Fostering Student Motivation through Competition: How Competing in Online Tournaments in Teams Affects the Performance Related Outcomes of Participants

By Cortney Hanna, Andrew M. Johnson and Daniel Belliveau.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: October 22, 2015 $US5.00

Creating an interactive online learning environment to promote enthusiasm for coursework can be challenging. We hypothesize that grouped students competing in an online tournament assessing their comprehension of class material against other groups of students will motivate and encourage students to invest in their comprehension of course material in preparation for and as a result of a competitive tournament, and in so doing improve their performance in the associated course. Performance in the course was assessed through the collection and analysis of students’ grades with respect to their tournament participation. Additional insight on the motivational attributes of the competitive online environment was achieved through survey data collection. The findings from this study suggest that students who performed poorer on their mid-term exam were likely to improve significantly on their final exam, particularly if they participated in the grouped competitive final exam review. Survey data also demonstrates that students who participated in the competitive review tournament in groups either strongly agreed (30%) or agreed (45%) that competing in the online tournament as a group was helpful in their performance and understanding of material. Favoring the use of competitive review techniques can help inform further educational technology development as the pedagogical benefits and implications of competition have been successfully adapted to the online environment.

Keywords: Technologies, Pedagogy, Devices

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 7, Issue 3-4, October 2015, pp.19-40. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: October 22, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.104MB)).

Cortney Hanna

PhD Candidate, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada

Andrew M. Johnson

Associate Professor and Chair, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Western University, London, ON, Canada

Dr. Daniel Belliveau

Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University, London, ON, Canada