Programme Session Details 2024

Engage your students through Taskmaster in the Classroom. Your time starts now.

Corresponding Author: Dr Ali Struthers

All authors:

Length: 60 minutes
Location: Terrace Room


In 2021, I started using Taskmaster in my UG teaching at Warwick Law School as a way of introducing students to concepts of legal interpretation and the importance of tightness in wording in drafting. I set them seminar preparation of watching an episode of Taskmaster and considering its connections to Law, and based the in-class activities, including a drafting exercise, on the Taskmaster format.

At the Playful Learning Conference, I will give participants a taste of Taskmaster in the higher education classroom, and show how I am using these concepts in legal outreach work with younger audiences through the national School Tasking competition. Participants will be able to have a go at some of the Taskmaster-style challenges that I use in the higher-education classroom, as well as be introduced to some of the activities and tasks that the Law student teams deliver in the School Tasking sessions.

Taskmaster is the most beautiful vehicle for education at all levels (Struthers & McConnell, 2023) and I have used it to engage audiences from Year 5 through to my Warwick colleagues. Tasks can be tailored to different skill sets, to allow each participant the chance to excel and contribute to their team. The gentle competition encourages teamwork, collaboration, creativity, lateral thinking and numerous other skills, and the nonsensical nature of some of the tasks is a great leveller. Secondary and sixth form students, for example, can be tricky to engage, because they tend to be unwilling to throw themselves into activities where they feel they might be ridiculed by their peers. Though it takes longer to warm them up than it does with younger or older cohorts, Taskmaster has proven to be a wonderful way of engaging this age group. And so it is with university students, who tend to throw themselves into Taskmaster challenges with gusto, after perhaps some initial hesitation.

My main aim in this presentation is to enthuse participants about using Taskmaster as a vehicle for education with university students. By getting everyone involved, I will show how the format of Taskmaster genuinely brings people together, with absolutely joyful outcomes.

References, web links and other resources:

These are links to the outreach project that I created that is based on Taskmaster, but will give a flavour for what will be done in my session: (I co-run Taskmaster Education for the production company, Avalon)

Struthers, A. & S. McConnell, ‘Improve Children’s Legal Knowledge and Skills Through School Tasking: Your time starts now.’ (2023) The Law Teacher, DOI: 10.1080/03069400.2023.2282860 (