Dr. Raymond Bice may have been the most popular professor in the history of the University of Virginia. Although, if Thomas Jefferson taught, in the early days, I’m sure he had a good story or two. But Dr. Bice, who taught the introductory psychology class, was the Lady Gaga of Pysch 101.
I was a psychology major but I never got into Bice’s class. In those days, we ran from table to table in Memorial Gym to register for classes and inevitably, Dr. Bice’s class was full by the time I got to that table.
So, why was he so popular?
Because he made learning fun. He used props, gimmicks, and other supplemental activities to make the experience more enjoyable for the students. Because he knew that if we were having a good time, we would want to come to class, and as a secondary benefit, we’d learn.
This is the way it works. When we enjoy what we do, we are more engaged and more committed to the process.
Recently, a USA Today had an excellent article describing how universities are using video games in different ways to teach math, music, science, and other subjects. The learning occurs in the midst of the play.
Remember, all work and no play is, well, all work. And who wants all work?