Aug 242011

Roleplay – Toolkit: Reviewing Hand Multimedia’s Roleplay

Roleplay: By Joe Ganci, August 23, 2011, via Learning Solutions Magazine
Roleplay is clearly a tool built around business and training needs rather than around technical developers. There is a strong need to deliver less linear-learning and more case-based decision-driven scenarios.
Welcome to my inaugural monthly column, Roleplay, for Learning Solutions Magazine! It’s an honor to be counted among my prestigious peers each month. My focus will be on the tools of our trade, hence the title of my column: “Toolkit.” Over the past year, Learning Solutions Magazine has published several articles of mine covering tools. Those were in-depth reviews. This column instead will be short and sweet, getting right to the point.

 Each month, I will cover a tool that I believe will have an effect on our industry, usually for the better. Some of these tools will be brand new, or at least new to you. Other columns will review substantial updates to tools that have been around for a while. Know of a tool that you want me to cover? Write me at

This Month’s Tool: Hand Multimedia’s Roleplay

Let me introduce you to a tool that is not yet well known: Roleplay by Hand Multimedia, whose headquarters are in Christchurch, New Zealand. With aptly named Roleplay, you can quickly and easily create online, sophisticated, decision-driven scenarios. At last year’s eLearning Guild DevLearn conference, Hand Multimedia walked away with the prestigious Brandon Hall Bronze for Best Innovation in Learning Technology while the product was still in Beta.

Figure 1 shows a typical case scenario.

Figure 1. A learner scenario built with Roleplay

Hand Multimedia designed Roleplay as an enterprise product, and it has quickly started taking hold in New Zealand. They signed on the biggest players in the Australasian market, from sectors including health, banking, telecommunications, retail, insurance, and aviation in a paid pilot program. These companies have gone on to purchase Roleplay as an integral part of their eLearning toolkit.

Who is the typical developer for this tool? Roleplay is aimed directly at instructional designers and trainers. It does not require scripting or programming. Its interface, like any other, takes a little time to learn, but it is clearly laid out and quite intuitive.

Developing in Roleplay



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