Dell'Aquila, Elena (2013) Transferring Psycho-pedagogical Role-Play in Digital Environments: Tools and Experiences. [Tesi di dottorato]


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Item Type: Tesi di dottorato
Resource language: English
Title: Transferring Psycho-pedagogical Role-Play in Digital Environments: Tools and Experiences
Date: 2 April 2013
Number of Pages: 200
Institution: Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
Department: Studi Umanistici
Scuola di dottorato: Scienze psicologiche e pedagogiche
Dottorato: Scienze psicologiche e pedagogiche
Ciclo di dottorato: 25
Coordinatore del Corso di dottorato:
Date: 2 April 2013
Number of Pages: 200
Keywords: E-learning, soft skills, role-play simulation
Settori scientifico-disciplinari del MIUR: Area 11 - Scienze storiche, filosofiche, pedagogiche e psicologiche > M-PSI/01 - Psicologia generale
Area 11 - Scienze storiche, filosofiche, pedagogiche e psicologiche > M-PSI/04 - Psicologia dello sviluppo e psicologia dell'educazione
Aree tematiche (7° programma Quadro): TECNOLOGIE DELL'INFORMAZIONE E DELLA COMUNICAZIONE > Macchine "più intelligenti", servizi migliori
SCIENZE SOCIOECONOMICHE E UMANISTICHE > Crescita, impiego e competitività in una società della conoscenza
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2013 11:17
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2016 01:00

Collection description

Since its origins, role-play technique has been adapted and applied in various ways to different settings and contexts, and for different purposes. It is used in many disciplines, such as psychology, organizational change, sociology and pedagogy. Psychodrama, sociodrama and simulation settings represent different implementations of role-play, which have been exploited in psychotherapy, education, business, organizational and training contexts. Role-play has been extensively recognised as a powerful technique for enhancing the traditional training practice, boosting participants’ learning experience, facilitating knowledge, and promoting skills and competencies in groups, as well as personal development. Thus, the term role-play describes a range of activities characterised by involving participants in “as-if” or simulated actions and circumstances (Yardley-Matwiejczuk, 1997) that project into an imaginative-creative process established through the interpretation of a real or fictional role in a specific given situation (Aronson & Carlsmith, 1968). The term role-playing was originally introduced by J.L. Moreno in 1934 after his experience and findings with the “theatre of spontaneity” (1921). Moreno discovered the therapeutic potential of the activity of dramatic improvisation, as the enactments had positive effects on the personal lives of actors involved in the representations. Due to its intrinsic value of being a flexible method that allows participants to experience realistic learning scenarios in a way that best suits specific needs, situations and learning styles, recently there has been increased interest in role-play developed for virtual environments. It is interesting that during the last few years, role-play technique and its principles have been represented in digital environments and thus used in relevant context of applications by different professionals according to specific needs and purposes. In literature it is possible to find various and diverse examples showing how role-play transferred in virtual environments have been used and applied. From the perspective of this work we will specifically focus on the so called Educational Multi Player On line Role Play Games (EMORPG), as they embed the methodology and the psycho-pedagogical principles originally expired by J. Moreno. More specifically we are interested in online role-play conceived and designed around the presence of a group of players interacting with each other through the presence of a digital alter-ego (an avatar) and under the supervision and guidance of a role-play director, as we have seen these as key aspects for meaningful learning experiences. Each actor (or learner) is represented by an avatar that interacts with other avatars controlled by real people in a virtual 3D scene. The director (who according to the context of role-play setting applications, can be a psychologist, teacher, trainer, educator, consultant or therapist) can play different roles. They can write a storyboard as a playwright; assign roles to players as a casting director; guide the action in the performances, as a movie director; and finally, they can give personalised feedback to the group by recording and analysing significant part of the scene of the enacted performance (feedback and debriefing phase). This work will describe two studies. The first will examine how educational online role-play games (EMORPG) have been applied by professionals in their specific practice, as a medium for learning and change. The second will focus on the specific use of the Eutopia platform for the training of soft skills development within a specific setting of Social Enterprises. The first chapters of this work explore principles and applications of role-play technique in both traditional settings and digital environments. Specifically chapter 1 will be dedicated to the description of principles of Psychodrama, and Sociodrama along with their most common adaptations and applications. In particular, because role-plays have found particular application in relational contexts, typically in such areas as soft skills training, definitions of soft skills and their importance for both individual and group development will be analysed. In chapter 2 a review of online role-play examples, main features and properties of EMORPG e-learning platforms and its application in different contexts will be described. Also examples of two EMORPG represented by the E-drama and Eutopia platforms will be more specifically illustrated. Chapter 3 will specifically focus on Eutopia, as it has been applied to different contexts and is still an active platform currently hosting role-play for Social Enterprises setting (S-cube project). We will examine how Eutopia has been utilised for designing role-play scenarios built around the topics of negotiation, intercultural mediation and soft skills development, example of which have been explored within SISINE, Proactive, Eutopia MT and S-cube projects. Chapter 4 gives voice to professionals’ experience (educators, trainers, pedagogists and psychologists) whom have adopted online role-play in their professional practice, with the aim to highlight both the strengths and difficulties of using EMORPG. For this purpose an online survey has been created and distributed. Results of the questionnaire will be presented and discussed here. Chapters 5 and 6 will be mainly focused on the newest application of the Eutopia platform in a Social Enterprise setting with the aim to promote soft skills development of different pivotal Social Enterprise actors. Chapter 5 will specifically outline the S-cube overall project rational as well as the European policy context regarding Social Enterprise backgrounds. Chapter 6 will be dedicated to the description of findings and results from a study regarding training need analysis on Social Enterprise group targets of three different European countries involved in the project.


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