Dungeons, Dragons, and Design Thinking: A Unique Twist on Experiential Learning

Photo Credit: Kasey Dunn

In a FHASS first, Professors Tom Nittoly (ESL) and Kasey Dunn (Creativity and Innovation) recently took experiential learning to a whole new “dimension.” On October 30, a pilot group of students embarked on an unexpected journey, combining the realms of academia and fantasy in a Dungeons and Dragons dungeon crawl. The catch? It was all part of their Creative Problem Solving (CPS) course.

For those unfamiliar with Dungeons and Dragons, it’s an imaginative tabletop role-playing game that fosters creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving. Professors Dunn and Nittoly harnessed the power of this immersive experience to deepen the application of skills learned in the CPS course. The result was an unforgettable night where students not only had a blast but had the opportunity to reflect on their creativity and problem-solving abilities.

The dungeon crawl wasn’t just about battling mythical creatures; it was a strategic exercise requiring the students to apply the very skills they were learning in class. The immersive nature of the game allowed them to think on their feet, collaborate with peers, and find innovative solutions to complex challenges. Students then reflected on their learnings, strengths, and areas for future growth that emerged throughout the gameplay in their Creativity Portfolio for the CPS course.

Photo Credit: Kasey Dunn

The event was a resounding success, with students already clamoring for more. It was a meaningful learning experience that transcended traditional classroom boundaries with humour and play. The professors plan to integrate this unique approach into future CPS courses, recognizing the value of experiential learning in fostering creativity and collaboration

As educators, we know the importance of staying innovative in our teaching methods. This initiative serves as a reminder that sometimes, stepping outside the conventional boundaries of education can yield extraordinary results. These two professors are excited to continue exploring what happens when infusing play into their classrooms.

Intrigued by the idea of rolling the dice and exploring uncharted territories in education? If you’re curious, excited, or just looking for a unique way to engage your students, considering reaching out to collaborate on a future event, and let’s roll the dice together!

Photo Credit: Kasey Dunn