency, completeness and acceptability. Be sure that the desired answers to questions develop logically from the role-play Build conflicts i.e. a range of differences into your role-play in order to sustain it.

Role-Plays can be relevant in these areas and more, you can pass your message across in almost all disciplines through acting roles in the following areas/field: Interviewing Counselling Salesmanship Grievance handling Performance review Human Relations skill Customer Service Job Induction and Instructions Skills acquisition...................

Write a problem that illustrates the skills/principle you want to highlight with a role-play Decide on the characters, give them names, roles, attitude, place of work/location etc Write out what the non-players (audience) should be watching out for Prepare how the role-play will be introduced Write out the questions you will ask at the end of the role-play (debriefing procedure)

For further reading:

Armstrong, M (2000) Human Resources Management Practice, Kogan Page, London QFjAB& X3aCVeT4L4BnNw AQFjAE& E%2FDocuments%2FS1Teaching_Techniques.pdf&ei=N1LOTeWuAYycOsOklZoN&usg=AFQjC NE_6QFGIazhqw7Zg1pvzmXmsX-RVg QFjAA& olio%2Fgrartifacts%2FLit%2520review.pdf&ei=N1LOTeWuAYycOsOklZ oN&usg=AFQjCNFUWw6HTKbE1XKqj6y6ggxJVf4JMA

Role-Play is a valuable resource in learning. Writing a role-play can be very interesting if the simple rules are followed carefully. To achieve set objectives, role-play should be based on the skills or principles you want to achieve.

Thank you for participating, Good- Bye.