Here’s a classroom competition/game I dreamt up called ‘Key Knowledge Kwiz’.
There are two competing teams – of 1, 2 or 3 kids per team. Or 4. Doesn’t matter.
Each team prepares a list of IT theory questions that must have verifiably true or false answers. Maybe 5 questions per team member, plus some spares, just in case (as explained later).
(Because kids create their own questions, the teacher doesn’t have to spend time in advance writing them. So the game can be sprung at any time, and the creative responsibility is squarely on the students’ shoulders.)
Teams take turns to give the other team a question, e.g. “New York is one of the accepted citation styles.”
The other team says whether the answer is true or false (for 1 point). Team members may confer before answering.
The answering team may then earn another 2 points for either:
– correctly explaining why the answer is false. (e.g. “The style is ‘Chicago’, not “New York”)
– if the answer was ‘true’, giving a correct and relevant Fun Fact (e.g. “Fun fact: another accepted style is IEEE”).
A team is not allowed to pose a question that has either already been asked by the other team, or has already given as a Fun Fact.
So, using the examples above, neither team could then ask a question about ‘IEEE’ or ‘Chicago’.
(This means that teams need to have some spare questions and/or improvise new ones if they suddenly find some of their questions are suddenly out of play. This adds a little improv spice to the game.)
To add difficulty, if a team mistakenly asks a question that does not actually have a true or false answer (e.g. “Is a large company subject to the Privacy Act 1988?”), the other team can challenge the question (for 2 points) and clearly explain why it is invalid (for 4 points), for example, “Objection! If it’s a private company, its size is not relevant. It depends on whether the company turns over more then $3m a year or… etc”
(Question-setters will be more careful when framing their questions if they know they will give away twice as many points because they carelessly asked a faulty question.)
If there is a dispute over scoring, the audience can be the adjudicators and argue the merits of the question and/or answer until a crowd-sourced decision is agreed upon.
The teacher only needs to make a final arbitration in case the entire crowd is wrong – but the teacher needs to prove that the final judgement is valid.
This game may be useful to
(a) fill in time.
(b) help kids focus on very specific KK details.
(c) help them judge and deal with dodgy exam questions in section A where none of the available options is correct.
(d) anticipate common errors and frame questions to exploit them (as exams often do)
(e) stop the teacher talking all the time.
I guess this format could also be used for subjects other than IT.