Playful approaches to Remote Teaching and Working – Event Summary

Summary by Katie Piatt and Helen Sykes

Last week saw our first online event focussing on Playful approaches to Remote Teaching and Working – Online Event.

The first session explored different experiences with playful work and learning. We talked about the range of functionality in Blackboard Collaborate (noting differences between Zoom, Teams etc) and testing how playful we could be with introductions in the whiteboard and emojis in the chat. Although we did discover how easily one person could delete the whole screen with the eraser – oops!

Screenshot of Blackboard Collaborate whiteboard and chat with lots of colourful signatures
Screenshot of Blackboard Collaborate whiteboard and chat with lots of colourful signatures

Attendees shared examples of activities and brainstormed ideas:

Screenshot of a chat posting suggesting use of physical objects in online sessions.
Sylvester sharing an idea for use of physical objects in online teaching

Adding interactivity to online meetings and teaching sessions was a key theme. One way to achieve this is the use of impromptu polls, which is a feature of most conferencing software.

Screenshot of a poll in Blackboard Collaborate
We explored giving attendees full permissions to use the features themselves resulting in informal attendee polls and feedback.

The full set of ideas captured during the morning session was recorded in Padlet: Read all the ideas!

Screenshot of a Padlet wall featuring boxes with different ideas
Click image to access the Padlet with a record of all the shared ideas

The formal sessions were interspersed with multi-player online games, such as ‘Code Names‘. There are lots of great games at to explore and play for free online.

Screenshot of Code Names from
Codenames from

Alex Moseley led us through a series of engaging challenges demonstrating interactive activities that can be run as part of online teaching. These included creative use of objects as an induction activity, storytelling for group bonding and skills design activities.

Screenshot of a Challenge slide for a skill design
Alex’s third teaching challenge featured fire spinning and mosaics!

The day ended with a fabulous afternoon quiz from Daisy Abbott, featuring a photo round, a music round and our attempts to survive the apocalypse through foraging.

Screenshot of Powerpoint quiz with 4 movie stills
Name the movie from the still – minus the people

Attendees could complete some of the rounds by running around the house looking for objects – or, to ensure accessibility, choose to complete a Haiku instead.

Example Haikus in text chat
Haikus for the ‘find an empty toilet roll’ challenge

Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed – we’ve already been asked when the next one will be! So watch this space and we’ll plan something for September.