Exploration: It’s a Serious Business Learning How to Reference—Playfully

  • Juliette SmeedEmail author


Teaching and learning academic skills such as referencing can be a dry and serious business. Playful approaches help to capture students’ attention and lighten the learning experience. However, I have learnt through trial and error that students’ responses to playful lessons are strongly influenced by their discipline context. For business students, play-based learning may appear trivial, or beside the point. This exploration examines the socio-cultural contexts of such attitudes, in particular cultural messages about the seriousness of ‘work’ and ‘study’ and non-seriousness of ‘play’. It then considers ways to sensitively scaffold business students’ return to playful learning by focusing their attention on the link between ‘exploration’ as a play-based behaviour (Bateson and Martin in Play, Playfulness, Creativity and Innovation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2013) and the desirable business aptitudes of ‘innovation’ and ‘creativity’.


Referencing Business studies Playfulness Puzzle-based teaching 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BuckinghamBuckinghamUK

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