Classroom Games and Exercises Janelle Heineke February 6, 2014
Why Use Games? • To motivate learning. • To provide a common context. • To encourage learning through action. • To foster self-generated understanding • To use class time efficiently. • To encourage interaction and teamwork. • To reinforce and apply learning. • To vary the classroom pace. • To make learning more fun.
Effectiveness of Games • Games are effective when they are: • Short and focused • Long(er) and integrating • Games are less effective when they are: • “Black Box” games • Games that confuse rather than clarify • Games that can be “gamed.”
Candidate Topics • Concepts (in my field) • Process analysis • Push and pull production • Statistical quality control • Dimensions of quality • Taguchi methods • What about yours?
Fundamentals • Use commonly available materials • Create, rather than present, data • Match complexity to the purpose • Allow groups to enhance the experience • Keep tasks low-stress • Adapt . . .
Logistics • Plan and prepare • Yourself • Your students • Make it fit • Sequence • Duration • Don’t over-direct the exercise
Final Thought • Games/exercises are fun -- but they’re also a serious approach to teaching and learning. • If the value of the lessons learned is not worth the time, students will be frustrated – and the value of the exercise is lost.