Students get to grips with Lego to improve brain power
Dr Bianca Mitu from the University of Wolverhampton, recently led the first ‘Lego Serious Play’ session for students – and the theory behind the study is far from child’s play.
The class, which saw first year Broadcast Journalism students get to grips with the classic construction blocks, was in aid of getting everyone comfortable with understanding complex intellectual concepts.
As well as helping students to understand theories and philosophies, Lego was also used as a way of helping students become more engaged, and enabling them to be better aware of how to express their ideas in a unique way.
Lego Serious Play is a teaching technique that has been around for almost a decade, and although primarily used in business, the notion of using Lego as a learning aid is one that has now started to make its way in academia.
Students who attended the session were invited to look at how they could see themselves as journalists and then asked to construct Lego models exploring concepts like genre and audience, and the challenges that journalists face today.
Dr Bianca Mitu, Senior Lecturer in TV, Broadcasting and Journalism, said: “It is a very interesting and instructive hands-on learning process that deepens reflection, supports dialogue and critical thinking and leads to a meaningful understanding of the contemporary world. I am not going to turn all my lectures into Lego workshops but I use it occasionally because I like to experiment, I like to offer my students the possibility to be creative.
“I understand that some would question whether using Lego play in lectures is really useful in higher education, but it is rather clear from the research that has been conducted so far that Lego is a great engagement tool designed to enhance innovation and performance, and if used right it can truly challenge students to think and assess theories and situations in a positive, constructive and interactive way.”
Shannon, first year Broadcasting and Journalism student who attended the Lego Session, said: “I think it is a great idea to use Lego at University. Although it may seem like something only children do, in reality it can be a really useful way of making your ideas come to life, and therefore, understanding what it is you’re trying to discuss.”
Dr Phil Gravestock, Dean at the College of Learning and Teaching, said: “The use of Lego in higher education can be an effective way of promoting and supporting social interaction between students. It also offers a multisensory approach to visual thinking, creativity and engaging students with a topic.”
Further sessions for the Broadcasting and Journalism degree are currently underway, with Dr Bianca Mitu set to take part in discussions regarding Lego Serious Play in higher education at the Higher Education Academy conference in Brighton, which will take place at the beginning of March.
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Date Issued: 22.02.2016