Research in Learning Technology publishes themed collection on Playful Learning

playful learning image

Photo credit: Mark Power


Research in Learning Technology, ALT’s Open Access journal, today publishes a themed collection of articles deriving from the second Playful Learning Conference, held in July 2017. The Playful Learning Conference is chaired and supported by members of ALT’s Playful Learning Special Interest Group (PLSIG). Established in 2010, PLSIG is interested in the design, use, and evaluation of games in practice, and the academic study of play and player communities and their potential contributions to learning. Playful in approach and outlook, yet underpinned by robust research and working practices, the Playful Learning Conference provides a space where teachers, researchers, and students can play, learn, and think together - a space to meet other playful people and be inspired by talks, workshops, activities, and events.

The present collection of articles aims to provide an overview of current thinking about play and playfulness in tertiary education, to share practices that generate enjoyment within scholarly arenas, and to challenge what technology is in a ‘digital age’. The articles focus on learning and play in adulthood, and explore the ways creative and playful behaviour and learning design can enhance adult educational experiences - providing, in a sense, a counterpoint to the increasingly instrumental and outcome-oriented tone of the current higher education debate. Contributors include Nicola Whitton, Simon Grey, Simon Warwick, Rosie Jones, Sam Illingworth, and others, with an editorial, ‘Playful Learning’, by Mark Langan and Fiona Smart. Access all the papers at

To find out more about the Playful Learning Conference 2018, Manchester, 11-13 July 2018, visit the conference website at Registration closes 22 June 2018. Follow on social media @PlayLearnConf and #playlearn18.

You can can also read more about the 2017 event at the conference site and on #playlearn17.

A special Playful Learning issue of the International Journal of Games Based Learning was curated from the 2016 conference papers, and is now available (Volume 7, Issue 3).

To find out more about and join the ALT Playful Learning SIG, visit, and follow the SIG on social media #plsig

Research in Learning Technology (RLT)  is a peer reviewed, Open Access journal published by the Association for Learning Technology in cooperation with Open Academia. RLT aims to raise the profile of research in learning technology, encouraging research that informs good practice and contributes to the development of policy. Find out more and explore the archive at

Find out more about ALT and ALT membership at