I heard something a couple of weeks ago that was marvelous to hear.
That was fun. Really fun.
My introduction to business class had just finished playing Ellen Degeneres' HeadsUp game. While the free version of the game comes with general trivia decks of electronic cards, you can purchase custom decks for $.99.
I created a custom deck with about 15 vocabulary words from the first couple of chapters of our Introduction to Business Textbook. We spent the first 5-10 minutes of class seeing how many of the words the class could get.
There's a limitation to the way we were playing the game.
No real deep learning was going on. Once the students found a way to get each other to say the word or phrase, the shortcut stuck. One of the terms was baby boomers. Students would typically motion like they were rocking a baby and then make a noise of something exploding.
It wasn't like the students were actually getting a lot of practice even in defining the words, let alone experiencing any higher order thinking. However, there were sure some benefits to us starting out a class that way, early in the semester.
The HeadsUp game
- Got students out of their seats
- Reinforced the idea of having fun while learning
- Encouraged individual students to take risks
- Helped students start to use the vocabulary words from our class and identify where they may be behind in their learning
- Engaged the students' attention (not a single person was doing anything other than watching the iPad screen that was held above various students' heads, as they played)
It has been a couple of weeks since we played the game. I'm definitely going to use Heads Up again, despite the verbal shortcuts taken by the students in their attempts to raise their scores.
The students are now able to use the vocabulary from the class far better than in past semesters. Better still, they are having fun while learning and are getting to know each other. This class does an extensive project of writing a business plan and having a sense of their fellow students' personalities and strengths is going to serve them well as they select group members.
Jeopardy Rocks game
For those of you without an iPad, or who are looking for a different game format, Richard Byrne introduces us to Jeopardy Rocks.
Two quick updates, since writing this post:
- I've been unable to get the Jeopardy Rocks game linked to in Richard Byrne's post to work. That's too bad because it looks like a great way to review.
- My classes played Ellen's HeadsUp game, again, today. This time, I used the random feature on the Attendance2 app to call on students, individually. Then, each student had to describe the word that I was holding above my head. I required that they actually explain or define the term, instead of using shortcuts. The game was still fun for the students, but also required a bit more knowledge on the students' part.
What games have you found beneficial to play in class, in order to reinforce learning?