Identity Accelerator #3: Mystery Guestmkoole, · Categories: Educational technology, Identity, Teaching
This activity is a based on the old Canadian TV series “Front Page Challenge”. According to the Museum of Broadcast Communications, this quiz show “featured four panelists, usually well-known journalists, who would ask yes-or-no questions in an attempt to correctly identify a mystery challenger connected to a front-page news item, as well as the news item itself. After the panelist had guessed correctly—or been stumped—they would proceed to interview the challenger”.
Naturally, this activity is ideal for social studies or political science classes. However, this idea can be used in nearly any class. In my case, for example, I would consider selecting someone who is an expert in instructional design or and educational learning theory.
- Asynchronous: This would constitute a week-long asynchronous discussion forum activity with a willing expert and a moderator. In an asynchronous discussion forum, it is best to introduce the activity in the forum description (or the first thread).
- Synchronous: Mystery topic/guest would make an excellent hour-long discussion using Collaborate, Adobe Connect or other similar tools. The instructions can be sent to the students prior to the synchronous session along with the invitation link.
- Invite the mystery guest well in advance. Experts often have limited time. Prepare some “interview questions” (or discussion prompts) in advance and discuss them with the guest. It is possible that the students will not be fully prepared to ask effective questions on a new topic.
- Make sure the guest understands that s/he can only say “yes” or “no”. (This is similar to the rules in Twenty Questions (Accelerator #1)).
- Instruct the mystery guest to log in under the pseudonym “mystery guest”. They must use the guest access to the synchronous or asynchronous environment.
- During this activity, the students in the class can work together as a team. Alternatively, the class could be split into groups and compete to identify the guest.
- The facilitator can ask the first question to get the activity started.
- The facilitator can also nudge the first few questioners to change their questions to yes-or-no format.
- The facilitator can help the students understand how to start generally and narrow the questions as they go.
- After the students guess the identity of the mystery guest, the facilitator can open the floor to allow the students to ask more specific questions to the guest.
Mystery Guest would be an ideal activity for beginning a unit on a specific topic. For example, if I were starting a research methodology unit on design-based research (DBR), I would consider inviting Dr. Terry Anderson to join the activity. Advance preparation (in collusion with the guest prior to the session) of interview questions/discussion would include topics such as
- How is DBR different from or similar to action research and other methodologies?
- A diagram showing the iterative nature of DBR.
- A description of a successful DBR project.
I would provide a rating of this activity, but I have yet to try it.
Note: for an introduction to identity accelerators for online teaching and learning visit this previous entry.