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Online Course

Exploring Play: The Importance of Play in Everyday Life

The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn

(108)
  • Provider FutureLearn
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate $99 Certificate Available
  • Duration 7 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

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Overview

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This course from the School of Education at the University of Sheffield will encourage you to think differently about play.

We’ll discuss definitions of play and current debates about how the nature of play changes. Does play help us to learn? Can it prepare young people to be successful in the adult world? Are all forms of play good for us?

Play is a fundamental part of innovation and creativity across a whole range of subjects, careers, disciplines and industries, from fashion and engineering to teaching and business.

This course will be of interest to you if you wish to work or study in the fields of psychology, playwork, childhood studies, play therapy, hospital play, teaching, childcare, or if you just want to better understand your relationship with the children in your life and your own play.

Taught by

Elizabeth wood

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Reviews for FutureLearn's Exploring Play: The Importance of Play in Everyday Life Based on 108 reviews

  • 5 stars 90%
  • 4 stars 10%
  • 3 star 0%
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  • 1
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
The Exploring Play course has been an eye-opening, thought-provoking and extremely informative course. As a teacher in a primary school but with experience and training in secondary education, I have found this extremely useful for my professional development. It has explored and unpicked what play is...
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Really great course, easy to follow and topics broken down into bite-sized chunks. I have worked for many years in SEN, mostly with children with ASD, and currently in our Early Years provision. The course has made me re-think how children play and why they play, and how we as adults can facilitate...
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I started on the course, not thinking that there were so many strands to play this course has made me realise that play is everywhere when you use your imagination! It was good to find out about the history of toys and the different material used in different cultures. I realised that there was difference, to when grandparents were children to now in the 21st century. I could reflect on my childhood experiences and realise that I had more opportunities to play outside with no restriction! I now realise that play can be ‘serious play’, such as students learning chemistry through virtual activities. I now know that play can be very adaptable in different activities for children and adults with disabilities. I was Very apprehensive about the ‘Virtual World’ but I now understand that it can help with different skills and wellbeing.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
The course covers a broad range of topics and shows how play is integral to our personal development. It also shows how it is affected by factors such as urban design, access to facilities, the application of new technology, disability and the concept of universal design. The course presenters are experts in their fields and are able to convey complex ideas with clarity. This is a course which makes you think and challenges some of your pre-conceptions about play and its role in our lives and societies.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Easter S
Easter completed this course.
I enjoyed, I wish I could do it a bit quicker and involved more to make comments. I found disturbing to promote technology as a good and helpful thing but I accept the explanation and changed my mind about it. I felt a bit sad about the final test, you can do it only if you upgrade. It's fine, I understand, end of the day is a business and a good try to make money. I am not blame you. Thank you for the opportunity, all the useful information and the extra reading suggestions. It was a pleasure to be part of this course.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
A really nicely put together course, which provides a lot of thoughtful content on what 'play' is. It took me in directions that I wasn't expecting and opened my eyes to new ways of looking at types of play and the different merits of it. Some of the units appealed to me less than others, but they all had interesting elements to them and this was a fun seven weeks of learning!
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Very informative and easy to follow. Well presented and taught by people who have a passion for the subject. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot. Thank you.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Really great course, easy to follow and topics broken down into bite-sized chunks. I have worked for many years in SEN, mostly with children with ASD, and currently in our Early Years provision. The course has made me re-think how children play and why they play, and how we as adults can facilitate...
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I found this course very interesting and informative. It gives a deeper understanding of value of play in children and young adults life. It give a background about what is play , how it evolved, what are its benefits on the healthy growth of children. How it can help them being a all rounded personality....
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Kudos to the curriculum designers, instructors, researchers, academicians and volunteers for structuring and offering this comprehensive course on the nuances of 'play' - its origin, theories, forms, types, scope, etc. It broadened my perspective on the evolution of play as a complex, social and contextual activity that caries across cultures and occurs along a continuum. Although play continues throughout our lifespan, it's forms and impact differs for each age group. Moreover, play is not just a fun activity, but an educational one and provides ample opportunities for holistic development of children, teenagers and adults as well as offers fascinating career prospects for lifelong learners. Thoroughly enjoyed the course and learnt more about the nuances of play and its influence on different age and cultural groups as well as its ability to generate the 'highest form of research.' (Einstein, 1962)

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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
The course was wide ranging in research and very relevant. I particularly enjoyed and learned a great deal from the section on disability and play. The audio/video sections were very well presented and were not overwelming or onourous in length given that they involved watching a person(s) speaking. In fact the structure of the course was well balanced with text, video and discussion. Each week was just long enough, any longer and I would have questioned if I would finish it. The indicators of progress and 'how many steps complete /or left to do in each week was very motivating. The referencing was brilliant and the further reading was very specific and manageable on top of the course time. Well done Sheffield University, a brilliant course.

I recently completed just a one hour training through OU about play and it was desperately dry and hard to get through.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Really enjoyed this Play course. It was interesting and I feel I will take alot of new ideas with me. The videos where knowledgeable and the team where a great help. I feel I learned new aspects relating to play and will be putting these new activities into use when returning from lookdown.

It has made me think a lot about different kinds of play both indoors and outdoors. Thank you for all the information provided and links.

It was nice to hear from all the different agencies and groups and the projects they do. As a parent it made me remember and talk about how and what games we played as children, with my own family. I liked the skateboarding information as having a teenager myself it is good to hear of more of the skate parks being made as feel they don't have the same clubs, societies as the younger children. Will be looking into other courses to do now many thanks.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
This course is really well put together, with engaging videos, informative articles and helpful discussion. I choose not to pay a subscription so it was completely free, although I don't get a certificate at the end. The course covers a wide variety of themes, so no matter what your discipline, you can learn something. Since it looks at play across the lifespan, some themes may not be directly relevant to work with children, for example, but it is really useful to look at play beyond childhood and the benefits of play and playfulness in adult life and even the world of work. The course includes interviews with different researchers in the area of play, including disciplines such as landscape design, and includes links for extra reading if you want to look into a topic in greater depth.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I highly recommend! This course has helped me to see the complex nature of play and how it is not confined to childhood - and to become more playful myself. It explores a wide range of play types, barriers and theories through various articles, videos and discussions. It is evident a lot of thought and hard work has gone into making topics relevant and engaging. :)

I would say it took me longer than the advertised 3 hours per week but you have to the freedom to interact with it as you choose. This was my first foray into an online course and has helped me gain confidence; I never contributed in uni tutorials but have loved joining in with discussions and expressing myself through writing.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Joyce H
Joyce completed this course.
The course has been very engaging for the last seven weeks, taking the subject of play in many different directions. It's been enjoyable, thought provoking and you can participate at many levels, from writing a sentence to writing an essay, from watching a 5 minute film, to full on study with a reference library. It's suitable for so many different walks of life and a pleasure to learn about one subject that crosses many walks of life.

Just saying again I'd like there to have been more study on gender and play and adults and play. But perhaps the course is encouraging me to look at those two points in more detail elsewhere.

Thank you for running this course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I found the course to be interesting and has ignited my enthusiasm for learning, in particular in areas that I would not have thought; language and communication. There was a different topic each week and this helped attain my attention and for it not to wain. I was a little disappointed with not being able to take the assessment at the end without upgrading as I would have been interested in seeing how well (or not?) I would have done, but can understand why this is the case. The course has been like a little taster into further studies and as such has been successful, as it has made me want to ask more questions on certain topics and learn more. Thank you.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I really enjoyed this course and it really gave me a detailed insight of what play is all about and how complex it is..... I really found the outdoor play part very engaging and so true in the fact that children playing outdoors in a natural environment really opens their senses and gives them an opportunity to be in tune with nature....being a forest school leader myself and working with young children I know how important this is....

Very interesting also the section on virtual play and technology....loved play in the different decades and brought back lots of memories!!!

Well done very enjoyable and have recommended to my colleagues.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Each week of the course took me in a completely different way of thinking. I was amazed at some of the things that I had learnt from doing this course. There was some things I was aware of but never taught much about it until this course went in-depth about it. There was some things I never taught as being play and within this course it talks about how it actually is a type of play. I highly recommend doing this course. It opened my mind a lot and I feel as though I have gained a better understanding of what I should be watching for or doing with my children to promote their play and learn better.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I thoroughly have enjoyed taking part in this course, and have learnt more about this important topic. when I first started week 1, I did not expect to be fully engrossed and become more and more curious with this topic especially as my first response was very limited when asked for my definition of play. Now I probably still cannot give an exact definition of PLAY, as it is such a complex subject but I definitely understand more about the importance of play and not only for young children. For me, virtual play and disabilities and play were the most intriguing. Thank you for such a great course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I hadn't heard about the course at the beginning, but was requested to do it by my employers due to lockdown. At the beginning I was not too keen as I have done alot of online courses at the moment. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I found it informative, interesting and there was lots to learn. I particularly liked the format of the course, in that there were videos, reading, links, quizzes and discussion that made it accessible for all. There were certain units that I enjoyed more than others but I am sure there is something for everyone.

Thank you in putting this together

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