If you can’t get on the show, bring the show to you.

I’ve been a life-long fan of Jeopardy! and for the same length of time I’ve harbored a strong desire to be a contestant on the program. For the past few years, my colleagues, Susan Boland and Ron Jones, and I have used a “poor man’s” Jeopardy! built in a PowerPoint slide deck to give an end-of-semester review to our students in Advanced Legal Research. Although you can simulate the game board in PowerPoint, you’ve got to keep score manually and devise some way to figure out which student was first to “ring in.” So this year we bit the bullet and bought the official Classroom Jeopardy! game. I found the best prices on it at Amazon.com. Since we had twelve students already divided into four teams in our “flipped class“, which emphasizes collaborative work, I sprang for an extra scoreboard and enough team remotes for everyone.

Yesterday I wore suitable attire for hosting and we launched the game. I’d say from the experience and the faces on the students that they were really engaged and loved it. I certainly enjoyed it almost as much as I imagine that I would enjoy being on the real show. I’ve posted photos taken by Mike Mimms of our staff on a publicly accessible Facebook album. Students were sometimes timid about responding to the clues, especially if another team had just been “burned” by giving an incorrect question. And since I am not an accomplished clue author, very few of the clues contained the kind of intrinsic hints that you see on the television program.

All-in-all it was a very positive experience and I recommend it to those of you seeking to add a new mode of interactivity to your classroom.

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