LEGO can be serious and playful at the same time!

Today I attended a Lego Serious Play (LSP) workshop run by Julia Reeve, part of the CELT team in Library and Learning Services.

Lego Serious Play is a way of looking at things differently and it can be used as a tool for storytelling.  Most importantly, it is not about the bricks but the dialogue that occurs as a result of the activities.

LSP is underpinned by learning and teaching pedagogies, such as Social Constructivism (Piaget 1951), Flow Theory (Csikszentmihalyi 1993), and Thinking with the hands – Constructionism (Papert 1996). Using LSP can have many benefits.  For example, it can be used to help simplify complex problems, identify possible solutions to challenges, open up dialogue, develop shared understanding and ownership and create goals and direction.  It can ensure that everyone has a voice and externalises thinking. It can be particularly beneficial in exploring individual and team culture and identity.

The workshop was only a brief introduction to LSP but by the end of the session we all understood the key principles behind the methodology, we had all developed basic LSP building, storytelling and reflection skills, and we had started to think about some of the potential applications of the LSP methodology.

We undertook a number of activities during the morning, but the main focus was on building a model that could act as a metaphor to describe our current roles at DMU.  After explaining our models to the rest of the group, we then discussed whether any of them had anything in common and positioned our models to make a cohesive whole.  This allowed us to move from individual to collective models, an ideology that underpins LSP. Although workshop participants all came from different parts of the university and included librarians, academics, careers advisors and learning and teaching developers, there were many commonalities between our models.  Our last activity was to build connectors between common areas and these very much focused on the importance of both informal and formal support across the different activities of the university.

Even in a short space of time, I learnt so much from this interactive and fun workshop and it presented lots of ideas about using LSP in staff development activities and also in information literacy teaching.

If you’re interested in LSP, you can see an introductory video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B20pvfoi2E or come along to one of the CELT workshops http://celt.our.dmu.ac.uk/.

 

 

 

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Jenny Coombs is Academic Team Manager (Faculty Liaison) in the Academic Liaison and Administration Division, Library and Learning Services, De Montfort University