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What is Edu-Larp


The students of today will most likely start working in occupations that do not yet exist. The need to constantly adapt and to solve emerging problems has put educators, teachers and learners in a new situation where they need to constantly review and change their practices. In addition to subject knowledge and skills, there is a need to develop general competencies (critical thinking and problem-solving skills, creativity, communication and collaboration skills) which enable learners to solve the complex issues they will face (OECD/CERI 2008; Binkley et al., 2014).

Given the increasingly active role of the learner in the learning process and the use of inclusive learning methods in schools, learning through play is also gaining popularity. The use of the games in education has become the interest of many practitioners and researchers (Qian & Clark, 2016). Well planned usage of games for learning enables students to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills, creativity, communication and teamwork skills.

The use of games in the learning process allows to give learners personalized tasks and concentrate their attention (HITSA, 2020). In addition to educational computer games in the digital environment, it is also possible to use educational live action role play (LARP) in order to diversify learning experiences, explain different topics, play through situations and scenarios, and to simulate the consequences of one’s decisions. (Using Environmental LARP in Education, Tartu 2020)

LARP for educational purposes, or an EduLARP, is an opportunity to integrate traditional and playful ways of teaching and learning. LARPs are often associated with historical sword fighting games, but there are numerous other possibilities: laboratory-based role-playing games for science classes, environmental and socio-economic conflict games for biology and geography, etc.` However, it has been confirmed by research that learners memorize content better when they are actively involved in the learning process, as in the case of dramatizations, simulations and role play. LARP is an active and engaging method that creates intrinsic motivation.

A different reality helps to distract the players from their everyday problems and stimulates their interest in the topic. All the senses are activated, physical and emotional engagement support deep learning. Role play develops empathy and the ability to see other perspectives. By connecting the topics learned in classroom with real-life situations, the student can more easily relate them to their own life and make connections between different subjects. Role play can improve students' communication skills, and for the shy students, role play provides a safe way to interact from behind a mask and thus develop their confidence. Therefore, the share of role-playing and other active learning methods in schools should be even higher than it is today. (Using Environmental LARP in Education, Tartu 2020)



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