Please note that this site will be decommissioned on the 28th of October 2022. If you're using this as part of current educational delivery, contact Tim O'Connor ( Online Role-play (Fishbowl) | Learning Design Pattern Collection
Hide shortcuts

Online Role-play (Fishbowl)

Design Pattern

: Program, Graduate employability, Learning engagement/activities, WIL, Blackboard (online learning), Online Collaboration, Blackboard, Communication skills, Employability skills, Online communication, Online groupwork

Online Role-play (Fishbowl)

Kathy Douglas
December 2015

Online role-play ‘Fishbowl’ method incorporates the fundamentals of role-play and student collaboration. The students are presented with a scenario and actively contribute to the conversations within the role-play as part of their specified role or character. Students then move in and out of character as part of their designated role. When students are not participating in the role-play, they have the opportunity to watch the performance of others as well as test their own skills and knowledge.

The ‘Fishbowl’ role-play approach allows for asynchronous, performance, observation and reflection. It can be combined with online discussion and collaboration using discussion boards or forums. Online ‘Fishbowl’ role-plays can be adapted to suit the technology available. It can be implemented as an asynchronous learning experience using Blackboard, Blogs or Wiki’s or can be adapted to suit synchronous collaboration using a virtual classroom model. Using an asynchronous approach provides the opportunity for students to discourse on theory and practice as the role-play is taking place. In combination with online discussion tools, students engage
throughout the role-play experience.