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The methodologies presented in this paper have been put into practice throughout the 2016/2017 academic year of the Market Research course, 3rd year of Degree in Tourism. Being part of an educational innovation project within the Novice Teacher Training Program conducted by Universitat Jaume I of Castellón (Spain).

From previous experiences teaching theoretical classes in the area of marketing and market research, it can be stated that by involving students with the development of the class, the process of learning and understanding of the contents improves. For this reason and with the intention of focusing efforts on facilitating student learning, the possibility of introducing elements that reduce linearity in theoretical classes of a more academic is proposed.

The main objective of this project is therefore, to obtain better learning results out of the theoretical classes and also a better absorption of the contents by the students. To this end, during the development of each section of topics, a role-playing activity was introduced as a complementary teaching methodology in order to stimulate and motivate the classroom.

According to the literature review, role-playing techniques have long been used as an innovative, engaging, and active learning method in which students spontaneously act out characters assigned to them within a social scenario (Thiagarajan 1996, O’Toole & Dunn 2002, McCaslin 2005). Practitioners and theorists alike have suggested that role playing produces numerous benefits. It has been argued, for example, that role-based simulations promote classroom interaction and motivation, produce a more internal locus of control and sense of mastery, allow discovery of the strengths, weaknesses, and consequences of certain behaviors or attitudes, and provide a means for exploring divergent points of view.

Along with our experience during semester, we observed a motivation increase among the students and also a better empathy and spirit of collaboration among peers. The combination of the didactic techniques treated has not only resulted in a better development of specific competences of the subject, but also stimulates a whole series of transversal competences. At the individual level we can emphasize the capacity of critical thinking, self-motivation or the improvement of communicative skills. In addition, other competencies have also been worked out at group level such as the ability to work as a team and the ability to delegate and collaborate with colleagues.