Inside the "Edit" tab of every class there is now (as of 28th March 2022) a "Manage teams" button. When you click this, you see a pop-up that looks something like the one in the image above.
This pop-up allows you to define teams for TEAM COMPETITIONS :)
When you go to set a Competition for your class, you'll now be asked to choose a "Competition mode", which means choosing between individuals or teams.
Here's how the competition teams settings work:
- If you've defined teams in the "Manage teams" pop-up, students will be assigned to teams as per your definitions.
- If any student is NOT assigned to a team, they will be assigned to a team randomly as soon as they land on the competition page.
- If no teams have been defined at all, all students will be assigned randomly to 4 teams called Team 1, Team 2 , Team 3 and Team 4.
- The "Manage teams" pop-up allows you to choose from 2 to 8 teams with your own team names. (Or you can use the defaults if you prefer).
- You also have the option to choose the number of teams and the team names but without assigning students, so that students are assigned to teams randomly for each new Competition.
The student experience
From a student's point of view, a team competition works in exactly the same was as an individual competition, in that they have complete free reign to select activities from the resource that is used for the competition, whether by selecting from the activity menu or by clicking on the "Go random" button.
When they land on the competition page, they'll be told what team they are in (determined by your "Manage teams" settings), as shown in the image above.
As with an individual competition, the student will see their points uploaded to the scoreboard every 30 seconds or so. The DIFFERENCE is that the scoreboard will NOT show their individual points scores, but rather the team totals. Each student will know what their own contribution to the team competition has been though, thanks to the individual score count (see image above).
Both on the competition page and in the competitions tab in their class, students will see team totals, as well as a highlighted score showing the team to which they belong, as shown in the image above.
Competition data for teachers
In the competition data tab, teachers can see the teams ordered first to last in terms of the total points scored, as well as a rank order of the students within each team, showing the same interactions data that you will see for individual competitions (see below).
So although students won't be able to see how many points every other student in the class has scored, or even how many points their other team members have scored, the teacher will.
Why Team Competitions?
A "Competition" is a great way of encouraging students to work with the content of a SentenceBuilders resource in many different ways, increasing their exposure to repetitions of core structures, vocabulary, etc. Plus it provides extrinsic motivation to engage in the many activities -- i.e. to score points and beat the other teams!
One of the benefits of a "Team competition" in particular is that all team members can feel that they are contributing to the overall team score, even if they, personally, are not the brightest and would quickly lose heart if they saw that their scores were very low while other students in the class were racing ahead.
This would work particularly well if you set up "vertical" teams, where every team has a range of ability, and preferably equal numbers. (Having said that, allowing for varying numbers of team members might also be a good way of redressing the balance between groups of students with different abilities.)
We hope you enjoy using this new feature.