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Improving Student Motivation and Learning through Classroom Experiments and Games. John Sloman. Tell me and I will forget Show me and I will remember Involve me and I will understand Step back and I will act (Chinese proverb). Games, experiments and role playing in PBL. Strengths

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Tell me and I will forgetShow me and I will rememberInvolve me and I will understandStep back and I will act

(Chinese proverb)

games experiments and role playing in pbl
Games, experimentsand role playing in PBL
  • Strengths
    • motivation, involvement, empathy, fun!
    • encourages active and deep learning
    • illustration and contextualisation
  • Potential weaknesses
    • over-simplification
    • not taken seriously
games experiments and role playing in pbl4
Games, experimentsand role playing in PBL
  • Overcoming the drawbacks
    • clear guidelines
    • feedback and reflection
    • drawing on concepts in later classes
    • linked to seminar activities
game 1 a trading game
Game 1: A trading game
  • Students divided into buyers and sellers
  • Students given cards
    • Black for sellers of the item
      • Number on card gives cost of item in £s
      • Want to sell above value of card
    • Red for buyers of the item
      • Number on card gives value of item in £s
      • Want to buy below value of card
  • Trading takes place
    • Individual buyers and sellers agree prices
    • Mark their gain on their sheet
    • No deal gives no gain or loss
game 1 reflections
Game 1: Reflections
  • (Link to paper)(Link to handout)
  • Students get considerable insight into the working of pit markets
  • Equilibrium prices rapidly emerge
    • Can vary the cards to see the effects on equilibrium
  • Easy to demonstrate producer and consumer surplus
  • Can discuss information issues
  • Can introduce a tax of £x on suppliers
game 2 expected value game
Game 2:Expected value game
  • TV show: Deal or No Deal?
    • Channel 4, six days per week (45 mins)
  • US version playable online (link)
    • 26 people each with a suitcase of money, the amount not known to them
      • Sums of money vary from 1¢ to $1,000,000
    • One contestant us selected to play
      • … who eliminates suitcases in batches, whose contents are then revealed
      • After each batch, the contestant is offered a ‘Deal’ by the ‘Banker’, based on the values yet to be eliminated
      • The contestant chooses ‘Deal’ or ‘No Deal’
game 2 reflections
Game 2: Reflections
  • Virtually all students will be familiar with the game
  • Easy to set up:
    • It can be played online
    • Or with envelopes and the sums of money on the whiteboard
  • Illustrates decision-making under risk
    • Expected value; risk premia; probability; risk attitudes and what affects them
game 3 production function game
Game 3:Production function game
  • Activity
    • Production runs (2) in a factory, involving moving balls from one place to another
    • Extra workers are added one at a time
  • Equipment:
    • About 30 balls (e.g. tennis balls)
    • 4 buckets (or baskets or cardboard boxes)
  • Students divided into two teams
    • Object to get as many balls from one end to the other in 30 seconds
game 3 reflections
Game 3: Reflections
  • (Link to paper)(Link to handout)
  • Easy to set up and fun to play
    • Can bring alive a potentially dry subject area
    • Flexible: can be played with 1, 2 or more teams
  • Can demonstrate
    • Diminishing returns
    • TP, AP and MP
    • Can derive TC, AC, MC, TR, AR, MR and Profit
    • Shifts and movements along product and cost curves from technological change
    • Effects of changing fixed and variable costs
game 4 public goods game
Game 4:Public goods game
  • Aim
    • Aim is to make as much money as possible, irrespective of what others make
  • Activity
    • Each person (or pair) is given four cards of the same value (e.g. four threes or four queens)
    • Each person plays two cards each round
  • Scoring
    • Black cards have no value
    • Red cards are worth £1 for everyone if played and £4 just to the individual if not played.
game 4 reflections
Game 4: Reflections
  • (Link to paper)(Link to handout)
  • Very easy to set up and fun to play
    • Can easily be played in a seminar
    • Flexible: can be played with up to 13 individuals or pairs
  • Can demonstrate
    • Public goods and external benefits
    • Prisoners’ dilemma and Nash equilibrium
    • Collusion versus competition
    • Motivation and altruism
game 5 auctioning a pound coin
Game 5:Auctioning a pound coin
  • Activity
    • This is a simple auction of a pound coin
    • The only difference is that both the winner and the next highest bidder have to pay
  • At the end
    • The money earned can be returned to students (but don’t tell them this at the start).
    • A discussion can then take place about the issues raised
game 5 reflections
Game 5: Reflections
  • (Link to paper)(Link to handout)
  • Simple and flexible
    • Simple equipment: a pile of pound coins and a sheet for recording results
    • Can be played in a seminar group
  • Can demonstrate
    • Sunk costs and marginal costs
    • Risk attitudes
    • Collusive bidding
    • Concepts of equity
game 6 a keynesian beauty contest
Game 6: A ‘Keynesian Beauty Contest’
  • A game about investor expectations
    • predicting share prices based on what you think other people will do
  • Simple to play
    • No equipment required other than:
      • a calculator for the tutor
      • a whiteboard/flipchart for recording results
  • The game (each round)
    • Students have to select a number from 0 to 100
    • A prize is given in each round to the student who selects a number closest to 2/3 of the mean
game 6 reflections
Game 6: Reflections
  • Link1Link 2
  • At the end
    • Students can be asked to explain their decisions
  • Can demonstrate:
    • Expectations formation
    • Iterative thinking / progression
    • Movement to Nash equilibrium
game 7 tradable permits game
Game 7: TradablePermits Game
  • Six teams
    • Each represents a polluting firm
    • Each team is given a worksheet and a marginal abatement cost (MAC) curve
  • Each team is given an emissions allocation
    • The same for all firms (1480 units)
  • Round 1
    • Establishes cost of abatement with no trading
  • Round 2
    • Teams can now trade allocations
    • Price is adjusted by tutor until demand equals supply
    • Establishes the cost with trading at market clearing price
game 7 reflections
Game 7: Reflections
  • (Link to handouts and worksheets)
  • Uses MC = MR analysis in a different context
  • Demonstrates how emissions trading can achieve any given pollution reduction at minimum cost
  • Flexible: no. of permits can be varied to demonstrate
    • Effect on equilibrium price
    • Abatement costs
  • Seminar can analyses worksheets of all teams after the game
  • Classroom Expernomics
  • Charlie Holt’s Games papers
  • Charlie Holt’s Veconlab
  • Charles A. Holt, Markets, Games and Strategic Behaviour, Pearson/Addison Wesley, 2006
  • Bringing Economic Experiments into the Classroom (FDTL5 project: Univ. of Exeter)