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Marcus Arvan

Interesting ideas -- I'll be sure to experiment with some of them. I just started the group activity thing the past couple of semesters, and it has made a world of difference, both to student learning and (yes) my student evaluations. I've experimented most with activities with groups of 4 or 5. Typically, I'll give the groups three or four focused questions and have them work on them for a bit, then share their answers with the class. I've also developed a semester long bonus point competition where the groups accumulate points and get to place bets on the quality of their answers from class to class. At the end of the term, the groups with the highest point totals get a sizable amount of bonus points. I've found that this friendly competition gives the groups incentive to work hard to improve their work.

Kyle Whyte

I think these are great ideas and I hope Phil Cocoon comes back again and again to this topic in the future, as we can all benefit from hearing about what others are doing. I'm part of a collaborative group involving a few other universities that develop sustainability ethics games based on a mix of game theory and instructor improvisation. There are games on fisheries/tragedy of the commons, climate change/externalities and intergenerational equity. We have a box.com group that corresponds pretty regularly on posting the different spreadsheets for each game, and sharing from experiences in the classroom. The games are a lot of fun because they really prime students intellectually and emotionally to learn about ethical issues. Anyone interested in learning more should shoot me an email [email protected] and I'll get you started.

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