LEGO can be serious and playful at the same time!

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: or come along to one of the CELT workshops




Reflections from November Learning and Teaching Morning

On 27 November 2017, colleagues in Library & Learning Services came together for a Learning and Teaching Reflection Morning.  The event took place in the Collaboratory which is a new LLS space encompassing the digital classroom.  Colleagues received an overview of how the technology works.  If you would like to use this space and want more information, contact Rob Weale or Julia Reeve from CELT.

The morning started with an update on the last reflection morning where the digital landscape was a key theme.  Neil Stokes, Academic Team Manager, CELT outlined the progress that LLS have made in this area.  Infographics as a means of communicating data and the services that we provide was also discussed at the previous event and examples of Infographics to produce Faculty Action Plans and NSS Improvement Plans, produced byJenny Coombs, Academic Team Manager, Academic Liaison, were shared with attendees.

Next, Kaye Towlson, Academic Team Manager, Academic Liaison and also the Fair Outcomes Champion for LLS and Carol Keddie, Senior Assistant Librarian, Academic Liaison and also UDL Champion, delivered an interactive inclusive practice workshop.  We were asked to reflect in groups on how our work fitted into the three UDL areas: Flexible study resources, Flexible ways to learn and Flexible ways to show learning.

The morning finished with a “speed dating” activity where 5 colleagues delivered 10 minute updates on a learning and teaching initiative to attendees who visited each table in turn.

Richard Vallance from CELT covered inclusive assignment feedback, Jason Eyre from CLaSS demonstrated the Dissertation Toolkit, Adele Creak from Academic Liaison showed us how to create videos using Powtoon free software, Joanna Dare from Academic Liaison shared her use of timers in interactive teaching and Heather Conboy from CELT explained the use of OneNote for inclusive learning. This activity proved to be a really fun and engaging way of sharing best practice and expertise with colleagues.

We now look forward to the next Teaching Reflection Morning later in the term where we hope to involve colleagues from the University of Nottingham, to share best practice between our respective universities and library services.