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How Role-Play Activities Improve Training

Student learning on a computer.

We’ve long known that learning by doing is an effective and interesting way to gain new skills and knowledge. According to the National Training Laboratories, we remember 5% of what we only hear, but a whopping 75% of what we do! This is just as important, or more so, when it comes to training employees. In fact, one study reported that “hands-on activities . . . contribute toward the enhancement of employees’ skills and knowledge, and encourage changes in attitude and behaviour.”

Role-based learning activities are especially valuable for food workers in applying food safety principles to specific job situations. Also called experiential, simulation, or scenario-based learning, role-play instruction is a great solution to the challenge of training many employees very quickly. Scenarios give students a low-risk environment to test their understanding, and scenarios take less time to practice than they would in reality. By setting up a scenario as a story, the activity can strengthen the memories of training concepts and make it more likely for the student to remember these lessons when they’re at work.

While you may not have the time to train each employee about every action they might make on the job, role-play activities can help food workers develop judgment skills that allow them to make critical decisions on their own. Paired with engaging storytelling and high-quality illustrations, role-plays also cater to many types of learning styles and provide training that’s not only practical but also interesting—a valuable asset indeed!

You can get a glimpse of our own training activities through our Food Handler Training course preview. Check out the courses offered by StateFoodSafety to see how we employ role-play and other activities to create “A Better Learning Experience” for students of all backgrounds!

Diana Shelton

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