This study examines the design and evaluation of computer-based role-playing. For novices, a conventional role-play is a very complex learning situation. Computer-based role-playing is designed to simplify role-playing so that students can more effectively develop interpersonal skills. It is a gradual lead-in to, not a replacement of, conventional role-playing. An experiment is reported in which 41 students participated. The students were randomly distributed over two groups. Two instructional programs were compared, one with and one without computer-based role-playing. One major finding is that computer-based role-playing enhances interpersonal skills development by (a) practicing the use of a conversational model, (b) offering opportunities for reflection, (c) performing four protagonist roles, and (d) capturing individual contribution and learning.