Volume 8, Number 4
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Survey Says: Game Shows!
One of the biggest challenges for most instructors is engaging their students. It’s difficult to present material in a way in which all students understand it, to make sure that they are interacting with the material, and know the material is being retained. The answer to this quandary: game shows.
While game shows are a fun shell, they are also powerful learning tools. They are used to
- Review, preview, and prepare for tests and exams;
- Alert instructors to students’ learning gaps;
- Informally assess student progress;
- Motivate and energize students;
- Promote teamwork and stimulate discussion;
- Break down complicated or sensitive material into sizable chunks; and
- Increase content retention.
Game shows are fun at a base level, but they’re also highly effective for motivating, educating, and engaging students to, ultimately, achieve higher content retention.
Why Game Shows Work. A game show, at its most elemental level, is an entertaining question-and-answer framework. In the format of a game show, students interact with the questions and seek answers. Game shows appeal to students’ sense of competition, have a short learning curve and appeal to all students regardless of age or skill level, engage multiple senses, and are flexible. We’ve talked with hundreds of instructors who use game shows every day. No matter what the age range, material, or technical complexity of the subject, students love that the game shows are fun, and instructors love that the game shows are effective.
Winning With Game Shows. Educational game shows should be different from TV game shows in a number of ways:
- Encourage students instead of berating or mocking wrong answers.
- Decrease competition by eliminating or minimizing prizes.
- Put students into teams instead of having them play as individual contestants.
- Modify the rules to fit your subject. Any rule changes that you make should be communicated before the game begins.
The Host With the Most. The instructor makes the game show, because an instructor isn’t just a game show host, but is also educating the students while playing the game. To increase the effectiveness of the game show, instructors can add extra information before and after the questions, explain incorrect answers, debrief after the game show, and involve the entire class. And, the instructor should also have fun!
More Information. For information on game show software and complimentary demos of Gameshow Pro, a game show template software program, visit www.learningware.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-800-457-5661.