TV Game Show Format Provides Enjoyable Test

Nov 15th, 2005 | By | Category: 17-2: Sustainability, Tribal College News
By Dennis J. Neumann

LAKOTA JEOPARDY. Lakota History Instructor Sheri BearKing Baker is game show host for this fun assessment tool. Photo by Dennis Neumann

The TV game show “Jeopardy” has long been a favorite of college students. Sheri BearKing Baker created “Lakota Jeopardy” for her class in Lakota History at United Tribes Technical College (UTTC, Bismarck, ND).

She had given the typical paper and pen quizzes, but she questioned whether they really measure student learning. “We know that students learn in different ways,” says Baker.  “For educators, it requires measuring in different ways too.”

The UTTC faculty has had extensive experience learning about multiple forms of assessing student learning and reporting their findings, according to Brian Palecek, UTTC assessment coordinator.

“Testing is only one way of assessing student learning and not a very revealing way at that,” said Palecek.  “The really important part of student learning will not be found in tests.  The human mind is too complex for it to be that easy.”

Baker’s students took the Jeopardy “test” near the end of the term. The contestants grouped together in three teams.  Each taking turns, one member represented a group, honking a bicycle horn to ring in for the answer.  If no one knew the answer, teams were allowed to collaborate and use the book.

The students themselves had created the questions. Student Tanya Mendoza designed the Jeopardy board.

“I learned more about Lakota History in this class than I ever knew,” said Janice St. Claire (Three Affiliated Tribes).  “It’s interesting to learn about another culture other than your own.”

“It was a totally awesome learning tool,” said Kristi Dionne (Turtle Mountain Chippewa).  “It brought the whole class together.  Even the shy people came out of their shells.”

“The best part was that no one was a loser,” said another student.

Dennis J. Neumann is the United Tribes Technical College public information director.

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