Alison James


Alison James is a UK National Teaching Fellow, Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK and Professor Emerita of the University of Winchester. During her career she has held numerous roles in universities spanning the twin aspects of teaching and learning and quality and standards. Her specialist interest lies in the use of alternative and innovative pedagogies in creative arts education and across the disciplines. Some of these approaches were published in Engaging Imagination: helping students become creative and reflective thinkers, co-authored with Professor Stephen Brookfield. For the last ten years she has had a particular interest in the use of play and playfulness in higher education and co-edited with Dr Chrissi Nerantzi the international collection The Power of Play in Higher Education: Creativity in Tertiary Learning. As of January 2021, this book has been downloaded 23,000 times worldwide. In 2019 Alison received funding from the Imagination Lab Foundation, a Swiss-based, independent, and not-for-profit supporter of scholarship which brings together the disciplines of management, art, science, imagination, and play. With this support she is conducting a two year investigation into the use, perceptions, and value of play in higher education. Alison is a trained LEGO Serious Play facilitator and has done extensive work in staff and educational development using this methodology. She has also used it widely in course design and with students & staff at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level. She is also a trained professional coach and works with clients within and outside academia.

EDUCAUSE Publications

  • Playful Pedagogy [video]
    • Multimedia
    • Author

    What does it mean to use play as a method for engaging students? In this video, Alison James discusses the various benefits of play in the classroom.

EDUCAUSE Presentations