Melvin's digital garden

A new learning paradigm: competition supported by technology

CREATED: 201004211621

Pros of competitive learning

  • contest can be enjoyable and increase motivation in the learning activity
  • copied assignments are reduces as students avoid sharing solved assignments
  • better performance
  • winning increases motivation by enhancing perceived competence
  • competing in teams, increases team spirit


  • students can become highly anxious and stresses
  • pressure decreasses intrinsic motivation
  • too much focus on extrinsic rewards instead of learning
  • difference in feelings between winners and losers
  • negative relationships among classmats and teachers

Use of categories/tags may provide unwanted hints to solver.

Difficulty level difficult to assess, suggest use of popularity and success rate instead.

Students are asked to write a description of their algorithm and this is evaluated.

Programming style is evaluated if the program scored at least 50%

Training camp (11 days, 9 days of contests, 2 rest/excursion)

  • breakfast
  • contest
  • announcement of results
  • lunch
  • discussion of problems and solutions
  • dinner
  • sports
  • training session focused on solving unsolved problems during previous days

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