(First published, September 2003)
Textra Games combine the effective organization of well-written documents with the motivational impact of interactive strategies. Participants read a handout and play a game that uses peer pressure and support to encourage recall and transfer of what they read.
Games of pure chance discourage smarter players from mastering new skills and knowledge. Games of pure skill discourage weaker players from trying hard once they fall behind. An effective training game strikes a balance between chance and skill. That's exactly what Review Roulette does.
To review training content from a reading assignment.
Any number. Best game is for 20-30.
20 - 45 minutes
Supplies and Equipment
- Handout with the training content
- Index cards
- Large envelopes
Distribute the handouts. Ask participants to study this handout independently, underlining key ideas and taking notes. Warn them that there will be quiz game based on the contents of the handout. Announce a suitable time limit.
Organize participants into teams. After the study time has elapsed, blow a whistle. Assign participants to different teams. Each team should have five to seven members. It does not matter if some teams have one more player than the others.
Ask teams to generate question cards. Distribute blank index cards to each team and ask participants to write 30 or more review questions, one question on each card.
Give specifications for the question cards. Explain that the questions should be written on one side of the card and the correct answer on the other side. Offer these guidelines:
- Focus the questions on important learning points.
- Avoid trick questions, humorous questions, and trivial questions.
- Go beyond mere recall of facts.
- Use short-answer questions. Avoid true-false and multiple-choice formats.
- Write the correct answer on the other side of the card. If a question has more than one correct answer, list all acceptable answers.
Time the activity. Announce a 10-15 minute time limit for writing questions. At the end of this time, blow the whistle to stop the activity.
Distribution Of Question Cards
Add bonus instructions. Ask each team to select any six question cards and write “Take an extra turn!” on the answer side of the card, below the answer.
Add bad-luck cards. Ask the teams to write, “Lose your turn!” on both sides of six blank cards and add them to the set of question cards.
Prepare question-card sets. Ask each team to make sure that all the cards are arranged with the question side up (except for the bad-luck cards). Distribute an envelope to each team. Ask teams to shuffle the cards and place the packet inside the envelope with the question side facing the opening of the envelope.
Distribute the question-card sets. Take the envelope from each team and give it to the next team. Ask team members to place the envelope on the table with the opening facing up.
Playing The Game
Get the game started. Announce that the game will last for 10 minutes. At the end of the time, the person with the most question cards won (by giving the correct answers) wins the game.
Answer the question. Select one player from each team to be the first player. Ask this player to take the top card from inside the envelope, without exposing any other card. This person places the card on the table (hiding the answer), reads the question, and immediately gives an answer.
Win the card. Players now turn the card over and check the “official” answer on the other side. If correct, the player wins the card and adds it to his or her collection. (If the player's answer is incorrect, the question card is placed on a discard pile.)
Continue the game. If the answer side of the card contains the instruction, “Take an extra turn!” the same player picks another question card. Otherwise, it is the next player's turn. The game proceeds as before.
Lose a turn. Whenever a player picks a card with the instruction, “Lose your turn!”, the turn passes to the next player.
Challenge answers. After a player reads a question and gives the answer, other players may yell, “Challenge!” if they think that the answer is not correct. The first player to do so becomes the official challenger and gives an alternative response. The question card is turned over to verify the answer. If the original answer is correct, the player wins the card and collects another card from the challenger's collection. If the challenger is correct, he or she wins the card and collects another card from the player's collection. (If the player or the challenger does not have a collection of cards from earlier rounds, no penalty card is collected.)
Conclude the game. The game ends when all the question cards have been picked up or when the allotted time of 10 minutes is used up. At this time, the player with the most cards wins the game.