Serious Play mini conference - 2nd May 2018

Last modified by Kate Wright on 04/05/2018

May 04 2018

Montage of images from the Serious Play conferenceFollowing on from the 2017 Learning and Teaching Conference, May’s Academy Mini-Conference was an afternoon dedicated to using serious play in teaching.

We spent a lot of the afternoon talking about Lego with three presentations exploring different ways of using Lego in teaching.

Sarah Higgins from iMLA described a teaching session on archive administration. Previously the session had been a standard lecture on archive design standards.  Using specialist Lego Sarah transformed it an interactive building event. Before the session, students read the relevant standards, and then used this reading to design a new archive building.

Anita Saycell from Information Services gave us a presentation on library induction activity which involved both a treasure hunt around important library locations and a final Lego building challenge. Through the activity students were able to explore library facilities for themselves rather than listen to a talk.

Chris Loftus and Helen Miles from Computer Science set us the challenge they give to their students – visualise a computer game in Lego. Using Lego we had to solve an authentic problem and then explain our decisions to the room. This aimed to help us to understand the objects needed to successfully programme the game.

Moving away from Lego, Liz Titley from Education introduced a third year assignment which requires students to design a board game. The game, based around the idea of assessment for learning, should encourage self-reflection, evaluation and learning development for in its target learners.

Although all of the sessions were different, a number of common themes emerged. Teaching using serious play is highly participatory, collaborative, engaging, and encourages reflection. The advantages to the students were also clear. Serious play activities require students to work together to solve authentic problems and scenarios, share their ideas and defend their decisions, and think in new ways to create new solutions.

Recordings of the presentations are available and resources for staff interested in using serious play for teaching are on our Trello board. Tweets from the event are also available.

(Written by Kate Wright)

Created by Kate Wright on 04/05/2018
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