At a local games club, I found myself introducing new players to Dungeons and Dragons. Something I have done many times before. After the session, though, I found myself reflecting on the experience as teaching adult learners. What was motivating them to engage with the complexities of the game? Where were the barriers to their learning and what helped enable it? How did their experience reflect theory? It was arguably situated learning, as they were new to this kind of game, undergoing the peripheral experience and became part of a community of practice and shared experience. There was an element of Connectivism in a player whose knowledge of D&D came from memes she had seen online – those prompted her choice of role, and her in-game learning experience made connections between the half-understood jokes and the game they were based on.
The phenomenon I have seen and try to encourage in teaching people new to a subject of learners interacting and supporting each other was certainly something that occured with these player-learners as they cohered into a group, learned how to play, saved the day and had fun.