1/10/18: Board games as assessments?!

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YES! I want to show students that there are other ways to assess than a multiple choice or short answer test. After a probability and stats unit, I have my students work in groups to create their own board game. It must either be original or it can be inspired by a pre-existing game but it must have a twist. They will write instructions for how to play the game and provide the materials. Students should find 4 different probability problems in the game (maybe one involves the probability of Player 1 winning, one involves a tree diagram of coin flips, one discusses a multi-stage probability problem, etc.). Then students are to play their games several times to collect data (on their own time) and create two graphs from what they obtained. Maybe this could be about the number of turns it took until someone won, how many times each number was rolled, etc.

I give students about 4 days to complete this, and then we spend a period playing each other’s games. Originally, this wasn’t in my plan, but I thought that students should be able to show off what they created. I’ve had a lot of students say that they would actually play these games with their families, which makes me so happy. Especially in today’s world, we need to let students create and be imaginative.

I also love this assessment because it hits the 4 Cs (Critical thinking, Collaboration, Communication, Creativity) really well. Because I teach future teachers, I also have students reflect on how the 4 Cs are hit with this assessment.

Here’s a slideshow of some of the games that my students created last semester!

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Additionally, I’ve never had a student say this. How awesome is it that students enjoy doing an assessment?

So go ahead, think of creative ways to assess. Outside of school, people will hardly ever see another multiple choice test again. What they will be expected to do however, is to work together, critically think, and communicate. Let’s try having our assessments reflect that.

Thank you for reading.