As John Shinder (2009) says “The power of [competition’s] effect makes its use very tempting. Little else gets a group of young people more energized than competition"
Here at Education Perfect we see competition as a chance for students to extend themselves, work together towards common goals and as a means to extend student knowledge. As Tom Verhoeff (1997) explains education and competition are two universal ingredients in human life and the way that children are naturally inclined to compete means the availability of good competitions becomes beneficial for education in almost any discipline.
If you have used Education Perfect before you’ve likely seen or been a part of the Education Perfect World Series, our global competitions covering Social Sciences, Languages, Maths, Science and English. What you may not know is we also have a competition builder that you can use to create your own competitions!
Our competition builder is available to all Education Perfect users, via the Control Panel, and easily allows you to create competitions for a variety of uses including; revision, inter-class competitions, themed events or just as an alternative way to help your students achieve success. This easy to use feature allows you to use content from our library or your own, set specific time frames, invite specific classes and tracks and displays results on a live scoreboard! Not only are these features designed to make it easy for you to build competitions but they are designed to save you valuable time while engaging your students, all of the questions are automatically marked and there are even live shoutouts for students to motivate one another!
We are always impressed at the creative ways teachers use these competitions in their classrooms ranging from motivational exam revision to Day of the Dead themed celebrations. Here’s some more inspiration from teachers in the Education Perfect community:
“We set up a competition for our Level 1 NCEA Science students by selecting all of the content for their external standards for them to review and answer. We offered edible rewards for top performers in each class so that they had a focus to their revision during term four. It has been a fierce battle and the most important part is that 42,600 questions have been answered, helping our students prepare!” - Rachel Mortimer, Kavanagh College
“We have a "noho kura" (sleepover here at school) coming up for the World Champs and the boys can't wait! All night earning points with their mates, pizza at midnight and bonding with the other language students at our school.” - Suzy Lallemant, Shirley Boys’ High School
“I created an Easter EGGStravaganza competition before Easter for Year 8. It was great and fantastic practice for the World Championships.” - Gemma McWhirter, Shire Christian school
"Using an Education Perfect competition to promote LOTE week at our school was such a valuable way to motivate our students and get them enthused about learning languages. There was a palpable positive vibe around the school, with staff and students all discussing it, even competing at recess, lunchtime and late at night just to cheer on their classmates and contribute to their class scores, all whilst practising relevant vocab." - Nathan Nichols, Williamstown High School
“My Year 8 French classes love it when I set up a competition. I usually make it last for about 4 days, often over a weekend. Their homework is to compete in the competition and earn lots of points. I give prizes and merit cards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the class. Being a boys school, they love competing against each other. They keep begging me to set up more competitions...I have promised them 1 per term. It definitely builds their excitement levels and helps them learn their vocabulary for the unit.” — Sarah McCormack, St. Pius X College, Chatswood
Competitions have also been a way to generate interest and excitement about subjects that weren’t of interest to students initially. As Jonathan Petersen from Coffs Harbour Christian Community School explains “It's elective choice time. Who will choose INDONESIAN? To encourage Year 10 to choose Indonesian, a 3 day Language Perfect competition was organised. Generous prizes were offered. Amazingly, 29,000 questions were answered in the 3 day competition by students who currently do not even study INDONESIAN. Great promotional activity!!”
Some other creative applications from our teacher community have included weekly competitions, themed events, inter class / department / school competitions or even team based events. These are an engaging way to create a positive buzz in your classroom and even offer the chance to get to know other schools in your community. Aside, from the results and creativity we have also been amazed at the way competition brings classes together. We have teachers email in often to describe how competitions have really brought classes together and encouraged camaraderie and relationship building.
One final thought from Joyette Fabian (2017) “Competition in the classroom is quite healthy; it should, in fact be encouraged. It allows students to extend themselves, to exploit their real capabilities and maximise their true potential”
To help you get started with competition in your classroom (and to encourage some friendly competition!) email firstname.lastname@example.org or book a PD with one of our friendly team! If you have any thoughts on competition in the classroom or you have used Education Perfect competitions in your classroom, let us know in the comments!
Fabien, Joyette. (2017) https://owlcation.com/academia/studentrivalry
Verhoeff, Tom. (1997) http://olympiads.win.tue.nl/ioi/ioi97/ffutwrld/competit.html
Shindler, John. (2009) https://web.calstatela.edu/faculty/jshindl/cm/Chapter18competition-final.htm
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