The Most Awesome Quiz Event
May 30, 2010 2:08 PM   Subscribe

Help me devise a quiz show type event for the final session of a study group I lead.

At my university there is a program called Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS), where someone who did well in the course the previous year leads a study group of students taking the course currently. It is the final session of my politics study session tomorrow and I would like to finish the trimester with a fun game that is also educational. The group size varies each week with around 8-12 people on average.

I considered bingo, but winning is based almost entirely on luck, and so I want to do something more competitive like a quiz show type event. I have seen a Who Wants To Be a Millionaire format suggested, but I'm not sure if that can get the whole group involved in answering questions all at once.

My preferred option is dividing students into groups and giving them some sort of buzzer, with points awarded for correct answers. I am wondering, however, if there is something a bit more complex/exciting/original/awesome that I could do? A two stage event where each groups gets to answer a set amount of questions before we move onto the more adversarial 'buzzer' form? Are there any quiz shows you have seen that you think could be adapted for this purpose to make the event really memorable and fun and educational?

Some more possibly relevant info: the kind of knowledge that I would be looking to test is mainly factual, e.g. In what year did Botswana gain independence? What theory are Levitsky and Way famous for? Provide two examples of how political violence challenges the state. etc., so there is room for maybe different difficulty levels within the questions as well as questions that have one particular answer or where you can select from a range.

Also I do have some guiding principles to adhere to, for instance I would not want to give the event an individual focus if it is going to be competitive because the level of the students as well as social confidence varies, and it is important to make sure no one feels forced into a situation or left out etc. As a whole the regulars of the group get on really well, however.

Thank you in advance for your time and help, and if I have left off any relevant information let me know.
posted by atmosphere to Education (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
1. You could do a two-stage game. First stage is a team worksheet with around 10 questions and a strict time limit. Points from that are added to points from the second stage, with teams buzzing in with answers to questions.

2. Team Jeopardy. You could download one of those Jeopardy template powerpoints and customize it with your own questions. You can probably find it via Google, but if not, lemme know and I'll email it to you.

3. You could play what my teacher calls Trashketball. Divide the kids into two teams. Read a question to one side; if they get it right, they get to shoot a paper ball into the wastebasket, earning a point if it goes in. If they miss the basket or if they fail to answer correctly, the other team gets a different question.
posted by estlin at 2:17 PM on May 30, 2010

Let me make a different recommendation, respect your student's time and don't do this. I don't know how your study session works, but I have been to several different study groups throughout my college career, and I can say that the game show/"quiz" study sessions are not appreciated. I only have so much time in my day, and I go to the study sessions to work hard on the material and receive some extra insight on it. Chances are your students are similar and have several other finals to study for, and much better ways to spend their limited study time than to use an hour playing group Jeopardy and covering 15 review questions.
posted by 517 at 3:11 PM on May 30, 2010

Thanks estlin, I really like both your first and third ideas! We don't get Jeopardy here in New Zealand so I/the students probably wouldn't be familiar enough with the format for it to work as well as it could, but I did wikipedia it and it sounds like a great format they I will try use in the future.

517, I know what you mean. I am planning, depending on the format of the game, to spend about 20 minutes reviewing a case study at the start, but the students specifically asked for fun and games for the last session, it's a pretty relaxed and casual sort of a set-up as it's as much about getting them comfortable with each other so they develop bonds and friendships that they can make use of outside the hour long weekly session. But thanks for sharing the sentiment, I will take it into consideration when planning the session!
posted by atmosphere at 5:58 PM on May 30, 2010

When I did the Jeopardy style quizzes in my classroom, we didn't use buzzers. Each team was assigned a turn and during that turn they were the only team answering that question. If they got it wrong, the other team could steal the points if they got it, but then they had their own question for their turn. We also didn't play where a correct answer kept playing - we just rotated turns whether they got it right or not.

My point is that even if you find a game format that you like (like Millionaire), you can adjust the rules to make it a more even distribution of questions across all your students, even if that's not how they do it on TV.

Another format you could try is Trivial Pursuit. Similar to Jeopardy, there are categories that the team can choose and then questions within that category which are harder/easier and therefore worth more/less points.
posted by CathyG at 10:00 AM on June 1, 2010

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