Game Shows as Review Activities: The Impact on Course Evaluations and Student Perceptions

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Abstract

Many courses use games as review activities, but some previous studies have shown that games do not always improve student performance. Previous studies have also examined students’ perceptions of the review activities themselves, but it is not known how different types of review activities may influence perceptions of the course overall. The current study examined how game-show review activities compare to practice-exam review activities in terms of how students perform on exams, perceive the activities, and perceive the course overall. Experiment 1 used a quasi-experimental design to compare grades and course evaluations in 2 sections of an experimental psychology course to examine what effect review games have on student performance and perceptions of the course. In 1 section, students reviewed for exams by answering sample test questions during class. In the other section, students reviewed for exams by answering the same sample test questions during class, but in a game-show format. Students’ evaluations of the course and grades between the 2 sections were compared. Course evaluations were found to be significantly higher in the section that used game-show activities to review for exams, although grades did not differ between the 2 sections. Experiment 2 randomly assigned participants to review formats (practice exam vs. game show) and compared performance on an exam and perceptions of the activity between the 2 conditions. Results showed similar performance on the exam in both conditions but students who received a game-show review format found the activity more enjoyable. These results suggest that relatively simple modifications to a course may produce benefits on how students perceive the course, and the authors provide suggestions for how to modify existing course materials.

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