Denver, CO

Introducing play to higher education reduces stress, forms deeper connection course material — Denver study

Mile High News

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DENVER, CO – A new study by the University of Colorado Denver discovered that students are more engaged and driven when taught through playful pedagogy than the standard lecture-based method.

While many higher education teachers assume that the play method is only used in elementary education, University of Colorado Denver counseling researcher Lisa Forbes argues that it is critical in post-secondary education to improve student learning results as well.

During the spring 2020 semester, Forbes observed students in her course between the age of 23-43. She used games in all her lessons at the start of each class that isn’t always limited to that day’s topic to introduce playful pedagogy.

The study findings imply that when play is recognized and employed in the learning process, it creates a unique and powerful classroom experience. It also found that playful learning-based increased positive emotion and connection within the students in the class.

Students are also reported to have a significantly greater chance of development in a highly engaged workplace. Additionally, they have a greater capacity for information retention.

Many lecturers prefer lecture-based learning, in which the lecturer provides all of the input. This type of learning is opposed to the aims that educators set out to attain. And, as a result of the stigma attached to play, it is being excluded from higher education.

“As we grow older, we’re conditioned to believe that play is trivial, childish, and a waste of time,” said Forbes. “This social script about play leads to it being excluded from higher education. A more interactive learning approach leads to a deeper and more rigorous connection to the material.”

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