Whether in the typical hands-on approach or in a virtual elearning scenario, role playing is one of the most popular training techniques. Roleplaying is a fantastic method to train employees in hands-on scenarios.
The point of role playing is to put the participant into a scenario he or she isn’t completely familiar with and hopefully through trial and error, he or she can discover the proper way to fix the problem, rather than failing in a real world scenario. Proponents claim role play helps in building confidence, listening skills, and problem solving abilities.
The problem is, many companies are using hands-on role playing for scenarios that might not be suitable. Salesforce points out that in these scenarios, role playing requires our brain to focus on two things at the same time: acting out a character, while also trying to understand the new set of skills he or she is supposed to be demonstrating. Unfortunately, the brain isn’t built to do this.
Along with this brain struggle comes the problem of public embarrassment. Many coworkers may feel perfectly comfortable performing the task at hand, but when they have to act out a character and put on kind of “show” for their fellow co-workers, it may feel extremely uncomfortable to them.
Fortunately, elearning is able to fix these issues. In the past, elearning courses on many sensitive subjects, such as sexual harassment, workplace misconduct, or workplace discrimination were simply videos and involved very little user interaction and role playing. However, now many online courses offer more role playing and interaction. This allows for the oftentimes embarrassing acting in front of coworkers portion to be disregarded. At the same time, the benefits of confidence building, listening skills, and problem solving are given from the roleplaying factor of the online courses.