Identity Accelerator #1: Twenty Questionsmkoole, · Categories: Identity
Twenty Questions is an old game that many of us played as children. But, we can also use it as a “serious game”. I would recommend that it be used as a warmer later into the semester after the students have already introduced themselves and engaged in some interaction. If used as a collaborative activity, the students can discuss strategy. Online collaborative activities help the students get to know each other better.
- Synchronous: warm up or extended activity in VOIP (Skype, Blackboard Collaborate, Adobe Connect, etc.) or Twitter.
- Asynchronous: text based activity for discussion forums with consistent/regular moderation. The moderator will have to establish timelines for interactions, so the activity remains alive over a set period of time. One issue with using this accelerator asynchronously is that a very engaged student (or group of students) might arrive at the correct response before others have joined in.
- Decide if you want this to be a collaborative activity or a competitive activity. If you goal is collaboration, let the students work together. If it is competitive, divide them into groups.
- Set up a “breakout room” for the class or the groups (if using a synchronous modality).
- “I am thinking of a concept in the field of program evaluation [for example].”
- “Your task, as a group, is to ask questions in order to determine what concept is.”
- Explain the rules and strategies:
- “You may ask ‘yes/no’ type questions.”
- “You may use the “20 Questions Room” to strategize; I won’t peek. (If using VOIP breakout rooms.”
- “A general strategy: ask about general categories first. For example, is it a thing? Is it a process? Etc.”
- “You can only ask 20 questions.”
- “The team who guesses correctly thinks of the next concept (for extended activities).”
- Ask the group (or one of the groups) to start.
- The teacher answer only “yes” or “no”—regardless of the question form. The students pick up immediately how to formulate their questions. (Note that this is an excellent exercise for ESL/EFL students learning about question formats.)
I used this activity last night during a synchronous discussion with some graduate students studying program evaluation. Since I didn’t want to take too much time, I used one concept to get the class warmed up. I chose a concept that allowed the session to focus on a fundamental idea that branched into the current assignment. The concept was “program”. The exercise allowed us to discuss the definition and characteristics of a “program” as per program evaluation parlance. The discussion for the subsequent hour centered on program evaluation planning: focusing the evaluation, determining stakeholders, questions formulation, and selecting appropriate models. For the current assignment, it is essential for the students to wisely select a program of clear scope and boundaries in order to succeed in the development of a program evaluation plan. (It is a 6-week course! They need to choose something do-able.) Anyways, I recommend that you choose the concept(s) strategically: something relevant and important to the subsequent discussion. The students appeared highly engaged.
Rating: 4.5 stars