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Lego Serious Play: Building Engagement with Cell Biology

Garden, Claire



A Lego Serious Play (LSP) - based exercise was developed to support student engagement with learning consolidation at the end of a first-year undergraduate cell biology course. The exercise was offered in addition to a regular revision session in preparation for the summative exam. Students were studying four-year BSc (Hons) degrees in: Animal Biology, Environmental Biology, Marine and Freshwater Biology, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Microbiology & Biotechnology in Scotland, UK. Although many students studied Human Biology at High School, in-depth cell biology was studied for the first time by the majority of students during this course. The LSP process was adapted for use in the classroom. Core concepts were identified from the twelve-week cell biology course as the basis for LSP build challenges and incorporated into LSP build – share – reflect cycles by students individually and then joined together by the group to explore the interconnected nature of cell biology processes. Student and lecturer evaluations were thematically analyzed to explore the impact of the technique on student engagement. Results indicate that the method supports student cognitive and affective engagement who report improved and understanding of the topic, and enjoyment and interest. In addition, behavioral engagement such as learner interaction, independence, and empowerment were revealed by the lecturer interview. Identified barriers to the adoption of LSP include perceived issues around creativity, play and exploration and scientific identity, together with a lack of evidence of efficacy. This study seeks to remedy that gap.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 19, 2022
Online Publication Date Jan 31, 2022
Publication Date 2022-04
Deposit Date Jan 24, 2022
Publicly Available Date Feb 1, 2022
Journal Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Print ISSN 1470-8175
Electronic ISSN 1539-3429
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 50
Issue 2
Pages 216-228
Keywords active learning, cellular biology, learning techniques methods and approaches, teaching
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