This game has proven to been extremely successful because of it is interactive, competitive, and has a real-world application.
The first semester when I did not implement “The Apprentice,” there were over 30 zeros in the grade book and my End of Pathway Assessment (EOPA) pass rate was a 74%. The following semester when we played “The Apprentice,” there were only two zeros in the grade book and my EOPA pass rate was an 88%. Since then, the EOPA rate has risen to a 94%.
The implementation of “The Apprentice”—without a doubt—was the best idea I have had in teaching. Students learn while having fun and are getting real-world application work that will prove helpful with their next phase in life. I have had the pleasure of sharing this idea with teachers during two separate workshops, and some of the teachers who have since implemented it share its success.
But here is the reality of implementing a successful activity: it does require a lot more work on the teacher. In the end, however, it is worth it to see students using the real-world application in a way that makes them excited about coming to class. Students love the competitive nature of the class and using their creativity to tackle each week’s task.
Overall, this implementation has helped me become a better educator because teaching is all about creating tools that the students will remember and use in the “real-world.” We don't just want to give them information and hope they retain it; we want to make their learning meaningful.