Last week I was invited to give a seminar to OUCS and rather than a more usual games talk, I decided to consider the role of fun in learning. This is a topic that seems to come up regularly at meetings and events I attend, and one that polarises opinion, so I thought it might get some interesting discussion going. I wasn’t disappointed.
Regarding fun and learning, my argument (much truncated) is as follows:
- The concept of ‘fun’ is a red herring because it is too difficult to define, subjective, contextual, and there is little evidence (beyond the GBL rhetoric) that learners (and teachers) actually want learning to be fun.
- Instead, we should be focusing on: a) better understanding the nature of engagement and what we can learn from games that can be applied to education; and b) instilling a sense of playfulness in learning and supporting a culture of curiosity and experimentation.
The presentation slides are available here.