Instructional Technology Best Practices


Educational games are ideal for engaging students with course content. Most students think they are fun and very helpful - though you may find some students don't actually play the games but prefer to just quiz each other using the questions you provide. Faculty in the School of Nursing say that students find the games so helpful for studying, they complain bitterly when units don't have corresponding games!

Games can test deeper levels of understanding than just knowledge repetition. Be sure your questions require some application or synthesis. Examples:

  • A"Family Feud" type of game can ask teams of students to list assessment techniques for a patient complaining of a dry cough.
  • In matching games (Memory, Bingo, Crosswords), instead of asking students to match a term and a definition, give them a vital statistic and ask them to match it with the condition(s) it indicates. Change things up by including "Normal" as one of the conditions.
  • In trivia games, ask NCLEX-type questions that require students to apply knowledge, not just recite information.

General tips

  • The quality of your game depends primarily on the quality of your questions.
  • Quiz games like Jeopardy are best for interaction and self-assessment. They don’t work well for content delivery or final assessment.
  • Games be played with or without a computer. You might use your computer to prepare the game (e.g., printing out quiz cards) but have students play with paper during a face-to-face class.

Where to get questions for quiz games

  • Make them up
  • Use NCLEX questions provided with textbooks.
  • Use test bank questions from textbooks or the publisher's web site
  • Chapter review questions in the textbook
  • Look online or contact colleagues

Examples and templates