Overview

In this jeopardy-like activity, students work in groups to answer increasingly difficult questions while working against the clock.
At the beginning of class, students get into groups of 4-5 people. Each group is given squares of cardstock in a specific colour. One person in the group is chosen as the "secretary" who is responsible for writing legibly on the cardstock. The secretary writes the group number on each piece of cardstock, as well as the question category and question difficulty. There are 5 categories, and 5 levels of difficulty within each category.
Another person is chosen as the "runner". This person is ...

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In this jeopardy-like activity, students work in groups to answer increasingly difficult questions while working against the clock.
At the beginning of class, students get into groups of 4-5 people. Each group is given squares of cardstock in a specific colour. One person in the group is chosen as the "secretary" who is responsible for writing legibly on the cardstock. The secretary writes the group number on each piece of cardstock, as well as the question category and question difficulty. There are 5 categories, and 5 levels of difficulty within each category.
Another person is chosen as the "runner". This person is responsible for getting the group's answer into the answer hat before time runs out.
Once each group is set up and their cardstocks are prepared, the activity can begin.
The instructor will call out a category and level of difficulty, then will give students a question.
Groups then have 30 seconds to choose their answer, have the secretary write it down, and have the runner place it in the answer hat. The answer hat changes location within the room with each round of questioning. That way, all groups have an equally fair chance of getting to the answer hat during the 30s. Racers that don't get to the answer hat in time cannot submit their group's answer for that question.
After the 30 seconds is up, the instructor reveals the correct answer to the entire class.
Questioning continues until all the categories and levels of difficulty have been completed.
After class, the instructor takes the cardstocks and gives each group a grade based on how many correct answers they submitted.

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Objectives

Work in groups to make snap-decisions, which is useful for real life situations that they will encounter in their various professions.
To understand what they did and did not learn from the lecture, and areas where they can improve their understanding with further studying.

Context and requirements

Level Grade 12-U0
Discipline Biology
Activity Content Physiology
Technological Requirements Smart room or a room with enough space for students to physically run around
Best Use Testing

Author’s Notes

Benefits

Students are very engaged in this activity and can become quite competitive. Having time pressure helps them to learn to make snap-decisions, and also helps to keep them focused on the task at hand.

Challenges

Some groups might not like it that they have to race to get their answers into a hat before the answer period is done.

Tips

Moving the answer hat around the room helps to make the game more fair for all the groups (at some point during the activity, the hat will be closest to each of the groups).
This activity can be done with or without notes/laptops. If used as a more formal quiz, then the instructor can implement a “no notes” rule. Otherwise, notes can be allowed in the classroom during the activity.
Add in an All-or-Nothing round. Students bet the points they’ve won (must be more than 500, but less than 10000) that they’ll get the correct answer. If they are correct, they get x bonus points, and if they’re incorrect, they get x points deducted from their total score. Don’t actually deduct or give extra points, but the high stakes get students to think more carefully about their answer.

Activity Pedagogical Components

Roles

In groups of 4-5, students choose one person to be the secretary, and one person to be the runner. The other students in the group will predominantly those that answer the question, but all students should participate in answering.

Problem-solving

Groups discuss the answer to each question (25 total), write it down and submit it to the answer hat.

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