Role-Play simulation is valuable in undergraduate legal education

The paper:

Waters, Ben. (2016). “A part to play”: the value of role-play simulation in undergraduate legal education. The Law Teacher, 50(2), 172-194. doi:10.1080/03069400.2016.1162404.


This study explores the impacts of increased student participation in role-play simulation within the undergraduate law curriculum of the UK. It reveals that role-play simulation is valuable to enable undergraduate law students to learn about the law curriculum. The research was conducted in a final-year undergraduate course, Civil and Commercial Medication (CCM), over the period of ten weeks. Data was collected primarily through interviews and focus groups, and additional data was gathered through observation. This research has five findings. First, students can immerse themselves in authentic situations and thus are able to achieve deep learning through role-play simulation. Secondly, students are encouraged and motivated to learn; and thirdly, the confidence of students grow in role-play simulation. Fourth, students can develop reflective skills; and finally, student participants consider that the role-play simulation generally helps them to develop the graduate skills such as teamwork, organizational managements and communication skills. It is thus suggested by this research that a balanced legal education at the undergraduate level should be provided, which would combine the traditional didactic learning and teaching approaches with experimental methods, for instance, role-play simulation.


About the photo: The entrance to Faculty of Law at The University of Hong Kong, filmed in 2017

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