Teaching groupwork at a distance using an asynchronous online role-play
Keywords:<i>distance learning</i>, <i>online role-play</i>, <i>groupwork</i>, <i>experiential learning</i>, <i>human service education</i>
Given the proliferation of online groups and growth in distance learning, there is a pressing need to develop best practices for teaching group work online. The following paper explores the implementation of an asynchronous role-play exercise conducted in online undergraduate classes about group work. The overall purposes were to help students learn about group stages and dynamics through participating in an experiential exercise and further develop their knowledge about online groups. Thematic analyses of students’ reflections on their online role-play experience are discussed, considerations regarding the complex role of the instructor are explored, educational benefits and related challenges are analyzed, and guidelines are presented to facilitate best practices when implementing an online role-play exercise.