Building Student Research Capacity by Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment with LEGO® Serious Play®

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsConference Presentation


Since its introduction in the 1990s, LEGO® Serious Play® (LSP) has been successfully used to promote creative thinking and problem-solving; foster reflection, perspective-taking, self-efficacy as well as develop shared understanding and goals. Through this project, we would like to explore the possibility of building inclusivity by design into the curriculum, and, going further, creating a sense of belonging: Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching at the University of Northampton.

We plan to achieve this by seeking a synergy between research and teaching through expanding on existing practice which uses playful approaches and developing our PG students' confidence via imaginative, multisensory learning. This will be possible because of LSP's inclusive and democratic characteristics that will help our students learn how to share, discuss, and synthesise their ideas as it takes place in design thinking style or any other type of participatory research. Using Lego® bricks as cognitive artifacts to collect their data, students may, literally, give their thoughts colour and shape which will make it easier to see them and ask questions around their thinking. Our students, coming mostly from various places around the world, will be able to expand their thinking through LSP, either when they are working on their final project or building up their skillset and research capabilities.

Finally, the output of our work is going to provide a novel teaching process that will result in our students being able to confidently use multifaceted change agents and changemakers' participatory research methods and additionally build on their reflective and critical thinking abilities - skills demanded by the current job market. Once we successfully complete the project, other departments can implement this approach also to enhance the experience of home students focusing on a diverse level of learning needs or cognitive abilities of those who wish to study at UON.
Period23 Jun 2022
Event titleLearning and Teaching Conference 2022
Event typeConference
LocationNorthampton, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational