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The development and implementation of a semester‐long team challenge in an introductory level communication course is described. The team challenge was developed to encourage active engagement of students with large lecture material and to build community within lab sections of the course. Teaching assistants were trained to observe and record participation, distraction, and attendance levels in the large lecture portion of a hybrid course, ‘Fundamentals of Communication.’ Assessment of the team challenge as a case study reveals higher levels of verbal participation and attendance, and lower levels of distractions (i.e. use of cell phones, side conversations, late arrivals to class). In addition, there were other unexpected outcomes related to the way in which students were dispersed in the lecture hall. Results are discussed along with implications pertaining to the role of teaching assistants, the utility of competition versus collaboration in academia, and the definition of participation across all student populations.


Communication Studies

Publication Title

Journal of Pedagogic Development



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