Jeopardy 2017: Updated Course Closer

JeopardyWhat is the best way to close out a course? The current gamification trend suggests updating some tried and true methods. Below is a classic Toolbox post on how to turn the last day into a game of Jeopardy. However, MBA students at the University of South Florida have recently updated it with a very slick PowerPoint version that is really worth checking out. Since the file has macros, you will need to download it and run it in PowerPoint (can’t be viewed otherwise). The categories and questions can be edited in PowerPoint. The students read Richard Rumelt’s Good Strategy, Bad Strategy and turned the key points into Jeopardy questions. They then used buzzers (below) and the file above to run a Jeopardy-based class exercise. (Thanks so much to Erwin Danneels and his students, Pranali Panjwani, Elliott Parker, Blesson Mullappally, Saharsh Kislaya, Bikash Patra, for sharing).

89c1ac36-e750-4a0f-a42e-8eccd5e54a2c_1-5ae0247df31b71a1396c2e2e65660ca1If you want to add some spice to this exercise, you might get a set of buzzers that contestants can use to get control of the board. Here is a link for a reasonably priced set of buzzers on Amazon.

This can also be done in a lower tech manner by using a white board for the categories and dollar amounts.  One can also have Daily Doubles and a final Jeopardy question.  The ‘prize’ might be that the winning team gets extra class participation points for that day. Alternatively, one might find other meaningful prizes to distribute.

Here is another take at Jeopardy Questions in a word file. As you can see, they are a mix of course ideas and fun topics. For the category ‘Before and After’ (which is the hardest), the instructor would display the question on a projector so students could read and think about it (otherwise one can just read the questions).

Do MBAs destroy value?

MBA programs help students gain general human capital which may give them a feeling that they can solve problems in a broad range of contexts. Some have lamented how this can result in arrogant behaviors that make them hard to work with. Scott Adam captures this problem admirably below. It might make sense to use this to imbue students with a sense of caution as they enter the workforce.

Contributed by Russ Coff

Class Closers

  • “On the first day of class I choose a simple, one-page Fortune article that seems to cover many complex strategy issues.  I have students attempt to summarize and describe the strategy and its merits and limitations to the class.  In the closing session, I bring out the article again and repeat the exercise.  I use this to dramatize how much the students have learned.”
  • “I close the class by outlining the different aspects of business and corporate strategy in a general framework and then ask for students to explain how the class has helped them to make sense of each aspect.  Its pretty exciting to see them show how much they have learned and helps me to re-tool the class for the next time I teach it.”
  • “I close the class by taking the basic strategy tenets and apply them at the level of the individual — to show how the students can use what they have learned to further their own interests, in addition to those of the firms for which they will work.”

Contributed by Mason CarpenterMason Carpenter