'I am if you are': An interesting paradox in role-play case simulation training
Faculty of Law
The University of Western Australia
Role-playing is a recognised teaching and learning tool, used extensively worldwide in various settings, including professional training simulations in areas such as law, medicine and economics. However, role-play as a teaching technique has largely proceeded by way of assumed teaching methods and the theoretical and practical underpinnings of its use are under-explored. With culture change initiatives currently underway in the legal dispute resolution environment and particularly in ADR processes such as negotiation and mediation, in which educators commonly use role-play and case simulation training, it is imperative that we begin to understand the theory that underpins the role-play method and the techniques that constitute best practice in role-play case simulation training. An empirical study of 642 law students from the University of Western Australia set out to investigate what might be occurring psychologically in students during role-play and how this might translate to deeper learning about ADR processes and skills. The results support the underlying assumptions that students have a natural ability to participate in the simulations effectively and that it is a valuable learning tool. The results also show that being able to 'get into role' leads to greater levels of learning and intriguingly, that students tend to feel that they have a better ability to get into role if they perceive that their negotiating or mediating partners are also in role. The paper discusses the need to continue to explore the psychological underpinnings of role-play, and to build a research and theory base that can support the quality of education required to create sustainable culture change.
Role-playing is a recognised teaching and learning tool used extensively worldwide in various settings including clinical psychology (Barney & Shea, 2007; Joyner & Young, 2006), socio-legal and communal work (Moreno, 1969), interpersonal skills and critical thinking development (Sogunro, 2004), teamwork skills (Luca & Heal, 2006), business leadership and management consulting (Egan, 1993), and in areas such as law, medicine and economics (Vincent & Shepherd, 1998). As Blatner (2002) aptly states, "its application in education is virtually endless".
However, as widespread as the application and use of role-play is, knowledge of the best way to implement the role-playing technique is lacking. In both education and research there are "few and sparse technical guidelines" (Yardley-Matwiejczuk, 2000; Stephenson, Higgs & Sugarman, 2001) and it seems that educators have employed role-play as a teaching method with little, if any, pedagogical theory behind its use (Lewicki, 1997). They seem to have assumed that role-play would help students learn through experience (Movius, 2008) or through an "authentic activity" (Loewenstein & Thompson, 2000) but there is no solid theory as to why role-play works. If indeed it does. Despite claims from proponents that role-playing can be used to develop professional capability in skills (Fraser and Greenhalgh, 2001), to illuminate education concepts to students (Blatner1991 and 2002), to promote attitude change and understanding, to transform theoretical concepts into experiential format (Sogunro, 2004) and to induce deep learning (Fells, 2001), there is little empirical evidence to suggest that it does achieve any of these things. Although this is a widespread concern, it is particularly resonant in the areas of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including mediation and negotiation. This is an emerging area of practice and research, which commonly educates students through the role-playing technique.
Alternative dispute resolution
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which incorporates interest-based negotiation principles and mediation, is an area where research and attitude change are especially important. Our current Attorney General wants to induce a culture change in our current legal dispute resolution culture, from one of an adversarial battleground to one of cooperation and conciliation. He wants to do so by making mediation a mandatory case-management process and by encouraging adversarial litigants and lawyers to embrace interest-based negotiation as a dispute resolution tool. To achieve this, widespread education is required, and undoubtedly, this education will use role-play case simulations as a teaching technique. In fact, a systematic review of higher education curricula suggests that role-play exercises and case simulations are the most common single teaching method employed in current negotiation teaching (Movius, 2008).
Case simulation is a specialised pedagogical tool: an entire simulated case has to be assembled in which each major player must be able to stay in role with his or her given character, or the practice fails. It incorporates the role-playing method, and as with role-play, it is not yet clear what constitutes 'best practice' in this domain. Despite the use of case simulation training in negotiation, mediation and ADR education for many years , as in other fields, the training has largely proceeded by way of assumed teaching methods and the theoretical and practical underpinnings of its use are largely unexplored. Consequently, the move towards 'best practice' in this area has been scant.
With culture change initiatives underway, it is essential that the educators charged with the responsibility of educating for sustainable change, incorporate the very best methods of role-play and case simulation available. It is therefore, imperative that we begin to understand what theory underpins the role-play method and what techniques might constitute best practice in role-play case simulation training.
Best practice for role-play simulations
Perhaps the closest that we have to a 'best practice' in negotiation and mediation is a collection of ad-hoc guidelines for effective role-play assembled from various writers (Yardley-Matwiejczuk, 1997). Examples here include:
There are also specific methods that some educationalists have suggested to raise the level of learning, including using real money in role-play exercises (Volkema, 2007) and engaging students in role-play design (Druckman & Ebner, 2008). However, while these guidelines are practically helpful and provide assistance, they do not emerge from any sophisticated theoretical framework for "best-practice" in role-play, nor, more often than not, with any supporting empirical evidence to support the efficacy of these techniques. 
- conducting effective warm-up exercises (Shaftel & Shaftel, 1982),
- clear explanation of the role-play story and character roles (Chesler & Fox, 1966), and
- allowing space for reflection and feedback during debriefs and reflective journals (Williams, Farmer and Manwaring, 2008).
The present study does not set out to develop a theoretical framework. Instead, it intends to take the first steps towards this endeavour by providing an empirical study to investigate how adept students are at getting into role and how this might translate to deep learning. From this we can begin to build a solid research base-once we have some knowledge of what occurs psychologically in participants during role-play and case simulation training, then we can start to examine the theory that might explain it.
The study: rationale
The rationale for the study arose from observations that law students in the negotiation and mediation classes at the University of Western Australia, and participants in public mediation training programs, showed a divergence in ability to 'get into role'. The education and training in these contexts assumed that:
- students would have an innate ability to participate in the simulations effectively,
- students would be able to assume a role regardless of any preparation or warm-up, and
- role-play case simulation training is an effective learning tool for negotiation and mediation.
The study: hypotheses
The study aimed to evaluate these assumptions and developed several hypotheses towards this.
|Hypothesis 1: ||A greater lever of learning will occur when the student is in role.|
|Hypothesis 2:||The student will learn something about his or herself when he or she is in role, which will in turn result in increased learning about the ADR process.|
|Hypothesis 3:||Understanding how the character thinks and feels will assist the student to get into role, which will in turn result in increased learning about the ADR process.|
| Hypothesis 4:||Students who are warmed up to role-play, prepared for the role-play, can relate to the simulation scenario, are assessed on the role-play, or are debriefed on the role-play will show greater ability to get into role which will lead to increased learning about the ADR process.|
|Hypothesis 5:||A role-play case simulation is an effective learning tool for ADR theory and practice.|
The study: methodology
Six hundred and forty two students in the Negotiation and Mediation, ADR and Contract Law classes at the University of Western Australia participated in the study. The students in Negotiation and Mediation were final year law students and the Contract Law students were 2nd year law students. The students in ADR ranged from first year to final year law students. No other demographic data for the students was taken.
The survey instrument consisted of two components: an ability to get into role and the level of learning. The three items describing ability to get into role included whether the student; (i) was able to get into role well, (ii) felt that the other student was in role, and (iii) could understand the feelings and thoughts of the character that he or she was playing. The second component of level of learning was measured by a scale of five items asking whether the student; (i) learnt something about him or herself, (ii) learnt something about negotiation or mediation, (iii) would do some things differently next time to improve the negotiation or mediation process, (iv) had a deeper understanding of the negotiation/mediation process than he or she did before the role-play, or (v) thought that the role-play was a complete waste of time. All the responses were anchored on a 5-point Likert-type scale with alternatives coded from 1 to 5, with 1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree. The survey questions are outlined in Appendix 1.
The survey was conducted over classes conducted between February and August 2009. The survey was given in hard copy to all the participants either before of after debriefing the simulation. Other variables that were manipulated included:
The table below sets out the various permutations of these variables.
- whether there was a warm-up for role-play before the simulation. The various types of warm-up included:
- asking students to talk to in the voice of their character in the first person during the preparation session and to stay in character for the duration of the session (Neg + Med Feb 2),
- a warm-up interview exercise derived from Blatner & Blatner (2002) (Neg + Med June), and
- an improvisational theatre warm-up adapted from Berk & Trieber (2007)(see Appendix 2 attached) (ADR mediation);
- preparation before the simulation, including a discussion or written summary of interests, alternatives and options (Neg + Med - oral; Contract - written);
- a simulation scenario that had relevance to the student participants (Contract); and/or
- whether the simulation exercise was assessed directly via a direct reflection piece (Contract), or indirectly via a reflection journal (ADR), or not at all (Neg + Med).
Table 1: Warm-up, preparation, scenario, debrief variables and assessment by class
|Neg/ Med Feb 1||No||Yes - oral||Racing car drivers - no relevance||Before||No|
|Neg/ Med Feb 2||Yes - in character||Yes - oral||Racing car drivers no relevance||After||No|
|ADR - San Morgan||No||No||Computer programmer and school administrator - no relevance||After||Indirect journal entry|
|Contract Law||No||Yes - written||Law students - tenant/ landlord - high relevance||Feedback given by other student||Direct refl-ection piece|
|ADR - mediation||No||No||Business partnership - some relevance||Feedback given by other student||Indirect journal entry|
|ADR - arbitration||No||No||Dog relocation scenario - some relevance||Feedback given by other student||Indirect journal entry|
The study: results
Factor analysis and reliability
A factor analysis of the 'level of learning' scale indicated that the five items comprised one factor and contributed almost equally to that factor. The reliability analyses revealed that the 'level of learning' scale was internally consistent yielding a Cronbach's alpha of 0.73.
The 'in-role' scale was relatively more problematic. The factor analysis of this scale revealed that the responses comprised one factor but the reliability analysis revealed that the scale would achieve internal consistency with the item of 'unable to understand what the character was thinking and feeling' deleted (Cronbach's alpha of 0.75). Therefore, this item was deleted for those scale analyses related to the student being in role.
Level of learning and 'in-role'
At scale level there was a significant correlation between those students who were in role and the level of learning. The Pearson product moment correlation coefficient was r = -.285, p < 0.01, indicating that the more the student was able to get into role, the greater the level of learning. The mean of 'level of learning' was 3.78 and for the student being 'in-role' was 3.84, indicating that overall, the level of learning and ability to get into role was very high.
Differences by warm-up, preparation, simulation scenario, debrief, and assessment
In order to distinguish if there were any differences in the level of learning and in the ability to get in to role between students who were warmed up to role-play, prepared for the role-play, could relate to the simulation scenario, were assessed on the role-play, or were debriefed before or after the survey, a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted for each variable. The ANOVA revealed that at the scale level there were no differences between the groups on levels of learning, F (10, 477) = 1.15, p > 0.05. However, there were significant differences between those students in the Contract class, and those students in Neg + Med Feb 1, ADR San Morgan negotiation, ADR mediation and ADR arbitration on the 'in-role' scale, indicating that the Contract students were more able to get into their roles than the latter students F (10, 617) = 7.28, p < 0.001.
None of these groups engaged in a warm-up before the role-play and the groups experienced varying levels of preparation and debrief. The key difference between the groups seems to be that the Contract students had a highly relevant scenario and were directly assessed on the role-play, whereas the students in the other classes had a range of scenarios and were not directly assessed. In order to explore these differences in more depth, the ANOVA analyses were run at the individual variable level, rather than at scale level. These results are given below.
Able to get into role (mean = 3.76)
There was a significant difference between the same groups as noted in the ANOVA at scale level above, that is the Contract students reported that they were more able to get into role than the Neg + Med Feb 1, ADR negotiation, ADR mediation and ADR arbitration students, F (10, 617) = 4.43, p < 0.001.
Other student in role (mean = 3.93)
Again on this variable there was a significant difference between the same groups as above, indicating that the Contract students rated the other student as being more in role than the Neg + Med Feb 1, ADR negotiation, ADR mediation and ADR arbitration students, F (10, 617) = 7.78, p < 0.001.
Learnt something about negotiation/mediation (mean = 3.99)
There were no significant differences between the groups on this variable, F (10, 629) = 1.71, p > 0.05.
Learnt something about myself (mean = 3.11)
There were significant differences between two sets of groups on this variable with the Neg + Med Feb 1 Holden and ADR San Morgan students indicating that they learnt more about themselves than the Contract and ADR arbitration students, F (10, 628) = 3.80, p < 0.001. It is difficult to establish what variable might relate to this result, as there does not appear to be a unifying factor in either set of classes to explain the result.
Waste of time (mean = 1.90)
There were significant differences between two sets of groups on this variable also, this time with the Neg + Med Feb 2 Holden and ADR San Morgan students indicating that they thought the role-play was less of a waste of time than the Contract and ADR arbitration students did, F (10, 630) = 3.14, p < 0.01. Again, the unifying factor in either set of classes is not immediately apparent.
Unable to understand character (mean = 2.51)
There were no significant differences between the groups on this variable, F (10, 630) = 1.29, p > 0.05.
Deeper understanding about negotiation/mediation (mean = 3.75)
There were no significant differences between the groups on this variable, F (10, 629) = 0.55, p > 0.05.
Do some things differently next time (mean = 3.84)
There were no significant differences between the groups on this variable, F (10, 482) = 1.25, p > 0.05.
The above results confirm Hypothesis 1, as they show that there is a correlation between greater levels of learning when the student is in role. They also support Hypothesis 5 as they show that the overall levels of learning from the role-play case simulations were very high, indicating that role-play case simulation is an effective learning tool. Further, there was some support for Hypothesis 4 in that perhaps a relevant scenario and direct assessment might lead to more of an ability to get into role. For Hypothesis 2, a significant and positive correlation was found between the students learning something about themselves when they are in role, r = -.202, p < 0.01. Also for Hypothesis 3, a significant correlation was found between the student being able to understand how the character thought and felt, and the ability for the student to get into role, r = -.134, p < 0.01. These results indicate that the more the student could understand the character the more, they were able to get into role, and the more they were in role, the more they learnt something about themselves, thus supporting Hypotheses 2 and 3.
'Getting into role'
As the results confirmed the hypothesis that the more the student is able to get into role, the greater his or her level of learning, it was decided to investigate the 'getting into role' variable further. A standard multiple regression analysis was conducted to test the relative contribution of the 'other student being in-role' and 'understanding the character' variables in determining the ability of the student to get into role. The two variables accounted for 37% of the variance, and R was significantly different from zero, F (2, 624) = 182.42, p < 0.001. The standardised regression coefficient for the 'understanding the character' variable was β = .08, p < 0.01, and for 'other student in role' variable was β = .59, p < 0.001. These results suggest that a major predictor of whether the student will be able to get into role is whether the other student (that is, the other student who is a party in the process) is able to get into role.
Following this interesting result, it was decided to analyse which of the 'in-role variables' were the greater predictors of the level of learning. Together, the 'in-role' variables accounted for 8.5% of the variance, and R was significantly different from zero, F (2, 485) = 22.31, p < 0.001. The standardised regression coefficient for the 'other student in role' was β = .22, p < 0.001, meaning that this variable made a significant contribution to predicting levels of learning. The other two variables, 'ability to get into role' and 'understand the character' did not make a significant contribution, β = .09, p > 0.05, and β = .03, p > 0.05 respectively. The regression model for this analysis is not very powerful but the results do show again, the importance of the student perceiving that the other student is in role. In this case, whether the other student was in role was the only predictor of whether the student reported a greater level of learning - greater than if the student felt that he or she was personally able to get into role or was able to understand the character.
The study: discussion
These results are simultaneously intriguing and revealing. On the one hand, the results support the underlying assumptions about role-playing simulations namely: that students have a natural ability to participate in the simulations effectively; they are able to get into role regardless of any preparation or warm-up; and that role-play case simulation training is a valuable learning tool for ADR processes. On the other hand, there is an interest around the need for students to perceive that the other student is in role, in order for them to get into role themselves. Further, there is curiosity about what occurred differently in some classes that led students to learn more about themselves in some simulations compared to others, and to conclude that some simulations were more of a waste of time than others were.
The limitations of the study design explain this latter curiosity in part. In the first instance, there was no control group in any of the classes, and therefore differences between the groups cannot be wholly attributed to the independent variables. Further, the variables that were manipulated were done so without tight controls. As different lecturers conducted the different classes, inevitably there were different approaches taken to the warm-ups, preparation, organisation and debriefing of the classes, and consequently, these variables were likely to have interfered with the data. These limitations are, in general, artefacts of collecting data in a natural setting where it is not always possible to control for potentially confounding variables and future research could overcome some of these deficiencies by ensuring tighter controls. However, for now, these limitations do not greatly limit the theoretical importance of the findings.
"I am if you are"
In terms of beginning to look for a theoretical basis to role-playing simulations, perhaps the most important finding of the study is that students tend to feel that they are able to get into role if they perceive that the other student is in role. Bearing in mind that the participating students were all law students, and that the law school environment is renowned for its competitive, intimidating, alienating and unsupportive nature (Howieson & Ford, 2007), this finding is interesting on a number of levels. Part of the finding might be explained by law students not wanting to look "stupid" in front of their peers, or that they are looking for tricks in the material and do not trust the role-playing process sufficiently to engage in it automatically (see Alexander and LeBaron, 2009). They also might not feel safe enough in the law school environment to assume a character that might be acting antithetically to their law school training.
Future research could look to teasing out this effect further. It is conceptually understandable that if participants perceive that their role-playing partners are in role then they will also feel as if they are in role. However, what in particular is occurring here? What are the consequences of this finding in terms of how it influences the effectiveness of role-play simulations? What are the implications in terms of creating a sense of safety in case simulation training? We now know that being in role is important in terms of promoting deeper learning. Therefore, it is clear that learning more about a student's ability to get into role is an issue that warrants further analysis.
We still need to know more about role-play as an educational technique. We need to know how to combine all the elements of good role-play design for best practice in ADR case simulation training. We need to know how and why these different elements of role-play influence student learning and how participants get into role in simulations. Because of this study, we now know more about role-play case simulation training than we did before, and we are starting to establish an interesting research base to assist us in theory building. However, we cannot be complacent in this regard.
It is imperative that we educate lawyers and law students in interest-based negotiation and mediation processes if we want to create a sustainable and constructive dispute resolution culture. We know that role-playing is a technique that can assist us in the learning and understanding required to create this culture change. What we need now is further understanding of how and why the role-playing technique best achieves this, and we need to know how our education in this field can be (or can continue to be) "transformative, rather than [merely] transmissive". 
The author would like to thank the University of Western Australia 2009 Teaching Fellowship Scheme, which supported the study, and James Bennett, who assisted with portions of the research.
- Educators can also use role-play in teaching cultural studies, languages, health and life skills, literature, history etc. (Sternberg & Garcia, 2000).
- Program on Negotiation from the Harvard Law School (the program of instruction for lawyers is now known as the Harvard Negotiation Institute) and since its inception, PON has trained thousands of professionals in the principles of interest-based negotiation and mediation through the case simulation training method. However, it was only in 2008 that PON initiated a conference on Negotiation Pedagogy and in 2009, that it held the first conference in Mediation Pedagogy.
- Druckman and Ebner are an exception. The US writers, however, tend to make suggestions and anecdotally report results that are unsupported with empirical or multivariate analysis.
- Forum materials at
Alexander, N. & LeBaron, M. (2009). Death of a Role-play. In C. Honeyman, J. Coben & G. De Palo, Rethinking Negotiation Teaching: Innovations for Context and Culture (pp. 179-97). Saint Paul: DRI Press
Barney, C., & Shea, S. C. (2007). The art of effectively teaching interviewing skills using role-playing: A primer. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 30(2).
Berk, R. A. & Trieber, R. H. (2007). Whose Classroom is it Anyway? Improvisation as a Teaching Tool. Retrieved from
http://www.humorfusion.com/Improv%20Clean%20final%2012-18-07.pdf on 14 October 2009.
Blatner, A. (2002). Role-play in Education. Retrieved from
http://www.blatner.com/adam/pdntbk/rlplayedu.htm on 14 October 2009.
Blatner, A., & Blatner, A. (2002). Imaginative Interviews: A Psychodramatic Warm-up for Developing Role-Playing Skills. Retrieved from
http://www.blatner.com/adam/pdntbk/talksho.htm on 14 October 2009.
Chesler, M.A., & Fox, R. (1966). Role-Playing Methods in the Classroom. Chicago, IL: Science Research Associates.
Druckman, D., & Ebner, N., (2008). Onstage or behind the scenes? Relative learning benefits of simulation role-play and design. Simulation & Gaming, 39, 465-98.
Egan, G. (1993). Adding value: A systematic guide to business-driven management and leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass Publishers.
Fells, R.E. (2001). Teaching a subject like negotiation: How might we encourage deep learning? In A. Herrmann & M. M. Kulski (Eds), Expanding Horizons in Teaching and Learning. Proceedings of the 10th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 7-9 February 2001. Perth: Curtin University of Technology.
Fraser, S., & Greenhalgh, T., (2001). Coping with complexity: Educating for capability. British Medical Journal, 323: 799-803.
Joyner, B., & Young, L., (2006). Teaching medical students using role-play: Twelve tips for successful role-plays. Medical Teacher, 28(3), 225-229.
Lewicki, R.J., (1997). Teaching negotiation and dispute resolution in colleges of business: The state of the practice. Negotiation Journal, 13(3), 253-69.
Loewenstein, J., & Thompson L., (2000). The Challenge of Learning. Negotiation Journal, 16(4), 399-408.
Luca, J., & Heal, D. (2006). Is role-play an effective teaching approach to assist tertiary students to improve teamwork skills? In Who's learning? Whose technology? Proceedings ascilite Sydney 2006.
Moreno, J.L., & Moreno, Z.T. (1969). Psychodrama (Vol. 3) Action therapy and principles of practice. Beacon, NY: Beacon House.
Movius , H. (2008). The Effectiveness of Negotiation Training. Negotiation Journal, 24(4). 509-31.
Shaftel F.R., & Shaftel G. (1982). Role-Playing in the Curriculum, 2nd edn. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Sogunro, O.A., (2004). Efficacy of role-playing pedagogy in training leaders: Some reflections. Journal of Management Development, 23(4), 355-371
Stephenson, A., Higgs, R., and Sugarman, J., (2001). Teaching professional development in medical schools. The Lancet, 357, 867-70.
Sternberg, P., & Garcia, A. (2000). Socio-drama: Who's in your shoes, 2nd ed. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.
Susskind, L.E., & Coburn, J., (1999). Using simulations to teach negotiation: Pedagogical theory and practice. Working Paper 99-1. Cambridge, MA: Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School.
Volkema, R.J. (2007). Negotiating for money: Adding a dose of reality to classroom negotiations. Negotiation Journal, 23(4), 473-85.
Vincent, A. & Shepherd, J., (1998). Experiences in Teaching Middle East Politics via Internet-based Role-Play Simulations. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 98, 11.
Williams, G.R., Farmer L.C. & Manwaring M. (2008). New technology meets an old teaching challenge: Using digital video recordings, annotation software, and deliberate practice techniques to improve student negotiation skills. Negotiation Journal,24(1), 71-87.
Yardley-Matwiejczuk, K.M. (1997). Role-play: Theory and Practice. London: Sage Publications
Appendix 1: Role-play survey
|Deep learning/ value|
of the exercise
|I learnt something about myself.|
|I learnt something about negotiation/mediation.|
|The next time that I negotiate, I will do some things differently to improve the process.|
|The role-play was a complete waste of time.|
|I have a deeper understanding of the negotiation/mediation process than I did before the role-play.|
|Role-taking||I was able to get into the role of my character well.|
|The other student got into his/her role well.|
|I was unable to understand how my character was feeling/thinking in the scenario.|
|Responses were made on a 5-point Likert-type scale with 1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree.|
Appendix 2: One word, two words or one sentence at a time: improvisational theatre exercise
Adapted from Berk and Trieber (2007)
Purpose: To review the process of mediation before a role-play
Time: Allow 5 - 10 minutes for the activity and 10 minutes for debrief questions and discussion.
- Create 5 columns on a piece of paper identifying the 7-8 stages of mediation (mediator's opening, parties opening, summary and agenda, issue exploration, option generation, private sessions, negotiation, close)
- List under the appropriate column as many words as possible that you can associate with each stage (what does the mediator do, what is happening for the client)
- You need to create a story focussing on the stages of mediation and create sentences, one word at a time, which emphasises the key words associated with each stage.
- Encourage speed and eye contact. Use complete sentences. It is OK to make mistakes. Aim is to construct a story with a beginning, middle and end that focuses on the theme. You can act if you want to.
- The class selects the theme of the story, ie "Annoying neighbours"
- 5-7 volunteers, diverse students, asked to stand in a half-circle in the front of the class.
- A self-selecting student begins with a word. Second student gives a word, third student ,,,,,,,
Suggested debrief questions
Small-group format variation. Two or three students facing each other can offer one word, two words or one sentence at a time. Used with large classes and each pair or triad can have the same title and/or questions or make up their own based on content. Share new ideas from each group about their content.
- Any new information from this activity?
- Any insights about letting go of the result?
- Why are you encouraged to go quickly?
- How might this be like co-mediating/ team mediating?
- Do you have any clarification questions that you would like to ask in order to understand the mediation process?
|Author: Jill Howieson, Faculty of Law, The University of Western Australia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please cite as: Howieson, J. (2010). 'I am if you are': An interesting paradox in role-play case simulation training. In Educating for sustainability. Proceedings of the 19th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 28-29 January 2010. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://otl.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2010/refereed/howieson.html
Copyright 2010 Jill Howieson. The author assigns to the TL Forum and not for profit educational institutions a non-exclusive licence to reproduce this article for personal use or for institutional teaching and learning purposes, in any format, provided that the article is used and cited in accordance with the usual academic conventions.
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