Enhancing Performance through a Competitive Team Tournament


In some scenarios, the time constraints of modularization have become an impediment to the successful achievement of learning outcomes. The latter has been noticed in structures-related civil engineering subjects where the nature of the material requires a maturation time in the student’s mind before being fully understood. This project aims to develop highly efficient group activities that will help students to meet their learning outcomes in traditionally difficult subjects. A form of cooperative learning known as Team Game Tournament (TGT) is employed for this purpose. TGT enhances learning via the establishment of a tournament where the class is divided into teams that play against each other. The principle behind TGT is that the success of a team lies on the success of the individuals composing the team. Therefore, team mates help each other and study more than individually because they care for them and for the team. A variation of TGT inspired by the UEFA ‘Champions League’ is designed for three structures-related modules in the academic season 2013/14 by the first time.

The main objectives are:

  1. To allow students to practise the material imparted in lectures and bring early awareness of potential difficulties,
  2. To emphasize and meet learning outcomes (which the facilitator aligns with team goals when providing the rules for defining the questions in each game),
  3. To encourage all students to learn and achieve the learning outcomes if they want their team to succeed. Given that “higher individual score = better team score”, students will like to contribute to the team and work harder.
  4. To strengthen the role of the student as a team player, as students will help one another to improve the team performance,
  5. To make the learning experience more enjoyable, given that students will see learning as ‘social’ instead of ‘isolated’.

More details can be found in UCD Teaching and Learning Showcase and in

Gonzalez, A., Jennings, D. and Manriquez, L. (2014) 'Multi-faceted Impact of a Team Game Tournament on the Ability of the Learners to Engage and Develop their Own Critical Skill Set', International Journal of Engineering Education, 30(5):1213-1224.