Importantly, by having the opportunity to practise potentially unsafe situations, students may be more prepared with knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about their safety.
Role plays allow interaction between students which requires them to seek solutions to real-life problems within a safe situation. Role plays involve practising communication skills and discovering what works personally for an individual and what does not work. There are many different levels of role play, and an appropriate level needs to be chosen for sensitive situations.
It is not appropriate or advised to create role plays about sensitive topics such as sexual abuse. In role plays which involve other forms of abuse, it is advisable that no student is placed in the situation of role playing an assault, as either the victim or the perpetrator.
There are a number of different role-play techniques which include freeze technique, role reversal, video playback, still images, hot seat. The use of puppets or sock puppets are also useful for students who find public performance confronting.
Whatever techniques are used it is crucial that both briefing and debriefing is carried out. Closing a lesson in a positive way is critical when teaching about sensitive issues. Discussions need to be summarised. Case studies or moral dilemmas should be brought to some point of resolution.
The digital tool selector provides templates and tools to support the use of ICT for storyboarding, use of video and audio to encourage role play and response to scenarios.