Jack Gallegos, Ph.D., discovered that game shows (specifically, game shows using the Gameshow Pro software product) were instrumental in producing higher test scores from pre to post-test. He conducted an independent study with his high school Economics class in the first semester of the school year, showing the specific increase in test scores and, most dramatically with lower-scoring students.
Jack Gallegos administered 21 questions, free-response (fill-in-the-blank) pretest. It was the vocabulary terms for the chapter on Gross National Product. There were 25 students who took the test. Average number correct 2.08. The students never saw the results of the pretest.
Gallegos then taught the chapter using traditional methods - lecture, notes, activities, handouts, et cetera. The class took a posttest (same as pre-test). The number correct was 8.18. The class then played two rounds of Gameshow Pro - Game 1. They took a second posttest (the same test, again students never saw the results of the pretest or first posttest). The average score after playing Game 1 was 11.13.
Ages: High School; 16-18
Number of questions: 21
Question Type: Open-ended.
Correct answer average, pre-test: 2.08
Correct answer average, post-test: 8.18
Correct answer average, post-game show: 11.13
There was a 36% increase in the scores after playing Gameshow Pro - Game 1.
Further analysis and comments
Gallegos suspected there would be an increase in scores, but there was more to it than that.
Dividing the pretest scores into the better scoring students (upper half) and lower-scoring students (lower half), another result became evident. Gallegos compared the increase in scores after playing Game 1 by student breakdown. Both groups showed an increase in scores, but the top half students increased their scores by 32% while the bottom half students showed an increase of 62%.
Not only did the Gameshow Pro game increase test scores from test to test, but it also increased test scores where it really counts: with the lower-scoring students. As teachers continually struggle to engage students in the classroom, the use of game shows has broad implications for increasing content retention in a way that is both effective and fun.
To quote Jack Gallegos, “Great product, great results; especially for those students who need it the most.”