Battle Royale Explained

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Meet Battle Royale

Battle Royale is Short Answer’s newest activity type. Watch the video and read the description below to find out more about how and why you might use it in your classroom.

How does it work?

Battle Royale is a tournament-style activity where students vote in groups to decide the strongest class response. Answers that receive more votes stay and others are knocked out until one class exemplar remains (*Note: At least 6 students are needed to use Battle Royale).

Students begin by constructing responses to teacher questions or writing prompts. They’re then broken into 4 groups and vote for the best response in their group (with less than 12 students, all students are put in one group and choose the best 4 responses from that group). The top four responses move on to the final four, where the class is broken into two groups and votes for the stronger response within their respective group. This is then repeated as a whole class in the championship round until one response remains. Students conclude by individually reflecting on this class exemplar.

Why should I use it?

Battle Royale is Short Answer’s most gamified activity yet, providing lightweight competition to engage students and motivate them throughout the writing and reflection process. Beyond engagement, Battle Royale is effective in measuring students’ ability to recognize and describe what makes for a quality response. This grows directly out of learning sciences research and the positive learning outcomes associated with the use of class exemplars, especially when paired with peer and class discussions. Battle Royale improves learning outcomes by:

  1. Clarifying Expectations: Peer responses become exemplars, providing a vehicle to discuss the standards expected, which is especially helpful with complex, subjective writing activities.
  2. Enhancing Feedback: When combined with the specific success criteria set by teachers using Short Answer, students can relate feedback to concrete instances of each criteria in the exemplar.
  3. Enabling Student Agency: The exemplar in Battle Royale is chosen by students instead of the teacher, centering their voices and opinions in the class.
  4. Anchoring Discussions: The “champion response” selected by the class (or, perhaps, other responses not chosen as the champion) are a discussion starter. This is particularly true in a writing-rich curriculum where there’s almost always more than one way to approach a question or prompt. Through this, students can appreciate the diversity of successful approaches.
  5. Developing self-regulated learning: At the end of each Battle Royale activity, students must reflect on how (or if) their confidence has changed as a result of seeing class exemplars. They also must plan at least one step they will take to improve their understanding moving forward.

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