COIL is proud to support the Using Virtual Roleplay Modules to Accelerate Student Mastery of Effective Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Resolution Strategies: Phase 2 project through our Research Initiation Grant Program.
Nearly one in three students in the United States today is negatively impacted by bullying. Teachers can play a critical role in stopping bullying-related violence. However, many teachers report they are reluctant to become involved in peer conflicts for fear of “making the situation worse.” Live roleplay, which is typically used to teach these skills, is inefficient, frequently ineffective, and inaccessible for teacher candidates in distance education. Teachers are expected to develop these communication and conflict resolution skills on the job, and many never do. Virtual roleplay can simulate intelligent, authentic conversations, but it may be most effective when presented in developmentally sequenced modules. The purpose of this project is to help teacher candidates to respond effectively to classroom bullying by providing them with opportunities to interact with virtual roleplay (VRP) modules. The VRP modules will incorporate pre-conversation prompts and post-conversation reflections to teach a set of vital, targeted communication skills presented through a communication protocol addressing bullying. We hypothesize that practice with VRP modules will increase teacher candidates’ self-efficacy and skill in responding to school bullying. If effective, this technology could be expanded to accommodate simulations appropriate for other professions that might benefit from practice in having difficult conversations.
Deborah Schussler, Ed.D.
University Park, PA 16802