Role-playing within a simulation/gaming framework allows
human participants to adopt a role that encompasses a set
of interests, values and knowledge.
In this learning design the simulated world comprises up
to 40 different roles (personae). The students adopt a shared
persona which involves them researching a range of different
information sources (e.g. Internet, articles) to develop an
understanding about the responsibilities, views and strategies
of their adopted persona. Since four students share a single
persona they collaborate on developing this understanding.
These perspectives are then operationalised within a simplified
but functionally relevant version of a complex decision-making
context. Different personae interact (via email and online
discussion forum) in response to events that have occurred
and the actions of other personae. During the forum activity,
students gain an understanding of the multiple perspectives
on the topic being debated through reading the postings of
Students then participate in a structured process of guided
recall, reflection and analysis of the role-play simulation.
This involves sharing the experiences of the participants
present, the understandings they have developed and relating
this to any theories or practices relevant to the intended