“What if we reject the social construction of the tickets?” – Adventures Reviewing for the Midterm Exam

Today my students and I in Introduction to Queer Studies spent the class period reviewing for the Midterm Exam. We’ve covered a ton of material the past eight weeks!

I tried a new method of reviewing today, and it worked beautifully, overall! It was exhausting for me! Each student who was there on time got one ticket. Following this, each question or comment earned one ticket, each time students used course terminology correctly and/or defined a major term correctly they got two tickets, and comments that just blew me earned three tickets. These were the only real “rules” of the activity. At the end, students wrote down the number of tickets they had. The winners (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place) are exempt from one 30-point essay question on the Midterm, and they get to select the other 30-point question they want to write about.

Students really participated, sometimes in different ways than usual! In one of the classes (the “louder one”), several who haven’t talked as much so far, talked a lot! In the other class, one quieter student spoke and spoke and showed off their knowledge like crazy!

All total I gave out 480 tickets during today’s activities!

236 tickets in the first class (22 students – each student got an average of 10.7 tickets, the median was 5.5 tickets, the minimum was 0, the maximum was 29)

244 tickets in the second class (20 students – each student got an average of 12.5 tickets, the median was 6, the minimum was 0, the maximum was 43)

Looking at the data, my main concern is the lack of participation compared to what it would have been if I had them do some kind of small group work to review for the exam.

All total, 21 students earned 5 tickets or less. Most earned very few tickets or earned a high number. It’s also important to note that it wasn’t a “race” – so if several people had their hand up for the same question, they all got tickets if they could add something to the conversation. On one occasion when the “answer” was a two-word term, I had everyone write down their answer: All correct answers earned tickets. I did see 95%+ of the students actively listening and taking notes.

Oh…and one of the students earned three tickets when they asked, “What if we reject the social construction of the tickets?”!! 

Have you ever used tickets to review for an exam? Tomorrow, I’m going to try it out in my Mexican American History class. Thanks for reading! 

Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda