Publication Details

This report was originally published as Wills, S et al, Encouraging role based online learning environments, The BLUE Report, Australian Learning and Teaching Council, 2009.


Project EnROLE has been a two year $200,000 ALTC project to encourage uptake of online role based learning environments, with particular focus on what is commonly referred to by us as role play. Role play is widely acknowledged to be a powerful teaching technique in face to face, blended and online teaching contexts and has been previously singled out as an example of good practice by ALTC predecessors: CAUT, CUTSD and AUTC. The project goal was to encourage uptake of online role based learning environments using the strategy of building a community of practice at university, state and national levels which would better reward and recognise teachers already using role play and scaffold teachers wanting to get started with role play. Starting with the core team based at 5 NSW universities, Project EnROLE’s community building activities have exceeded expectations, resulting in 26 outcomes (Table 1) involving hundreds of teachers Australia-wide, which affirms EnROLE’s Dissemination Model of cascading university clusters and state networks. The BLUE Report describes these outcomes and achievements in 4 sections representing 4 phases of the project: Building, Linking, Understanding and Extending. The key finding is that a good practice database (repository) cannot be built without simultaneously building a community of practice and that the role of connector/broker is essential for community development. The BLUE report serves as a guide for educators interested in the field of online role play to assist them in identifying and accessing available resources. It also provides guides and frameworks of a more generic nature about Peer Review, Partnerships, Fellowships, Leadership and Uptake.