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Role play (online)

11 September 2020

Role play (online)

Students will need to take decisions in a given case, acting from their assigned role.

How to do this online?
In the description of this learning activity, observation plays an important role. This makes it complex to execute this activity completely online, as it is not easy to observe within a digital learning environment or synchronous online environment. However, learners can respond to each other from a certain role in terms of content. Reflection can also take place online, for example via a vlog or podcast. It is also possible to record a role play via a 360-degree camera, and to let learners carry out the observation via VR glasses.

Tools you could use: Traintool – where students can respond to a given situation via video. Other students and the teacher can give feedback on this. Pitch2Peer for uploading a video, vlog or podcast in which students individually act from their assigned role. Or you can consider using VR equipment to create a VR learning experience for students. Looking for another tool to organize this learning activity online? Contact one of our educational consultants (a.lodder1@uu.nl).

How to do this synchronously?
Synchronous education means simultaneous education in which both the students and the teacher are present at the same time. You can implement this learning activity synchronously by sending all students a description of one scenario/ case (i.e. a debate on infrastructure in a city townhall), and their specific role in this situation. Make sure to have multiple roles (between 3 to 5) and assign multiple students the same role. Organize an online live session, which students prepared for by reading the scenario and their role. Divide the students into groups of which each group has the same set of roles. Assign one moderator per group. Make sure to have composed these groups in advance. Ask students to go to break-out channels to perform their roles. Discuss every role in a plenary discussion afterwards. This allows students to reflect on how to act in similar real-life situations.

How to do this asynchronously?
Asynchronous education means that students learn on different moments, outside of the set time frame of a live class. You could implement this learning activity asynchronously by using Traintool. Give students the assignment to go to Traintool individually in order to respond to a given situation via video. Students can record themselves and publish their response as a video in Traintool. Ask students to give feedback on each other’s videos according to a clear set of criteria.


Prepare a scenario/ case, i.a. divide roles, i.a. create groups

Teacher Role

Guide process, guide content, explain/inform

External links

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