Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Final Review Season? Try Jeopardy!

Searching for a way to do final review in a way that wouldn't put everyone right to sleep, I came across this excellent site: Jeopardy Labs. It is a free and easy classroom jeopardy template (I write jeopardy in lower-case letters because it is not affiliated with the TV show), where you simply input the category headings, questions, and answers. When it comes time to play the game, simply project your personalized game onto the classroom screen. Click on the box to view the clue, and after the student answers, click on the "Correct Answer" button to show the answer. It even has a scorecard feature.

Important note: You must save or bookmark the url for your template after you create and save it! The site kindly does not force you to create an account, but that means you have to keep track of your own url.

Of course, an in-class jeopardy game sounds cute here, but what do the students think? As any teacher knows, students are amazingly immune to (what we think are) interesting and engaging activities. Well, my own finicky consumers seemed to love it. Since I made an effort to stop and have a brief discussion about each question, the game prompted a lively review of the concepts we learned over the term. A healthy dose of competition is a good way to get a person involved :) You can check out my version of the game, for a WR 122 class, here.

You'll also have to think up some basic rules for the game-- the site doesn't provide those for you. Mine worked pretty well, so I'll enclose them here.

Jeopardy Rules:

1. Divide the class into three teams. From each team, someone will stand up. This is the designated question answerer (QA). The first team’s QA will select a question (“Fallacies for 300”).

2. The QA will have 30 seconds to answer. If she gets it right, that team gets the points, and it’s Team 2’s turn to pick.

3. If QA does not get the answer right, that team loses the points, and the second team will have the chance to answer. If team 2 does not get the answer right, they too will lose their points, but they will not lose their next turn.

4. Each team gets a turn in order; no losing turns. If a student does not attempt a question, then she remains standing for the next turn. Anyone who attempts a question (successfully or not) must sit down until it becomes their turn again.

5. NO talking while QA’s are contemplating their questions. Only one QA at a time may answer.

6. This is Jeopardy-- you are being presented with an answer, and you must supply the question. All “answers” will be in the form of a question; if not, you lose your points and the chance goes to the next QA. Eg,

A: Thing you type on to send emails and write essays.
Q: What is a computer?


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