Engaging learning through play with Terry Pearce

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Episode summary

In this episode of the Learning While Working Podcast, Terry Pearce, the founder of Unfold Play, joins the show for a discussion on engaging learning through play. Terry shares strategies for game-based learning and the six levers that make games effective for learning. He also gives examples of how putting learners at the centre of the learning experience can transform seemingly dry content into engaging and effective learning activities.

About Terry Pearce

Terry Pearce founded Untold Play to bring together his twin passions of learning design and games. Terry leverages the power of games and gamification in learning, and he regularly weaves the principles of game-based learning into the learning experiences he creates. He has won awards, through the London NHS Modernisation Agency, Reed Learning and the Healthcare People Management Association, for the services I deliver to clients, including HSBC, Imperial College Hospital, Thames Water and Zurich.

Key Takeaways

  • Putting learners at the centre: Games engage learners by making them the protagonists, setting open challenges, letting them explore, embracing failure, offering meaningful choices, and nudging them towards desired behaviours. This shift places the focus on the learner and encourages active participation in the learning process.
  • Debriefing for reflection: Terry stressed the significance of debriefing in learning experiences. The "What happened, So what, Now what" framework allows learners to process their experiences, make generalisations, and consider behavioural changes as they apply their learnings to real-world scenarios.
  • Transform Deck: Terry introduced the Transform Deck of learning design cards, which is a valuable tool for creating engaging, learner-centred activities. The deck serves as a point of inspiration for turning content into interactive, experiential learning experiences, providing a spectrum of options beyond traditional games and gamification.

Segmented time stamps:

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 04:56 Games thrive on failure, meaningful choices and nudges
  • 09:18 Embrace play and games for healthy benefits
  • 11:08 Creating engaging learning experiences through interactive games
  • 14:54 Virtual escape room featuring games-based learning
  • 18:41 Dice game simulates cultural immersion and adaptation
  • 22:15 Deck of cards for inspiring learner-focused activities
  • 25:12 Align objectives, culture, and methods for learning

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