I'll Take Learning for 500.

Author:Russ, Travis
Position:Book review
 
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I'll Take Learning for 500, by Dan Yaman and Missy Covington, Book, 2006, Pfeiffer & Company, $60.

Support: CD-ROM.

Field trainers and instructional designers are always looking for innovative techniques for engaging their learners and motivating them to retain training content. Game shows have proven to be particularly useful at accomplishing training objectives.

For years, classroom trainers have used game shows like Jeopardy, Family Feud, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to review course content. These nontraditional learning methods have proved generally effective at helping participants retain the material as well as fostering exciting and motivating learning climates. Until now, few books have been available to help trainers use games shows to their fullest potential.

Fortunately, Dan Yaman and Missy Covington have written I'll Take Learning for 500: Using Game Shows to Engage, Motivate, and Train to fill that gap. The book is a reference guide for trainers and designers that allows the reader to quickly locate information and tips about creating and hosting classroom game shows.

The text is divided into four sections. The first, "Game Shows and Learning," includes frequently asked questions, a list of critical differences between classroom game shows and TV game shows, a description of brain-based theory that underlies game shows, and the busting of popular myths about game shows.

The next section, "Designing a Game Show for Learning," includes the nuts and bolts of design, including brief descriptions of popular shows, an explanation of how to select and customize a TV game show for the training classroom, and how to establish rules for the game.

The third section, "Writing Effective Questions," highlights the types of questions that can be asked during a game show, tips for writing effective (and fair) questions, and strategies for writing questions with multimedia clues. The last section, "Conducting a Game Show," gives valuable tips for being the host of a classroom game show and maximizing participant learning, logistical details regarding game show setup, game show software and hardware peripherals, and criteria to evaluate success of the game and your performance as the host.

The book also contains a "Resources" section chock full of helpful books and sources for software, hardware, and professionally produced materials for game shows. Finally, one of the most attractive features of this book--the biggest selling point that...

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