Play with a purpose

Yes I know, it sounds like some Music Hall joke but purposeful play has been on my mind for a couple of weeks now. Immersed in learning outcomes though I am,  it is still very easy to get caught up with the fun of designing games and forget that in the world of workplace learning…



Drama-based training: can playful learning achieve serious outcomes?

Drama-based learning programmes are sometimes pigeoned holed as ‘edutainment’, a term I prefer to resist. Whilst we certainly want delegates to enjoy our workshops, and we encourage a playful approach, we are very focused on achieving serious outcomes for our delegates and client organisations. And, as this quote, from an email I received this week,…



What can we learn from playing ‘casual’ video games?

Do you play games on your PC, or iPhone or other device?  Do you take a few minutes out of your day to login to Facebook and play a game? And does part of you feel a bit guilty about wasting precious time playing a seemingly meaningless game?  Well you can stop worrying, for you…



“You should be at home with your feet up!”

We got to the checkout of a well known store just before closing on the recent Bank Holiday Monday.  Our expectations for customer service were not particularly high and I fully appreciate that the Lanky Lad who stood at the till probably wanted to get home asap after putting in a long stint (6 hours…



“Brenda” and a light-bulb moment about the impact of behaviour on others

“That’s me! I’m Brenda” said a young woman.  The group sat in stunned silence.  We were delivering our drama-based training programme called “Brenda” which focuses on the challenging issue of bullying and harassment in the workplace. We had just finished watching our actors play the scene, when the delegate, recognising herself in the way that…



Virtual role-play

Earlier this year I spent time exploring Second Life (SL) and the potential for learning provided by virtual environments. I became fascinated by the developing relationship I had with my avatar. It seemed that in a very short time I had reached the “threshold of care” (Warburton 2008). I have been very interested to experience…



Working live and the creative process

Delegates and clients often ask us about how we develop our drama-based training programmes.  We use an approach to developing our scripts which is not dissimilar to the nature of digital texts; that is to say that they have multiple authors and are highly collaborative.  Like the digital medium they are also volatile as the audience make…



Learning can be fun!

Humour is an important weapon in the arsenal of many L&D practitioners as it is an effective way to engage people, make a vital point which learners need to retain, lessen tension and anxiety and allow people to relax, enabling them to focus. Drama-based learning and video are ideal mediums for humour and emotional engagement and whilst it is…



Designing a virtual world for learning

If you could choose an ideal space in which to have learning conversations, what would it look like? Would it look like a corporate training room, a conference centre in a city or perhaps a hotel in beautiful countryside?  Or would you allow yourself to be a little more creative, and a lot less expensive?…



Presence

Presence is a frequent topic of discussion in personal development work, and it is easy to see what a difference it makes when we are fully ‘present’ in our work.  Speaker and coach, Nigel Risner, often uses the phrase “if you are in the room, be in the room” as a reminder to audiences to stay…