Role-Play Simulation as An Effective and Socially Dynamic Learning Strategy for VET
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This article presents a rationale for why role-play simulation is an effective and socially dynamic learning strategy for Vocational Education and Training (VET). The factors of generational change, world of work demands due to global economics, and rapid technological developments are frontiers for educationists to consider during the process of learning. Role-play simulation offers learners not only the opportunity to practice problem-solving in practitioner contexts but also to engage in transformative learning through focusing on their interpersonal communication skills. A study conducted at Elyna Designers limited, in Kampala, Uganda on Students enrolled for their industrial training revealed that they lacked skills to operate equipment, knowledge on a product design process and group dynamics considered vital in both learning environments and work places. The group comprised thirty (30) students; fifteen (15) interior design students on internship in Computer Aided Design (CAD), seven (7) on Internship in surface and product design, and eight (8) Interior Design students on internship in soft furnishing. The company supervisor introduced students to role-play simulation learning and group work tasks while monitoring them during the implementation process. Work activities included: designing the compound, space planning the studios and, designing fabrics for the soft furnishings and attires for the different categories of company clients. Through a collaborative learning approach during the internship, it was evidenced that products produced by the interns demonstrated levels of professional competencies attained through role-play simulation. Overall, hands-on training and role-play simulation should be emphasized while students are receiving institutionalized training in order to avoid the lack of workplace operational skills during internship.