Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Gamify Your Content with BINGO!

In planning my calendar each semester, I schedule time for in-class exam review.  I find that even a short review session can relieve some of the anxiety students face come test time.  In addition, it's a chance for me to sneak in a low-risk assessment before the "real thing."  Instead of repeating my lecture material, I try to create activities that push the students to be active in their learning.

In cases where students need to master new terminology for an exam, I create custom Bingo cards at  With 24 terms (plus the FREE center square), Print-Bingo will generate 10 unique cards in a downloadable .pdf file.  For a large class, I either generate multiple sets or just print several copies of one set ... I'm okay with multiple winners.  Students choose a card and they have 5 minutes to look over the terms and ask questions.

When we're ready to play, I read one definition at a time in random order, and the students have to cross-out the corresponding term on their Bingo cards.  When a student gets BINGO, I give them the chance to drop one 2-point question on the exam.  We play until roughly half the class wins.  

For the students who struggle to match definitions to the terms, the game is a wake-up call.  For me, it helps identify students who might need some extra help or even a referral to the Learning Commons.  Yes, there's an element of chance involved in winning (which card you pick), but the risk and the reward are so small that students don't complain.

If you'd like to talk more about using games for test review, visit the CTE or contact Meg Elias at