Part 4: Finding & solving problems through play & games

This part of the course presents an exciting opportunity to immerse ourselves into learning through play and collaborative problem-finding and problem-solving, to generate innovative solutions that create stimulating learning experiences.


  1. Think of a tricky concept you have difficulty explaining to your students. Capture this in your portfolio and bring it with you to the session/add them to your portfolio and briefly explain your rationale.

  2. Play a board game at home or with colleagues and capture how you felt by drawing an image. Add this to your portfolio.

  3. Read: Chapter 3: Connecting Creativity, Imagination and Play in: James, A. & Brookfield S. (2014) Engaging Imagination. Helping Students become creative and reflective thinkers, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, pp. 47-66.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)

By the end of this section, you will have had the opportunity to:

  1. Critically discuss Problem-Based Learning, opportunities and challenges
  2. Explore game-based learning, theory and applications, in higher education
  3. Critically reflect on how game-based learning could be used in your professional practice to enhance student learning

Suggested readings

  1. Learning in and for the 21st centurey by John Seely Brown at

2. Understanding Problem-Based Learning by Terry Barrett at the whole book is available at

3. Game-based learning: Whitton, N. & Moseley, A. (2012). Using Games to Enhance Learning and Teaching.  New York: Routledge. >booksite with some resources

4.Play in HE: Nerantzi, C. & James, A. (eds.) (2015) Exploring Play in Higher Education, Creative Academic Magazine, Issue 2a, Issue 2b, June 2015


Share your activities via the #creativeHE community at and engage with others in a conversation around these.

To earn a badge, engage with at least one of the following activities and capture the evidence in your portfolio.

1 -ILO1 - Watch the following clip, reflect on the question and respond in your portfolio. Remember to potential links to playful learning and/or games.

2 -ILO2- Watch the following talk by Dr Nicola Whitton as a trigger for exploration. Carry out further reading linked to game-based learning and problem-based learning (see suggested readings), and design your own presentation/poster/animation/video, that captures what you discover. Add your digital artefact to your portfolio.

3 -ILO3- Critically reflect on using games in your own professional context. Briefly describe the current situation at your place of work. Identify opportunities for the introduction of game-based/problem-based approaches linked to a specific unit/module/programme based on an informed pedagogic rationale that would be of value for your students. Capture your reflections in your portfolio.


Now that you have captured some initial ideas, explore your ideas further and identify possible value for student learning. Remember to make reference to relevant literature. Capture your reflections in your portfolio and share with others.


Gamification: Create a game with your students using Kahoot. Click here to find out more. Also available for iOS and Android mobile use. No excuse not to try this!


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