The term “play-based” learning conjures up images of preschoolers and elementary kids usually. Maybe they’re at the playground together or in the classroom following instructions of a game. Regardless, play has a notion of aimlessness to it. Yes, there is an objective, but it is typically looked at as an end before the means. Not only could we take that approach and apply it to learning (focusing on the journey of education rather than the results), but could we possibly introduce play into more of our learning in higher education?

First off, we should analyze the idea of play. It obviously has a connotation tied to aimlessness and enjoyment. But looking at how we behave on a macro level, we as humans are still very communal. The majority of things we learn are learned first hand. It is through observation, processing and our unique application that we grow to develop skills needed to play “the game.” Sometimes by activating the reptile part of our brain, we open ourselves to learning more than ever. It is through the subconscious process of information and the stimuli around us that we can use enjoyable play to better accrue information.

Take for instance an upcoming test. There is the traditional method, that everyone sits around and studies the information, relying solely on information. The alternative stands as well where a teacher or professor can find ways to gamify the lesson plan. Introducing elements like light-hearted competition, keeping track of points and active participation are all ways where by play can be introduced into the classroom. Even the alternative, students should be given the liberty to be offered a “play day” every so often during a semester. During this day, there can be an arrangement where everything is discussed except the subject at hand. Either that or students can go on a walk to active blood flow to the brain.

Still, stuck on gaming ideas in the classroom? Here’s 12 to check out and suggest to your teacher or professor in the future:

  • 1. Casino
  • 2. Pictonary
  • 3. Charades
  • 4. Twenty Objects
  • 5. Tongue Twisters
  • 6. I Messed Up
  • 7. First To The Front
  • 8. Bingo