RTVF330 Reward Challenge #1: Survivor 101

As I explained in my last post, I’m currently teaching a course on reality TV that is modelled in part on the series Survivor. Yesterday, the class’s four tribes (Matsing, Kalabaw, Tandang, and Dangrayne) squared off in the first “reward chalenge” of the quarter. In the context of the course “reward challenges” are brief, ungraded in-class exercises that test the students’ teamwork skills or knowledge of reality TV trivia. This particular challenge, “Survivor 101,” tested students on Survivor-related terms and facts included in the course packet distributed on the first day of classes. After a close competition the Dangrayne tribe emerged victorious, claiming the “Exile Island Reward.” On the date of our next pop quiz Dangrayne will send one member of a competing tribe to Exile Island. The banished student will automatically receive a perfect score on the quiz. However, that score will not be counted toward his or her tribe’s total. Instead, the total will tabulated as if the student skipped class and received zero points. This is an opportunity for Dangrayne to hamstring the tribe that they consider their toughest competition in the contest over immunity from the midterm exam. Expect fierce tribe rivalries to erupt in the weeks to come…

At the request of the people who are “auditing” the class via Twitter, I’m including the “Survivor 101″ challenge below. If the questions seem exceedingly easy, that’s not a mistake. A significant number of my students were unfamiliar with Survivor prior to enrolling in the course, and the intention of this exercise was to bring them up to speed on some of the basic terminology that they will encounter over the next ten weeks. I’ll also reiterate that this quiz was a part of team-building exercise, and not a graded assignment. Contrary to popular belief, RTVF330 is about more than just Survivor trivia and Twitter. Sure, the course doesn’t educate students about “the 8th planet of the sun…The 4th number in pi… [or] Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State.” Instead, we examine the political economy of global media in the twenty-first century and the socio-cultural factors that have contributed to the transformation of the American television industry over the last two decades. Or, as Northwestern undergrad and Dangrayne tribe member Kevin O’Toole so aptly put it, ”the goal of #rtvf330 is to use that historical context to analyze why [Rupert Boneham] stealing the shoes is such a lasting TV memory.”


About fymaxwell
Max Dawson is a Los Angeles-based media consultant and professor.

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