Saturday, August 11, 2018

Doing role play in the classroom ..

How to Use Role Play

Frequently we come across situations where students are unfamiliar with the case and cannot figure out what's happening. In such situations it helps to do a role play assigning different students to different characters in the case. This helps the students to understand in real time the mindset of the character, the difficult decision making he /she has to do, the many data he /she has to gather and process . It is as effective as a case study less the actual field data ..

It is easy to set up and run a role-playing session. It will help to follow the five steps below.
Step 1: Identify the Situation 
To start the process, gather people together, introduce the problem, and encourage an open discussion to uncover all of the relevant issues. This will help people to start thinking about the problem before the role-play begins. 
Step 2: Add Details 
Next, set up a scenario in enough detail for it to feel "real." Make sure that everyone is clear about the problem that you're trying to work through, and that they know what you want to achieve by the end of the session 
Step 3: Assign Roles 
Once you've set the scene, identify the various fictional characters involved in the scenario. Some of these may be people who have to deal with the situation when it actually happens (for example, salespeople). Others will represent people who are supportive or hostile, depending on the scenario (for example, an angry client).
Once you've identified these roles, allocate them to the people involved in your exercise; they should use their imagination to put themselves inside the minds of the people that they're representing. This involves trying to understand their perspectives, goals, motivations, and feelings when they enter the situation. 
Step 4: Act Out the Scenario 
Each person can then assume their role, and act out the situation, trying different approaches where necessary. It can be useful if the scenarios build up in intensity. For instance, if the aim of your role-play is to practice a sales meeting, the person playing the role of the potential client could start as an ideal client, and, through a series of scenarios, could become increasingly hostile and difficult. You could then test and practice different approaches for handling situations, so that you can give participants experience in handling them. 
Step 5: Discuss What You Have Learned 
When you finish the role-play, discuss what you've learned, so that you or the people involved can learn from the experience
(Credits to

Results of the game played in the BBA sem 5 Operations class ..

By playing this game it becomes easy to understand the role played by the important stakeholders in taking the decision and solving the management problem. For examples, we did a role play of the


The stakeholders who were taking part in the role play were

  • a very concerned citizen
  • the Chief Minister of the State
  • the BBMP Commissioner representing the Bangalore corporation body
  • the Director General of Police (DGP) representing the Police and law enforcement, 
  • the representatives of the two and three wheeler and light 4 wheeler owners and 
  • the representative of the heavy multi tyre and OTR vehicles. 

The rest of the students in the class were again part of the audience.

In about an hour, the students got a grip of how the role play is enacted and brought out various dimensions and perspectives of the problem like

  • metro construction
  • most of the IT employees not taking car pooling seriously
  • no proper segregation of lanes for buses and private vehicles
  • unrestricted movement of heavy trucks and cargo vehicles blocking other vehicles movement
  • not enough width for roads
  • proposing fines on single occupant vehicles
  • providing safety  for ladies in share cabs and so on.

George Easaw

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