National Mediator Accreditation is actually not a VET qualification. It is offered under a voluntary industry standard established by the Mediators Standards Board (www.msb.org.au)
The Standards for NMAS Accreditation Courses require the student to participate in 9 role plays (a minimum of three as the mediator).
From the point of view of the training provider there isn’t a lot of cost in people being role players. We really only need to count the number of role plays with mentoring / feedback required when we are determining our delivery costs.
The course is either delivered as a workshop or series of workshops or online.
Some workshop trainers do wandering feedback during the early role plays but the best ratio of trainers to students is one to three.
Some training providers get students do recorded role plays at home with friends and relatives or other students online for later feedback.
We think that is poor instructional design. We usually offer our course fully online although sometimes offer blended delivery or role play days.
We really like doing online video role plays because it is easy to record the role play so the student can review themselves against the feedback and pick up some of the areas for improvement in a way that overcomes their cognitive resistance. I’ve often provided feedback to a student only to have them not really believe that they did or didn’t do something. That is understandable as in the moment it is hard to distinguish between what you intended to do and what you actually did. Recording the video role play is the trainers best friend in this regard and really helps students with calibrating and improving their skills.
We think that all of the role plays are important so we want to be providing live coaching for every one.
Allowing students to do role play and then only giving feedback later to one student was something we used to do when we initially started training. We quickly discovered that it isn’t a good idea and now provide live mentoring and feedback. We found that we got “thought viruses” where one student would do something that looked OK to the others but was inappropriate. Then the students who were role players would incorporate that, wrong but OK looking, thing and also make the mistake spreading it to other role players.
The other problem with delayed marking of role play is that they take as long or longer than the role play itself (90 minutes) and that is a big chunk of time to find in a day to do a review. It is really easy to get a backlog of videoed role play marking if you are not doing live assessment so students wait days or even weeks for feedback.