Here are a few ideas that I have tried:

Homonyms. Form teams. Create a list of words (I have an example in my SNA textbook) and have teams think of as many different ways to relate the words (ie starts with same letter, has similar meaning, similar class, etc). Have them draw a sketch of each network. The team with the most networks wins (that's a good tag line for a t-shirt). Objective: students understand that context and definition of nodes and links are important factors in understanding structure.

Activity - randomness and Facebook. Make a small, blank adjacency matrix. Have students flip coins to determine a 1 or 0 and fill in the matrix. Then have them download their Facebook network, delete themselves, and qualitatively compare structure. Objective: structure is not random. Their are reasons for cluster formation that we can study.

Weakest Link: have students goto white boards (assuming you have enough). Provide simple SNA problems for students to solve (my SNA text has exercises). If students get it right, they get a point. They can choose to "bank" the point, in which case the next problem is worth one point, or "let it ride" in which case the next problem is worth three points, but if they get it wrong, they lose all points that are on the line. The point ladder should be 1-3-5-7 and cap at 7. It is interesting to see who gets greedy and who is risk-averse. Objective: makes practice interesting, engaging both advanced students (usually greedy) and slow students (happy to get a point). It is more effective if you can subtly rig the game against the better students, but don't get caught :-).

Ian McCulloh

Ian McCulloh

_____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** Dear All,

I am teaching an undergrad course on complex networks / social network analysis. I would like to motivate the students by a little introductory game that somehow relates to networks.

Have anyone done something similar? Do you have suggestions about what to play with them?

Thank you in advance for all suggestions.

Best regards,

-- Laszlo

--_____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.

Dr. Gulyás László