At a Glance


  • Applied Arts

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP
  • University

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual
  • Group

Type of Tasks

  • Solving problems
  • Reading

Technical Details

Class size

  • Small (20-49)


  • Single class period (< 90 mins)

Instructional Purpose

  • Preparation & knowledge activation
  • Application & knowledge building


In this short, jeopardy-style activity, students compete in teams to find items in the National Building Code text.

In the class leading up to the class in which the activity takes place, the instructor performs an interactive presentation that aims to give overall structure and context to the National Building Code (Why do we need a building code? Why is it written in this legalistic way? etc.). As part of the interactive presentation, students answer questions and find basic information in the code in groups at intervals during the presentation. This prepares students for the reading homework and the jeopardy activity (during the next class).

Before class, students perform pre-assigned readings from the National Building Code through Moodle. In class, students get into teams (pre-assigned or by choice) of 3-5 people. The instructor has a list of questions of increasing difficulty that they will call out in succession for the teams to find in the National Building Code text (in a book or on a PDF). The questions are a mix of recall and deeper-thinking. The team with the most correct answers wins.

Finally, this leads to an individual Code application exercise for a small design project. The assignment tests student understanding of key code calculations used by designers.

Instructional Objectives

Students learn how to read the code rather than memorize it, which involves deeper thinking and critical thinking skills.

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes

Leigh Barnett Shapiro

Leigh Barnett Shapiro

Dawson College, Montreal, QC


Students really enjoy the competitive nature of this activity. It’s also a lot more exciting for them to search for answers in the National Building Code text as opposed to only reading through it individually. This activity helps with student retention of the material, and also shows them how to read the code rather than just memorizing it, which is an important for their future design careers.


Some students might have difficulty with reading the text contextually rather than for memorization.


By putting students into teams, students that have difficulty with context can learn from their teammates.
This activity is best followed-up by the ‘Ideal Classroom’ activity which also deals with National Building Code.

Applied Strategies


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