In the field of economics, the Bullshit or Buzzword Bingo is used in order to make visible the empty rhetoric that is well spread in discussions, meetings and presentations. Participants draw a grid of 5 x 5 on a sheet of paper and fill the box with expected words or phrases. If these words are said by the presenter, the boxes - as in the classic bingo - are crossed out. The first person to cross out all their boxes in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row has to shout "bullshit". The participants’ attention is kept alive and motivation – due to the playful character - is retained.
In the classroom, the bingo grid can be modified for any topic. When students give several presentations during one unit or lesson in class, participants’ motivation and attention often suffer. If the listeners have to write 25 terms or buzzwords they expect the presenter to use, they will listen to the following lecture more attentively – the participants may want to include the word sustainability, bingo, or a keyword in the presentation’s theme.
Bullshit Bingo could even be used to provide an analysis of students’ presentation skills (in terms of language, gestures, facial expressions, use of media, interaction with the group, and so on.). This further modification of the method should only be applied in well-functioning groups.
Didactical Description of the Method
This method allows the evaluation of the knowledge of a group. The way of embedding this method makes the difference: If the students are asked to develop the bingo grid at the beginning of a thematic unit, the bingo would be unsuccessful, as the students have no knowledge on the subject. Rather, participants should create a bingo grid as part of an in-depth homework session. They can draw on their prior knowledge, or deal with the presentation’s issue in advance to achieve a better learning outcome. Furthermore, they can subsequently ask more specific questions and actively participate in any discussions.
- a piece of paper
- a pen