Classroom Role-Playing That is Effective and Respectful

Presented by: Pat Wagner

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Program Number: AE 217

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Too often role-playing exercises in workplaces and classrooms are emotionally intrusive or irrelevant to the class topic. However, demonstrations and practice are valid in the right environment. Is the group small enough so that you have genuine oversight? Are the exercises designed so that learning can take place in the time given? Can your participants use the information from the exercises in their real lives? Are the exercises appropriate in a workplace or classroom?


  • Introduction: Why Don’t People Like Role Playing?
  • The Key Idea: Help Participants Practice Success In A Safe Environment
  • What Makes A Successful Role-Play?
  • The Limits: History, Time, And Physical And Emotional Environments
  • Situations Where Practice Sessions Work Best
  • How To Describe New Behaviors
  • How To Reinforce Learning After A Class


  • Design role-plays that respect social boundaries.
  • Engage participants in creating relevant exercises.
  • Provide feedback to improve performance.

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