Role Playing


Authors: Dena Plemmons and Michael Kalichman, 2008

A primary purpose of role-play exercises is for participants to imagine themselves actually facing the ethical challenges presented by the exercise. Students are asked to not just discuss a scripted case, but to take on roles as specific characters facing a conflict in the conduct of research. Because participants may take on roles other than their real positions, this is also an opportunity to see a case from perspectives of others who may be engaged in a dispute. Role play exercises can be played out in a variety of ways, for example:

It should be noted that not all students will be comfortable with being placed in an "acting" role, particularly if asked to do so in front of the rest of their class. However, if presented appropriately, and used as only one of several different kinds of tools to promote discussion, role-play exercises can be both fun and useful.


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