Thursday, January 15, 2015

Rolling Throne: An Exponent Game - The Results

For the past three days I have been doing some informal research on my game Rolling Thrones.  I often wonder if playing games is worth my time, or any activity for that matter, and created a pre/post test to help me determine.

Link to the Game

Pre/Post-Test on  #soc14351941

Period 1:  Playing Rolling Thrones

The Pre-Test:

19 Students took the pre-test
The class average was 46.7%
6 students scored above 70%
1 student scored 100%

The Post-Test:

21 Students took the post-test
The class average was 75.9% (a change of +29.2%)
15 students scored above 70% (a change of +9 students)
4 students scored 100%

3 students' scores stayed the same (1 of them was the 100%)
2 students' scores dropped

Period 4:  Lecture and a Worksheet

The above information doesn't tell me too much if I don't have a control group.  So, for the other class, instead of playing a game, I gave a lecture and a worksheet.  The results were very similar.

The Pre-Test:

19 students took the pre-test
The class average was 45.6%
4 students scored above 70%
0 students scored 100%

The Post-Test:

19 students took the post-test
The class average was 77.2% (a change of +31.6%)
13 students scored above 70% (a change of +9 students)
0 students scored 100%

2 students' scores stayed the same
2 students' scores dropped

My Conclusion:

Since there wasn't too much difference in the amount of learning that takes place, I would personally play the game because it was more fun.


Students who played the game were involved, out of their seats, yelling (if you like that sort of thing), asking questions and advice (more than I can count), and awake.  Compare that to the student who had the lecture; I noticed at one point that 3 students put their heads down and weren't taking notes, students complained that they had to do the problems on the worksheet, and only 2 students asked me for help/advice with their problems.

Amount of problems:

During the game we perhaps did a total of 6 or 7 problems (I should have kept track), while the students with the worksheet were required to complete 40 problems.

Amount of time:

The students playing the game reluctantly stopped playing when there were 4 minutes left in class, while the lecture/worksheet students finished as quickly as they could and went to work on something  else.  Depending on how you look at it, the lecture/worksheet students were able to accomplish more in a class period than the game students.

The Next Day:

The day after we played the game in class, the students asked if we could do that more often.  The students in the lecture/worksheet class did not ask for more lectures/worksheets.

Game Tweaks:

There are a few things that I would change about the game next time.

Hardly any groups purchased dice with their points.  The teams that did, lost too many points to be able to come back from that and possibly win.  Next time, I will make the price of new dice 2 points each.

Groups of 2 or 3 worked just fine.  It seemed as though all students were engaged especially with the smaller groups.  I was not frustrated with the number of teams.

I did keep track of team rank on the board.  That went over well with the students and they kept me honest as to what team was at what rank.

There wasn't a team that reached the royalty status, so the team with the highest amount of points was crowned.  The students loved the story line with the game.  I was tempted to leave it out because high school students are too old for that stuff.  <--sarcasm.  
If you play this game DO NOT forget to award the winners their crown!

The winners:


  1. You are amazing! Just found your site and can't wait to use all your creative ideas! Thank you!

  2. This blog post was featured in the 82nd Math Teachers at Play blog carnival. Thanks for writing a great post that teachers and homeschool parents can benefit from! I hope this sends some extra blog traffic your way :)

    If you'd like to see it, you can do so here:

  3. Looks fun! Since the post-test indicated similar results between lecture vs. game, I wonder if you could measure who will retain the content longer? Might the strategy used during the game help students hold on to the content longer?

    1. I was thinking the same thing. I tried this about 2 weeks after they played the game and the results for both class were the same. Amazingly both classes' results were close to their post tests. I must have smart students.

    2. Thanks for the follow up! Fascinating!