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Designing and evaluating an online role play in conflict management

Stefan Hrastinski (Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden)
Jason Watson (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)

Campus-Wide Information Systems

ISSN: 1065-0741

Article publication date: 28 August 2009




This paper aims to identify, through a literature review, key issues regarding how online role plays can be designed and to apply them when designing a role play on conflict management.


By drawing on the key issues identified in the literature review, a role play on conflict management was designed and evaluated. Data were collected by developing a survey that focused on perceived learning, participation and satisfaction.


Overall, a majority of the students felt that they learned and participated in the role play. The most positive finding was that the students were satisfied with their role play experience.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers are urged to further develop the dimensions and measures of online role play success. The measures that were developed for evaluating perceived learning, participation and satisfaction with role plays can be further developed and tested. It is suggested that the effects on learning need to be further explored.

Practical implications

It is suggested that teachers take the identified key issues of online role play design into account. An important challenge seems to be to encourage students to reflect and do additional reading and research in relation with online role plays.


Online collaboration is commonly argued as beneficial from an e‐learning perspective. However, a challenge for research and practice is to learn how collaborative e‐learning activities may be developed. This paper contributes by focusing on how online role plays can be designed and evaluated.



Hrastinski, S. and Watson, J. (2009), "Designing and evaluating an online role play in conflict management", Campus-Wide Information Systems, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 287-297.



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