Discovering Innovative Applications of LEGO® in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Cite as: Nerantzi, C. and James, A. (2018), "Call for Papers: Special Issue on Discovering Innovative Applications of LEGO® in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education", International Journal of Management and Applied Research, Vol. 5, No. 4.

Submission deadline – 1 November 2018 (CLOSED)
All contributions to the special issue are available at:

Guest Editors: Dr Chrissi Nerantzi and Professor Alison James

In the forthcoming Special Issue we will explore the use of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® and further LEGO® related innovative applications for learning and teaching as well as supporting students’ and staff’s learning and development in the context of Higher Education.

The use of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®has been spreading in the last few years in Higher Education institutions in the United Kingdom and beyond. More and more academics and other professionals who teach or support learning in these settings are often intrigued to find out more about it, train to become accredited LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitators, participate in staff development workshops and implementing related activities in their practice to spice up their teaching and create stimulating learning experiences.

The idea of a new method using LEGO® bricks started within Executive Discovery Ltd, a separate company set-up by LEGO® to carry out research in the development and use of a new method for internal use within the LEGO® company to problem solve and generate innovative ideas. Initially, it was a collaboration between Executive Discovery Ltd and the IMD Business School in Lausanne (Kristiansen & Rasmussen, 2014). Robert Rasmussen who back then was working for LEGO® Education got involved and developed the new LEGO® method into LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® with others. In 2001 the method was stabilised and the first LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitators were trained. Per Kristiansen joined Executive Discovery and worked with Robert Rasmussen. Later, in 2010, the method was released as open source, which is also known as the ‘community model’ and the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® brochure was published (The LEGO® Group, 2010). These changes helped spread its use worldwide.

Currently, an openly licensed book is in preparation by the Co-Editors of this Special Issue, which captures among other things a selection of mini LEGO® stories (Nerantzi and James, forthcoming). Also, James (2015) published a report about the use of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® specifically in the Creative Arts& Design.

This Special Issue aims to go wider and deeper in exploring the potential of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®for teaching and learning in the context of higher education and showcase the emerging work and research in this area from around the world.

We welcome articles from new and more experienced academic writers, practitioners and researchers who have been using LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® across the disciplines and professional areas as well as students, who are using it for their learning at undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral level, from around the world and would like to share their work with a wider audience through an open access issue and help us all gain new insights and deepen our understandings in this area further.

We will consider the following types of contributions:

  • Reflective articles (1000-3000 words)
  • Research papers (3000-5000 words)
  • Viewpoints (2000-3000 words)
The deadline to submit your article is 1 November 2018. This Special Issue will be published in December 2018.

Guidelines for Authors

Papers must be original work not published elsewhere. The Journal has a preferred publication style (follow the link for more details on Authors Guidelines). Please submit your paper as an email attachment to . Early submissions are encouraged and will be published ahead of the deadline as part A of the special issue, with Part B following the designated timescale.

All papers will go through the double blind review process.

Guest Editors

Dr Chrissi Nerantzi (@chrissinerantzi) is a Principal Lecturer within the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at ManchesterMetropolitanUniversity in the United Kingdom. She is passionate about creativity, play, learning through making and openness and has initiated a wide range of professional development opportunities that bring these three elements together in her practice and research. Chrissi is a certified LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitator with experience using the method and variations of it in a wide range of higher education context. Chrissi is a Principal Fellow of the HigherEducationAcademy, a Fellow of the Staff and Educational Development Association, a National Teaching Fellow and the Learning Technologist of the Year 2017 and won the GO-GN Best Open Research Practice Award in 2018.

Alison James (@alisonrjames)is a Professor of Learning and Teaching at the University of Winchester, a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK. She is co-author, with Stephen D Brookfield, of Engaging Imagination: helping students become creative and reflective thinkers, published by Jossey Bass in 2014. Her longstanding interests in higher education are the use and development of creative and alternative approaches to tertiary learning. In particular she has explored this in relation to personal development planning, reflective practice and identity and self-construction within the disciplines. Alison is an accredited LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Facilitator.


  1. James, A. R. (2015) Innovative pedagogies series: Innovating in the Creative Arts with LEGO. York: Higher Education Academy, available at: (Accessed on 2 May 2018).
  2. Kristiansen, P. and Rasmussen, R. (2014) Building a better business using the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley.
  3. Nerantzi, C. and James, A. (forthcoming) LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® in Higher Education, openly licensed digital book, more information about this forthcoming publication at: (Accessed on 2 May 2018).
  4. The LEGO Group (2010) Open-source: Introduction to LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, available at: (Accessed on 2 May 2018).