The KEY to Effective Meetings


Amy Lane

Vera Pienknagura

Frank Gonzales

| Instructional Objective | Learners & Context | Object of Game | Game Materials |

| Time Required | Rules | Design Process | Diagrams | References |

Instructional Objective

The game introduces the learners to hands on experience by role-playing as a participant in a meeting. Learners will be able to identify the functions, requirements, and characteristics of effective meetings. If used as part of school curriculum, the game would be played after the learners were introduced to the topic and key elements of an effective meeting.


Learners & Context of Use

Learners range from high school students to corporate/business employees. The game may be used in an educational setting as a supplemental review of instruction for participating in team meetings. High School students who are attending club meetings will find the definitions of key meeting roles to be very useful. College students taking introductory business courses will benefit from learning team work and meeting skills. The game should only be played by learners who have already been exposed to the subject matter (effective meetings). The game gives the learners a chance to test their knowledge of the material along with their colleagues in a fun manner. Everything the learners need to play the game is contained in the game box. No other supplementary materials are necessary. After playing the game one time the learners would benefit from their role playing experience and have a better understanding of how these roles interact. However the learners could definitely play the game more than once and still gain extra knowledge.

Object of the Game

The first player to leave one of their colored Keys in all six Meeting Rooms, gets to advance to the Executive Board Room and is crowned the winner. Along the way the players rely on a good roll of the die and their knowledge of effective meeting roles. Chips are collected and may be traded in for the opportunity to advance to a Meeting Room. If the player answers their Meeting Room Card question correctly, they get to leave one of their colored keys in that Meeting Room. Players must watch out for Surprise spaces. Surprise Cards may require them to lose a chip or lose a turn. Surprise Cards may also reward the player by gaining an extra chip or roll of the die. If a player lands on a Meeting Content space, they must answer a Content Card question correctly to get a playing chip.

Game Materials


Game Board


Player Pieces (1 Blue, 1 Green, 1 Yellow, & 1 Red)


Six-Sided Die


Playing Chips


Meeting Room Cards


Content Cards


Surprise Cards


Keys (8 Blue, 8 Green, 8 Yellow, & 8 Red)


Game Rules Sheet

Time Required

The Game requires approximately 5 minutes to set up and prepare for each player's starting position. With the maximum amount of players, the game takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours to finish. The game continues until a player places one of their keys in each of the 6 Meeting Rooms. Members participate until the meeting is concluded or adjourned for a later scheduled date. Much like real life, game times vary depending on how effective the meetings are.

The Rules

  1. Each player begins the game with 2 Playing Chips and their colored Keys.
  2. Each player rolls the die to determine which Meeting Room they start in.

    For Example: If a player rolls a four they place their colored playing piece in Meeting Room 4.

  3. The highest roll determines who starts the game.
  4. Play proceeds clockwise from the first player.


  1. The roll of the die determines how many spaces a player can move.
  2. For the number you roll, you must proceed that many spaces along the board in a clockwise direction.
  3. At the beginning of your turn you may trade in 3 Playing Chips to advance to a Meeting Room of your choice. This substitutes a roll of the die.
  4. The first player to leave one of their Colored Keys in all six Meeting Rooms, wins the game.


If the player lands on a:

  • Meeting Room Space - If you land in a Meeting Room, the player to your left reads you a Meeting Room Card. If you answer correctly, you may place one of your colored Keys in that room. If you answer incorrectly, you will remain in the room until it is your turn again. At the next turn you must leave the Meeting Room. If you land in a Meeting Room that you already have a Key in, you may answer a Meeting Room question to receive a chip.


  • Surprise Space - If you land on a Surprise space, pick up a Surprise Card from the stack and follow its instructions. When a Surprise Card requires you to lose a Playing Chip and you do not have any Playing Chips, you may borrow one from another player. When you receive your next Playing Chip, you must give it to the player you borrowed from.


  • Content Space - If you land on a Content space, the player on your left will read a Content card to you. If you answer correctly, you get 1 Playing Chip. If you answer incorrectly, the game proceeds to the next player.




Design Process

Originally our game and board design had players moving around a basic circle. There was no interaction with other players. The focus was primarily on answering questions pertaining to the four main participants in meetings. Other than answering meeting role questions, the game had little to do with the life cycle or process of effective meetings. Also, the game was originally designed with players having the ability to move in any direction that benefited them the most. This idea was dropped due to the directed nature of most effective meetings. In a real life meeting, structured environments do not benefit one member over another. This movement, on many occasions, allowed the players to choose which type of cards (Content or Surprise) they would answer. Randomness of the game and cards selected mirrors the interaction of many meetings where discussions often take an unintentional move, many times for the benefit of the group or topic.

The KEY to Effective Meetings is designed to mimic the life cycle of a meeting. The game board is designed to provide a place where learners can compete against each other testing their knowledge of effective meetings. The key addition was made in our second cycle of prototyping our game board. We added the six Meeting Rooms. The Meeting Rooms gave the game a sense of purpose and increased the level of learner interaction, competition, and strategy. The game board and card graphics were carefully selected to promote a positive, upbeat, and appealing meeting environment. Our final board design allowed players numerous chances to interact with other members in a meeting.

Prototype testing concluded that the game could be played by people with little to no knowledge of the content. However, their success would increase with prior content knowledge of meeting roles, duties, and responsibilities. Due to the complexity and specificity of the Meeting Room questions, it is highly unlikely that players with little content knowledge could actually win the game. The questions on the Meeting Room cards pertain to specific knowledge of the purpose of meetings and its participants. There is a high likelihood that some players will incidentally acquire some knowledge of effective meeting skills just by playing the game.



Game Board


Sample Cards

Surprise Card

Content Card

Meeting Room Card



Books & Journals

Donello, J., Lane, A., Lucas, R., Robles, R., & Volkl, C. (1998). Effective Meetings.
San Diego, CA: San Diego State University.

Clark, C.C. (1994). Developing Technical Training: A structured approach for the
development of classroom and computer-based instructional materials. Reading, MA:
Adisson-Wesley Publishing Co.

Gordon, S.E. (1994). Systematic Training Program Design. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Prentice Hall.

Rossett, A. (1987). Training Needs Assessment. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational
Technology Publications.



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Last updated October 26 1998