The Unit Guide Tutorial Game

The Unit Guide Tutorial Game

This learning game is a fun way to avoid the dull Week 1 lecture, where deadlines and criteria for a new university class (or “unit” in OZ/NZ university parlance) are given.  This game has three advantages:

1. instead of being talked at, students tell each other the most important parts of a new unit.

2. It is a great way for students to meet each other in tutorial, and get some idea of each others’ personalities (in preparation for group work later)

3. It generates a ‘crowdsourced’ list of what students regard as most important elements of the unit guide.

The rules:

The tutor points to the nearest student and announces “Player 1”.  Then the tutor points to the student’s neighbor and announces “Judge.” Next student is announced “Player 2”.  The next is “Player 1” again.  The tutor continues around the room in this manner.  Students are told to group themselves, and arrange their groups around the room.    (Player 1 –  Judge –  Player 2)    — (Player 1 – Judge – Player 2)  — (Player 1 – Judge – Player2).

Tutor tasks are: call out start and stop times, update the list of “Most Important” topics (on a whiteboard, so all can see), and final arbitrar, if needed.

When Tutor says “go”, each player has 30 seconds to picks the most important thing in the unit guide.  After the first round, players cannot choose anything already chosen from the “most important” list.

  • When Tutor says “stop”, the players are given 10 seconds each to explain their finding to their judge. This is usually noisy.
  • Tutor then obtains silence, and asks each judge in turn to report.
    • Judge announces what each player found, and picks the more important one.
    • The winning player gets a point.  These are recorded on a bit of paper they keep with them.
    • Tutor writes down the winning answers as the judge reads them off. Players cannot use these again.
      • Players can reuse their answers if they were not chosen.
      • The players then each award the Judge 1 or 0 points, using any criteria they like (typically awarded for fairness of decision).   Judge writes tallies their score on a scrap of paper.
      • Then, the groups are mixed:

      * player 2 moves one group to the right

    * judge moves one to the left

The new players and judge get settled, share their scores and otherwise introduce themselves, until the Tutor announces that new round begins. 

Once all judges have travelled full circle, points are tallied and two winners (one player, one judge) are declared. Celebrations ensue.

The game takes about 45 minutes for a 14-person tutorial.

Credits: Murdoch Games Design Workshop students and tutor, 2012.  Creative Commons licensed.