Thursday, December 02, 2010

Role-based e-Learning

The Power of Role-based e-LearningProfessor Sandra Wills, Executive Director, Learning & Teaching, University of Wollongong was handing out certificates to military students of the Australian Command and Staff College today. She mentioned to me afterwards that her new book was just published: "The Power of Role-based e-Learning: Designing and Moderating Online Role Play (Connecting with E-learning)" (by Sandra Wills , Routledge, 2010). Sandra emphasised that this was not about real time "Second Life" style role play with everyone online at the same time, but could be used asynchronously, at a time of the student's choosing. I interviewed Sandra 15 years ago when we were organising the World Computer Congress in Canberra.


Written for educators seeking to engage students in collaboration and communication about authentic scenarios, The power of role-based e-learning offers helpful, accessible advice on the practice and research needed to design online role play. Drawing on the experiences of world-leading practitioners and citing an array of worldwide examples, it is a readable, non-technical, and comprehensive guide to the design, implementation, and evaluation of this exciting teaching approach.

Issues discussed include:

  • designing effective online role plays
  • defining games, simulations and role plays
  • moderating engaging and authentic role-based e-learning activities
  • assessment and evaluation.

The power of role-based e-learning offers a careful analysis of the strengths and learning opportunities of online role play, and is realistic about possible difficulties. Providing guidance for both newcomers and experienced professionals who are developing their online teaching repertoire, it is an invaluable resource for teachers, trainers, academics, and educational support staff involved in e-learning.

About the Author

Professor Sandra Wills is Executive Director of Learning and Teaching at University of Wollongong and founder of Project EnRoLE.

Dr. Elyssebeth Leigh is Director of FutureSearch, a learning games and simulations design business in Australia.

Albert Ip is Technical and Development Director of Fablusi P/L (Australia), a company specialising in online role play simulation platforms.

Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Foreword

Guest Preface


1. Games, simulations and role plays

2. Examples of role-based e-learning

3. Designing online role plays

4. Designing the problem

5. Designing the rules and roles

6. Moderating online role play

7. Platforms for online role play

8. Assessing learning in online role play

9. Evaluating and researching online role play

10. Future trends for role-based e-learning

Appendix A. Contacts for role play examples

Appendix B. Chapter reflections and review

Appendix C. A ready-made role play


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