The students are asked to learn 3 out of 5 board games within 30 minutes. Afterwards they reflect on what it means when one says „I have learnt a game“ and lead a discussion about the different meanings of the word „learning“ in various contexts.


  • to inspire reflection on the topic „learning“: What are we talking about when we say „I have learnt something?“.
  • to raise curiosity about oneself as a learner: What inspires us to learn? Which conditions do we need to learn more easily?
  • to develop the key competence of „learning to learn“

Material needed

  • Enough space for participants to form groups
  • Paper, pens
  • Flipchart, markers
  • 5 different kinds of board games
  • Handout: The learning interview guide (Annex 1)
  • Handout: Learning to Learn (Annex 2)


Allow two lessons for this activity. Place 5 different board games on tables in the room or in several rooms. Arrange the chairs in a circle in the middle of the room.

Step by step description

  1. Step 1: Let the students work in pairs. They should talk about a recent learning achievement that they are proud of (e.g.: Why am I proud of it?). When they return to the circle they present the other person and his/her learning achievement.

  2. Step 2: Tell the students to have a look at the board games. The task is to learn 3 new ones in 30 minutes. Everybody can choose how to go about it (in teams, pairs, alone, playing or not, just reading the instructions, etc.). Afterwards reflect with the students on the following question: When do you state „I have learnt a game?“ – When you know the instructions, when you have fun playing it, when you can win, etc.? This should lead to a discussion about the different meanings of the word „learning“ in various contexts.

  3. Step 3: Again in pairs the participants are invited to conduct the learning interview according to an interview guide (see Annex 1). Ask them to concentrate on a few questions. Afterwards collect the students’ reactions to the questions they dealt with and write them on a flipchart.

  4. Step 4: Give a short presentation of the concept of learning to learn and its aims (see Annex 2). Eventually distribute the handout to the students.

Questions for debriefing

  • How did you like the activity? What did you like most?
  • What did you learn about learning today?
  • How did you cope with the learning interviews?
  • Do you consider changes in your learning process?

Reference / original source of the method

Peter Hofmann facilitated this activity during his workshop with the same name at the aces Academy 2011 in Prague. Annex 1 was originally published in: Taylor, Mark & Kloosterman, Paul: Handbook for facilitators. Learning to Learn in Practice. Annex 1 was taken from the first edition of the publication in 2010, an updated version is available on Annex 2 was originally published in „Learning  to Learn. A key competence for all adults?!“  in 2009 at the beginning of the Learning to Learn project which was funded by the European Commission. 

Annex 1: The Learning Interview Guide

Annex 2: Learning to Learn – A key competence for all adults?