Online role-play moderators can read most communications
between roles in the online role-play. With this capability,
online role-play moderators watch students moves
and must maintain an overview of the general direction
of the role-play progression. Online role-play moderators
need to help when something goes wrong, or if a role
is not advancing satisfactorily. Online role-play moderators
must respond to help requests from the students but
must judge whether to provide or decline requests based
on the learning objectives set in the online role-play.
While the online role-play moderator should communicate
a sense of support to the roles, it is important that
roles do not become over-dependent on the online role-play moderator to advance the role-play.
When you feel the need to step in as a moderator,
don't. Try nudging other characters to do the work
you need to do on the 'needy one'. Remember ownership
of the role-play by the learners deepens their commitment
and their learning experience.
Simon O'Mallon, DMIT
"Duty of care" is a notion commonly mentioned
and practised by teachers of younger children. Some
role-plays are psychologically intense and it is important
that the online role-play moderator understands the
risk and likelihood of mixing the virtual world with
the real world. While we like to see transfer of experience
from the simulated world into the real world, it is
critically important that students do not confuse actions
in the simulated world (especially violent actions)
with actions in a real world. In the simulated world,
some actions are allowed as a means to study and evaluate
the consequence of such actions. Some of these actions
may be morally unacceptable or illegal in the real world.
The online role-play moderator must ensure that students
understand the purpose in allowing these actions to
happen in the simulated world.
EXAMPLE from World Politics in Transition RP
Roni Linser, UMelb
Duty of Care: Be prepared for the unexpected! Give
learners options - to change roles, withdraw, access
a moderator out of role, should some buttons be pressed.
Marie Jasinski, DMIT
Consider carefully if the role-play may require psychological
support services eg sexual harassment role-plays,
domestic violence etc and provide obvious and reliable
support services. This may be by hyperlink initially,
with a process for real-world contact if needed.
Simon O'Mallon, DMIT