role play

Role Play

(ROW-ll Pl-EH)

radioactive elements

What is Role Play?

Role play is a learning activity in a practice setting in which one or more participants enact real-world conversations and behaviors based on a specific scenario and then receive feedback.

Other Common Names

Other common names for role play include:

  • Simulation

Key Properties

These are properties of the element role play:

  • Attempts to simulate real-life interactions
  • Uses guidance but not entire scripts
role play

Some charged statements from Brian's book What's Your Formula

Whats Your Formula book
Order your copy to learn more about role play and all of the related elements.

Liquid Elements that may bond well with this radioactive element


Role play can be such a radioactive element when learners don’t think it will help them learn something. Having a structured feedback component can be one way to bond role play with assessment. In addition, some training programs require learners to pass a culminating activity to complete the course. Using a role-play scenario in which a trainer or supervisor is equipped with a checklist or rubric to assess when a learner is competent in a new skill can add a very real level of rigor.

goal settingGoal Setting

This can be done at the start of a training session, then learners can compare their role-play performance with the goals they have already set, or it can be done following a role-play scenario when learners have received feedback and thus have greater awareness of where they should focus their attention for further professional development.

Download the Element Sanity Check

Even if you haven’t yet purchased the book (what are you waiting for?!) you can get access to worksheets that will help guide you through the use of the elements of amazing learning experiences.