I am delighted to be able to share with you my
free book and supporting documentation
on The Value of Play in Higher Education (2019-2022)
This study was an investigation into play-based and playful approaches to learning in across all disciplines in higher education. It had specific interests strands relating to the teaching of management theory and concepts and value systems attached to play.
Skip to What’s in it if you want to read about the project first before filling up your hard drive
Watch this movie from the launch presentation to have an audiovisual tour of the book’s contents
Click on Download on the main document below to access the full study
Skip to Supporting Documents for lots of background materials
Read about Tramorabilia as an alternative way of sharing research outcomes
Citation details: all these resources may be freely used, with attribution, under the Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. You can find out more about this here.
Citation for the main study account is:
James, A. (2022) The Use and Value of Play in HE: A Study. Independent scholarship supported by The Imagination Lab Foundation. Available online at https://engagingimagination.com
Please note:all links within the document were accurate at the time of publication (23/08/2022).
Design credits: Selin Soylu and Sila Sobaci: Selin’s Design Studio
What’s in it?
In The Value of Play in HE: A Study I try to marry playful design and expression with scholarly intent. I combine new primary data with exploration of the literature and practices of play in general and in HE in particular, illustrated with great numbers of vignettes of play, some visuals and plenty of discussion. I reflect on cultural difference and play, what gets in the way of play, what helps it thrive, and where playful HE can go to next. Oh and we look at survival, mental health and wellbeing while we are at it. It represents the culmination of three years talking, exploring, reading, playing, questioning, and saying hmmmmmm a lot.
In the book I play gently with academic conventions as I, and contributors, question why we do things the way we do in academia, and what might happen if we did things differently.
The text is made to be read as you would like – hop on, hop off, or in a straight line. I recognise that different readers will have different interests; you may want to read the whole thing, or skip some bits and pore over others. Whatever floats your boat.
I also close each chapter of the book with a set of reflections. This is because I see this book as the start or continuation of a conversation, with prompts for pondering; for your use with me, with others or with yourself. Here’s an example:
In addition to the main text I am also sharing below a few things which I could not incorporate into the book itself. These may mostly be of interest for anyone who likes knowing how the cogs turned, or what kinds of research tools were used, or who wants some extra info on aspects of the study. You can read the book without them however.
In the downloadable documents below you will find a selection of working documents. These include:
- my original main gateway survey questions
- a sample of responses from the gateway survey about play value
- my student survey questions
- my rough comparison of Sutton-Smith’s criteria for Rhetorics and their applicability in an HE context
- my questions for semi-structured interviews
In addition, you can have access to these three early documents, created at the start of the project. They relate to ethical considerations and consent, and my statement of researcher position and initial expectations.
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