This study examined the effects of an instructional program on 21-year-old students' interpersonal skills development (N = 104). The HyperCard 2.1 program ¿Telling bad news¿ could contain a conversational model that informed students about the main moments and actions in conducting a bad-news conversation. In addition, the program could vary the students' opportunities for reflection by slowing down the dialog. It was expected that the conversational-model-present groups and the high reflection groups would show more effective interpersonal skill acquisition, knowledge acquisition, and a more complete understanding of the skill (better tests results) than the conversational-model-absent groups and the low reflection groups. Both elements were found to affect the students' interpersonal skill development. The presence of a conversational model significantly improved the students' role-play, F(1, 94) = 8.79, p < .01, and their performance on the knowledge test, F(1, 94) = 115.28, p < .001. When also given opportunities for reflection, the students' performance in a roleplay and on the knowledge test improved even more, F(4, 91) = 2.69, p < .05. The instruction program with the presence of a conversational model in combination with opportunities for reflection is, therefore, considered as having the potential to assist in realizing effective gradual lead into interpersonal skills learning and instruction for novices.
Holsbrink-Engels, G. A. (1997). The effects of the use of a conversational model and opportunities for reflections in computer-based role playing. Computers in human behavior, 13(3), 409-436. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0747-5632(97)00017-4