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Fun And Games....In The Classroom?

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Motivating students to achieve

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.585.1 - 8.585.10

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Paper Authors

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Debra Wright

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Gretchen Hein

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Mary Fran Desrochers

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Mary Raber

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3475

Fun and Games… In the Classroom?

MaryFran Desrochers, Gretchen Hein, Mary Raber, Debra Wright

Michigan Technological University (School of Technology/Department of Engineering Fundamentals/College of Engineering/Department of Biomedical Engineering) 1400 Townsend Dr. Houghton, MI 49931

Abstract Active learning techniques have been shown to improve student interest in and learning of course materials. New educators, however, can find it challenging to incorporate active learning experiences into their courses. This paper will discuss the use of games, from simple icebreaker exercises to more complex learning activities, as active learning experiences in the classroom. Examples for small and large classrooms will be presented, as well as some of the challenges in incorporating these exercises into the curriculum.

Introduction When did learning stop being fun? Children show an innate curiosity to the world around them. Everyday is a fun learning experience as children discover how the world around them works. Somewhere between childhood and college the idea that learning is fun is lost, with most college courses focusing solely on content while neglecting enjoyment. There is a certain amount of information that does need to be conveyed and traditional lectures may work well for this. However, varying the way that information is presented helps to keep the students and the faculty engaged in the learning process. Day after day of traditional lectures can make it difficult for the students to digest all the material and make instructors feel like they are just relaying information instead of teaching.

Neglecting fun in the classroom can be a mistake. Fun and games can help the classroom in three main ways: 1. Address the needs of individual and varied learning styles of students, 2. Encourage students to actively participate in learning, 3. Reinforce concepts through repetition in unique ways.

First, students each have their own learning style, and learn in vastly different ways. Some students prefer a reflective approach to learning, while others prefer to debate and discuss new concepts. Games introduce an active and fun component to class, which helps to engage active learners. By

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Wright, D., & Hein, G., & Desrochers, M. F., & Raber, M. (2003, June), Fun And Games....In The Classroom? Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015