| @EdtechData plays Jenga!|
Photo by Vanida Vae
We hear the mantra all the time when we talk about kids: Learning should be fun.
Yet, when the time arrives for us to plan learning experiences for adults, we often get cold feet when it comes to FUN.
We consider fun things like games, simulations, and contests, but we often default to a memo, email, or sequence of PowerPoint slides in an effort to get the task done quickly and efficiently.
What, exactly, are we so afraid of?
As it turns out, we're afraid of a lot.
Have the following things ever entered your mind when planning an adult learning experience?
- What if they think it's silly?
- What if it takes too long?
- Will I be wasting everyone's time?
- What if people think I'm not credible because I planned a fun activity?
In many cases, these fears are unfounded. Just last week I planned a series of learning activities for my wicked smart team that were rooted in fun. Although I was nervous that people would scoff or think the activities were silly, that didn't happen. Everyone had a great time and shared really insightful reflections after the day was over. (See the pic above for more...)
As instructional designers, we know that true learning isn't quick and it isn't efficient. It's a messy process littered with collaborative discussions, recursive thinking, sketching, and creating. Infusing fun into adult learning creates an atmosphere conducive to productivity and innovation.
Research supports fun for adults too. Knowles reminds us that informal, social learning often provides adults with the best forum to practice and refine what they've learned.
So, as you plan your back to school professional development sessions, take this suggestion to heart. Go ahead.... have some FUN!