#FinDeSiècleTwitter: Ludic Learning and Role / Play with @UndeadDeMina, @CrazyForDorian and @Help_Me_Hyde

Rosie Miles @MsEmentor – University of Wolverhampton

This paper will present an innovative use of role-play using twitter as an example of what Kolb and Kolb term “ludic learning” (2010).  #FinDeSiècleTwitter is part of a suite of assessed online activities on a Third-Year Undergraduate module on (late) Victorian Literature, Art and Culture (on an English Studies degree).  All the other activities are based in a VLE and the paper will outline how #FinDeSiècleTwitter grew out of what was originally a discussion forum activity.

As well as discussing what’s needed to get the entire class successfully on twitter, the paper will also consider how the tutor’s role is changed and challenged through modelling the spirit of ludic learning that I wished to encourage in the students.  A. Ravenscroft notes the “clear tension between the tradition of learning as a highly structured and organized experience … and the more collaborative, volatile and anarchic nature of the social web” (2009).  I also use Meng-Fen Grace Lin’s case study of her twitter use with students as a means of focussing how I (1) provided scaffolding, (2) addressed privacy, and (3) established purpose with #FinDeSiècleTwitter.

The theoretical framework for #FinDeSiècleTwitter is a context of considering the role of play in learning.  Using both Johan Huizinga’s classic anthropological account of Homo Ludens (1950) and Mikhail Bakhtin’s notion of the carnivalesque I will show how my students’ engagement with twitter exemplifies the many-voiced, democratic, participatory spirit associated with carnival.

Discussion of aspects of #FinDeSiècleTwitter have appeared in The Guardian’s Higher Education Network pages (2012) and in the Times Higher (2015). I have also spoken at The Bett (Technology) Show 2015, and have engagements to speak about this work ahead at an Inside Government Forum on Online Learning (October 2015) and the British Council New Technologies in Education Conference (February 2016).