Although the use of human simulation has recently gained much attention in social work education, many schools continue to rely on peer role-plays as a predominant teaching method. This qualitative study examined BSW students' perceptions of simulation versus role-play when learning interviewing skills. Individual interviews were conducted with second-year BSW students (n=17). The following four themes emerged as to how students view simulation versus role-play as an approach for developing interviewing skills: (1) the relationship in role-play versus simulation, (2) normalizing skills acquisition, (3) authenticity of simulation, and (4) seriousness of simulation. This study suggests that observational approaches within these pedagogical methods normalize the stress of learning interviewing skills and that social work educators need to find ways to increase the level of authenticity of the role-play format.

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