Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bingo dabbers anyone?

In the conscious and consistent effort to incorporate active learning into classroom activities, I decided to try bingo in my BLE 495 class.  I knew the class size would be fairly small and that my portion of the instruction would merely be demonstration as students would not have access to computer workstations. 

I ran a search for bingo templates in Google and found one in Microsoft Office online templates.  The template was called buzzword bingo and came complete with many inspiring business type terms like collaboration and team work. 

I created 10 unique sheets using words that I knew I would use sometime in my presentation; either because I say them all the time like research, concepts, topics, effective and efficient OR because they were part of my presentation, like the search examples that I was planning on using.  For prizes, I went to the bookstore and purchased $20 worth of school supplies (pens, highlighters, binder clips, etc.).  I planned on having only one winner from this session, but wanted the winner to be able to select their prize from the grab bag.

On the back of each bingo sheet, I added a 1-minute memo that contained two short questions.  First, list one thing that you learned today that will be useful to your future work as an engineer and second, list one thing that you would like to learn more about.

The response to the bingo cards was immediate and positive.  I had laid them out on the tables ahead of time and most students remarked as they entered the room.  I begun my time, by instructing students that it was a blackout bingo game and that a prize would be given to the winning student.

I thought for sure that I would state all the terms before the end of the session, but alas, no student completed the entire sheet.  I immediately modified the rules, and gave it to the student who had completed the majority of the sheet.  The professor (who was also participating) had less left, but I decided he was not eligible to win a prize. 

Lesson learned:
  • one line would be plenty for the first winner, but offer a secondary prize for a blackout towards the end of class if there is one. 
  • students were paying attention because most of them missed things that I surely had said at some point.
  • the 1-minute memo was a fabulous way to gather feedback about the session.  I followed up with a list of answers to the questions that they had posed.

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