TimeWasters: The Time Management board game

Dr Maddy Thompson, Lecturer (Development Geography)

School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

What did you do?

We developed a board game to be used as an ice-breaking activity that teaches the importance of time management and introduces students to key university policies.

Graduate Framework

This approach develops the following attribute:

  • Collaborative

Staff can find out more about the Graduate Framework on the University intranet.

Who is involved?

Me, GEO1096 teaching staff, Dr Simon Tate

How did you do it?

I spent a few hours drafting up various options and then had a go playing them to ensure the game worked. Various tweaking was required, but all in all, this was not too long a process.

Last year, as a pilot, I printed the game and bought very cheap playing pieces. Due to the success, funding was acquired to professionally print. This was quite expensive, working out around £25 per box, but 10 is sufficient for our department.

TimeWasters Board Game

Why did you do it?

Time management is a relatively dull topic to teach students, and it broke up the seminar that was mainly geared towards getting to know students and the seminar leader who stay as a class throughout the entire year. This is the first time students meet, and other than time management slides, the sessions are full of ice-breaker activities. Dry slides of information about how much time assessments will take – before they’ve even thought about assessments – meant it was difficult to ensure they took in the importance of time management, and giving information in a lecture format broke up the otherwise informal nature of the first seminar.

Student Voice 


“This was useful to get to know my group members and understand university rules like PEC [forms]”

“fun game”


Feedback from students

Does it work?

Student feedback highlighted that the game was effective in both aims – in breaking the ice and generating discussion between class members, and in highlighting key university policies and expectations on time management.

Moreover, staff on the module found the game much preferable to previous years where information on time management was effectively lectured to students.

Contact details

Dr Maddy Thompson, Teaching Fellow (Development Geography)

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