You can create a great role-play video with real actors or animated characters, but no role-play video can work the way you intend it to without a fair amount of planning, some brainstorming and an effective script.
Role-playing is a proven learning method because students can immediately apply the learning content in a real-world context. The textbook definition of role-play says that “role-play is a learning technique that lets students explore realistic situations by interacting with other people in a controlled way”.
Similarly, role-play videos can add a sense of reality to a training process. We already know that everyone loves video and that this format offers higher retention. Henceforth, bringing role-play to a video setup is a great idea.
There are different formats to choose from: you can use animated characters, actors or real staff members.
As for your learning objectives, your role-play videos can focus on competences and skills that are necessary for a certain role (leadership; sales scenarios; customer care interactions…), behaviours that you want to instill to facilitate change or promote the alignment between personal and corporate values, or even hot topics that spark debate and will boost critical thinking and informed decision making, like unconscious bias on the workplace. In fact, when it comes to controversial subjects, video role-playing can bring many different scenarios to the table. This will broaden your learners’ horizons and help them look for the bigger picture when it comes to complex affairs.
5 steps to create an effective role-playing training video
Step 1: Identify the issue
Be very specific about the problem you want to solve or the roadblock you want to avoid. Is it a behavioural issue? Will you need a new procedure? A clarification on a task or process? We recommend running a brainstorming session to understand what the necessary change is and what will success look like.
Step 2: Create the narrative
Once you know what problem you are trying to solve, you need to come up with a story that can represent it well enough. Remember that you need a timeline: your action should have a starting moment, a development phase and a clear ending. Your emotional charge and intensity should vary according to the importance of each moment. If transformation is what you want to promote, build up your intensity to culminate in the moment that it happens.
Step 3: Build your characters
Your characters should serve the overall purpose of your training. If you want to show sales skills, create a salesperson and bring it to life in a real-life scenario. If you want to make people reflect and understand conflicting perspectives, place two opposing characters in a heated debate. Try to create personas that seem real — they should have feelings, opinions and motivations — and that can successfully appeal to your audience, but don’t use someone real. As you are looking for a caricature of the behaviour/skill/type you want to describe in your training you can exaggerate on the opinions and motivations.
Step 4: Design the environment
Your role-play scene should take place somewhere that seems familiar and as real as possible: an actual meeting room, the cafeteria, … places your learners will recognise. This adds credibility to the situation.
Step 5: Highlight the learnings
At the end of the role-play, it is important to have a debriefing moment that calls out the main message and helps learners take in the new skill or knowledge you want to convey. We recommend having the trainer present this summary.
We hope you’ve found these instructions useful. To help with the role-playing recording preparation, our Digital Learning Solutions team has prepared a template that will help you be ready to take on each role-playing recording project. It covers everything you need to consider before jumping into action and it is a very useful tool from inception to conclusion. You can always consider hiring a team of professional actors or enlisting the help of an instructional design team.
Get in touch and let us know what you’re thinking!
You may also find interesting:
How to create a video training course: the step by step guide (eBook)
5 ways to overcome a small budget for video training (article)
Free tools for low-cost professional looking video production (article)
Course Production Pipeline template (excel template)
Would you like to learn more about how bugle can help you improve your training programme?