Role play

I can hear your groans and see your faces now! These words gets mentioned in class every so often for assessment, or even in a professional development session, to assist the development of your practical skills.

What makes a ‘good’ role play? An effective role play is one in which the ‘roles’ are clearly explained and - in some cases - scripts provided. The role play should reflect the reality of the situation it is trying to reflect; this is when scripts become important. Role plays should always be attached to a learning outcome so that the student can clearly determine the importance of the role play in what they want to achieve as a learner on this day of training. The role play should be as close as possible to the situations an employee might find themselves in, in order to gain the most from it.

Everyone in the role play should have a role. That is, an active participant or an observer. Role plays should not just be conducted in front of large groups (unless being demonstrated). For example, the worker, the client and an observer could be a good combination for a role play. Each per­son should be spoken to by the facili­tator. Debriefing afterwards is also essential in order to confirm out­comes and end the role being played.

Now, feel better when the facilitator says “It’s time for a role play!”