PuzzlEd: Playful Learning




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Peer reviewed



This interactive Playful Activity Session presents our current novel endeavour, PuzzlEd, being developed by the successful Advance HE CATE (Spotlight) 2018 award winning team CrashEd (Angela O’Sullivan [NTF], Marie Bassford, Annette Crisp, Joanne Bacon, Mark Fowler, Marisol Martinez-Lees and Leisa Nichols-Drew). This innovative project, replicates the inter-disciplinary and constructivist team ethos of CrashEd, whereby our scholarship and knowledge, stemming from good practice, provides the pedagogic foundation of PuzzlEd as a learning, teaching and assessment tool. PuzzlEd provides a unique opportunity for participants, utilising the experiential and engaging principles of escape room activities, to learn new concepts, whilst developing teamwork skills. An array of innovative and creative teaching and learning approaches will be demonstrated to nurture problem solving skills and encourage lateral thinking. Additionally, the involvement of computerised avatars throughout the activity, highlights the theory of connectivism in our technology facilitated practice. Participants will find the challenge of the ‘hands-on’ puzzles immersive, building bridges across inter-disciplinary subjects and scaffolds of knowledge through the experiential learning of solving progressively complex and interlinked puzzles. Cohesively working together, groups of participants will also have the opportunity to work to their individual strengths and learning preferences, solving abstract puzzles, anagrams and a range of other practical logic problems to literally unlock the padlocks. In doing so, they will not only reveal formative assessment answers, but the key to successfully engaging students in fun, interdisciplinary tasks to embed learning. As in any escape room scenario, the task is against the clock. Therefore, participants are briefly introduced to the task to maximise actual participation time, with a subsequent 15 minute plenary discussion, to identify essential factors that make this imaginative approach transferable and engaging.



PuzzlEd, Escape Room, Puzzles, Avatar, Interdisciplinary


Nichols-Drew, L. et al. (2019) PuzzlEd: Playful Learning. Playful Learning Conference, Leicester 2019 - 60 minute interactive session.


Research Institute

Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research
Institute for Research in Criminology, Community, Education and Social Justice
Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)