Student engagement occurs when students are significantly motivated to invest in their learning behaviorally, cognitively, and emotionally. Although research has shown that higher engagement leads to deeper learning, the importance of student engagement in role plays has been underestimated in negotiation pedagogy. More specifically, role plays that fail to provide authentic experiences or to capture students' interest may lead to suboptimal learning due to a lack of engagement. To help foster learning from role plays, we propose two frames of reference for improving their design: ecological validity and vested interest. Using these frameworks, we suggest strategies to create more authentic and interesting role plays and thus promote richer learning for students.