Playfulness in Higher Education

Wilson, A. and McEwan, M. (2019) Playfulness in Higher Education. Enhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship Conference, Edinburgh, UK, 18-19 Jul 2019.

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


Embedding playfulness in Higher Education yields exceptional levels of student satisfaction, engagement and attainment. The attributes and skills required to create such safe, playful and failure-friendly learning spaces will be shared, illuminated by an evidence-base for this transformative *playfulness pedagogy* in large mathematics cohorts. Participants will have the opportunity to experience playful activities firsthand, and to gain insights into the creation of their own resources. As an assessment-feedback tool, playful activities are both highly innovative, seriously authentic and support the development of agile, novel and metacognitive minds. This approach promotes deeper student engagement and supports transitions through scaffolding social interactions. Following Huizinga (1938), who argues that 'civilisation arises and unfolds in and as play', the pedagogy aligns the underlying driver of society with the development of graduate attributes/employability thus 'future-proofing' our students. More than just the advocacy of games in learning (which can be engaged with in a non-playful perfunctory state) this is a theory of knowledge generation and a framework to train highly adaptable students. When effectively implemented, assessment and feedback are a single social tool that permit metacognition to be monitored by individuals themselves, by the group, and externally. For students, this is instantaneous and continuous feedback on progress provided both by the activity and the group; for the teacher, playful activities expose the often internal dialogue of receiving feedback and expose it to assessment.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McEwan, Dr Michael and Wilson, Dr Andrew
Authors: Wilson, A., and McEwan, M.
College/School:University Services > Learning and Teaching Services Division
College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Mathematics
Related URLs:

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record