Team games: motivation through competition
Get the motivational benefits of competition without the dangers by having collaborative groups compete against each other.
Competitive games can motivate participation, but have their dangers: learners may start to play aggressively, and winning strategies may diverge from the intended learning.
To get the benefits of competition without the drawbacks, the Learning@Europe project set up competition between collaborating groups: schools from two countries were paired against schools from two other countries.
The competition was real, in that the games had clear winners and losers, but teams could not hinder each other; eg in a treasure hunt in 3D virtual maze, players could see their opponents and check their progress but not prevent them from collecting objects.
The game tasks were designed to be closely tied to learning (eg collect from the maze four objects based clues relating to taught content) and to require collaboration (eg sharing knowledge and discussing moves – since each school could have only two players in the maze.)
See pp 13-14, ‘Competition among collaborative groups’; pp. 11-12, ‘Fostering collaboration’. [Franca Garzotto, Caterina Poggi]
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