Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Wills, S et al, Encouraging role based online learning environments, in Atkinson, RJ, McBeath, C, Soong, SKA & Cheers, C (eds), ICT: Providing choices for learners and learning, Proceedings of ascilite Singapore 2007, Centre for Educational Development, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 2-5 December. Conference information available here.


This paper reports on progress in the first year of a two year project called Project EnROLE (Encouraging Role Based Online Learning Environments) which is funded by the Carrick Institute for Learning & Teaching in Higher Education in Australia. The project aims to link a small but growing number of university teachers who are using online role play, building them into a community via three strategies: developing a repository of sharable/reusable role play learning designs with an associated peer review process; facilitating evaluation and publication of papers about their role plays (for example the role play stream at this conference); and establishing sustainable national and international role play partnerships. The project also aims to double the number of online role play designers in two years by scaffolding beginners in a four stage process before designing their own role play: awareness raising; participating in another designer’s role play; evaluating another designer’s role play; and moderating another designer’s role play. The strategy for growing the community takes a multi-pronged approach, firstly emphasising personal interaction by fostering university-based clusters of online role play designers, then building into state networks for both face to face and online professional development events. Together, the state networks in the second year of the project will form a national community of practice with international presence via the project’s website and repository.