Role play: second round successful

In our second attempt at role plays (see last week’s post for the ambiguous response), we had more luck with the students – or perhaps our preparation was better. This is what Jutta/Naomi and I did:

– Give the writing of a short story suitable for role play (a situation which had emotional value) as an assignment (students were permitted to simply provide a link to their blogs where they put stories like this).

– Paraphrased all stories and put their short version on Picasa from where we projected them during our in-world session.

– Prepared an appropriate warming up exercise which involved placing your avatar on a staircase according to the question “how much did the internship fulfil your expectations?”

From Stories for Roleplay

– Letting the students decide which of the eight stories presented we would use for the role play.

The story picked by the students was a rather extreme example which, however, seemed to trigger a lot of emotion among the audience.

The role play this time was not a play back of a given scene but a directed role play whereby the narrator (Juliane) played herself and gave detailed instructions to the other actors.

From Stories for Roleplay

The final survey on the quality of this class and the interest in more role plays confirmed our own initial enthusiasm for this method. This is another example where class room activities can with relative ease transferred to the virtual 3D environment. In fact, my hunch is that for role play in particular the threshold for inexperienced actors (i.e. most students) to participate in a role play via their avatar is lower than in a real classroom situation. The student can hide his embarrassment behind the avatar – this way of working through issues benefits from that.

One can argue that a real life role play is much richer because of body language, gestures, facial expressions etc. – but most students (more than in our in-world experiment) seem reluctant to go up on stage.

This was a great, instructive experience!

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