ERIC Number: EJ1073359
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Head to Head: The Role of Academic Competition in Undergraduate Anatomical Education
Van Nuland, Sonya E.; Roach, Victoria A.; Wilson, Timothy D.; Belliveau, Daniel J.
Anatomical Sciences Education, v8 n5 p404-412 Sep-Oct 2015
Competition is a key element in many educational games and is often adopted by educators in an effort to motivate and excite their students. Yet, the use of academic competition in educational institutions remains the subject of much debate. Opponents argue that academic competition causes an increase in student anxiety and divides their attention. However, if the contexts of academic competition are defined, could the inclusion of a game-like competition in a university course be a viable and beneficial method of engaging students? Students (n?=?67) were recruited from an undergraduate human anatomy course at Western University. Using a crossover design, students were exposed to a competitive tournament either at the time of their first term test or second term test. The anatomical knowledge of participating students was assessed prior to the start of the study using a baseline anatomy test. Following treatment with an online competitive anatomy tournament, student's term test grades and final course grades were analyzed. Both the second term test scores (F(2,64)?=?3.743, P?=?0.029) and overall course grades (F(2,64)?=?3.356, P?=?0.041) were found to be significantly different (P?<?0.05) for individuals in the competitive group when compared to their non-competing peers. As suggested by the literature where organized competition in the classroom correlates to improved academic performance, this study uncovered significant results pertaining to increased academic performance resulting from participating in tournament-based competition. In light of these positive results, further exploration of the effects of academic competition on student performance across age brackets and disciplines is warranted.
Descriptors: Anatomy, Medical Education, Competition, Undergraduate Students, Educational Games, Pretests Posttests, Grades (Scholastic), Scores, Comparative Analysis, Academic Achievement, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A