A framework for re-imagining video in Higher Education using playfulness


Increased availability of low-cost high-quality recording equipment, coupled with institutional beliefs about student digital expectations, has led to a greater use of educational video in Higher Education in recent years. Video has huge potential for engaging students and enhancing learning, but much educational video developed is underpinned by assumptions about the value of information transmission, and limited by cultural assumptions. It often fails to exploit its full potential to be immersive, emotionally resonant, interactive, experimental and innovative. This article explores the potential of playfulness in relation to educational video in Higher Education and presents a theoretical framework for understanding the possibilities of playful video by considering who is being playful (the person who makes the video or the personthat watches it) and when playfulness happens (synchronously or asynchronously to the video). From this analysis, we identified four different approaches to playful video in Higher Education: playful design by making films that areintrinsically playful; playful participation by creating opportunities for playful interaction with video; playful creation using playful approaches to video making; and playful action with videos that inspire or instigate subsequent play. In this article we aim to start a process of legitimising playful video in academia and open a conversation about its full possibilities.


Educational Video, Playful video, Playful pedagogy

How to Cite

Caspar, S., Whitton, P. & Whitton, N., (2021) “A framework for re-imagining video in Higher Education using playfulness”, The Journal of Play in Adulthood 3(2), 131-147. doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/jpa.858







Stephan Caspar (Carnegie Mellon University)
Peter Whitton (Durham University)
Nicola Whitton orcid logo (Durham)



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0


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This article has been peer reviewed.

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