9 Trivia Games

Overview: Trivia games can be produced by students or professors using online platforms such as Quizlet and Flippity. Trivia games encourage recall, repeat testing and distributed learning, all of which are well-tested basic principles of learning. It is possible to add competitive elements to the game, which may be motivating for students. Trivia games such as Jeopardy, crossword Bingo, Pub Quiz or even Charades can easily be done in class or be adapted for remote teaching, with a little bit of imagination. These games are mostly easy to set up, and ready-made templates are readily available. Trivia games and quizzes are great ways for students to test their knowledge and discover knowledge gaps they should pay attention to. Students are poor predictors of their own success and have little metacognitive insight regarding what they know and what they don’t. Games can be an engaging way to find out you don’t really know as much as you thought you knew, instead of finding out on the exam.

Tips and Tricks: 

  • Building question sets and flip cards in Quizlet or other platforms can easily become a question bank that builds over the years. One must be mindful these questions are part of the public domain; however, rare are the students who will rote-memorize all of them for an exam. 
  • Students can be further motivated to play if the instructor specifies that a proportion of questions from the game will be used in an exam. Unfortunately, most platforms will not allow the instructor to track student participation.
  • Creating a trivia game or participating in building questions for a trivia game could become an individual or a group assignment.
  • Students can play each other’s games, and, with an adjudicator present, scores can be tallied for the winners, a bit like a tournament.
  • Most ready-made templates and online platforms like Quizlet are free to use.
  • Creating trivia games is easily done in both French and English.
  • Trivia games and quizzes do not have to be solely based on low level questions on the Bloom’s scale of learning, but can also incorporate application of knowledge, transfer, problem solving and analytical questions.

Continuity: Multiple quizzes or trivia games can be played during a semester, and these games can become study tools and reused as such.

Number of players: One to infinity… Can be played as an individual or in groups, depending on the format of the game and the platform used.

Example of a fully integrated course-based game: Biolingo is an online trivia game created by Elaine Beaulieu (uOttawa) and Caroline Petit-Turcotte (now Health Canada) for first-year students registered in Introduction to Cell Biology (French and English). Each student must register to play the game (free) and must achieve a certain number of points in the game in order to obtain participation points for their final grade. Multiple subjects with several difficulty levels have been created. A leaderboard lets the student know how well they are doing compared to other students (motivation, metacognition). Students can only do 3 quizzes per day, which forces them to play often (distributed learning).

Online resources:  Quizlet, Biolingo, Genial.ly, Flippity, AhaSlides, Charades, Kahoot!, etc.

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