Project Overview

Welcome to my UTA Professional Learning Community (PLC) Digital Pedagogy Project Website! My project is about comparing student self-confidence before and after participation in a contest called the UTA Libraries Pitch of the Week (POW!) Contest. On this site you will find information about the contest itself, and about how I used this contest to satisfy my goal of measuring how student self-confidence in teamwork, proposal writing, technical communication, creative thinking and critical thinking are affected by participating in low-risk competitive environments.

I am compiling this website in preparation for the PLC mini-conference to be held on April 21, 2017 and the PLC virtual mini-conference to be held between April 24-26, 2017. At the time of writing this, I am only half way through the data collection portion for this study.

There are a total of four rounds of the POW! competition; three preliminary rounds and a final round where winning teams from the three preliminary rounds compete against each other. At the time of this writing, we have completed two preliminary rounds. Each student that registers to compete in the contest must complete a self-evaluation about their confidence levels in the above listed skills (teamwork, proposal writing, technical communication, creative thinking and critical thinking). After the competition, students complete a post-contest survey where they answer the same questions about confidence levels again. The winners of each preliminary round do not take the post-contest survey until after the final round. So, to date, I have only gathered post-contest surveys from four of a total of nine teams.

When the contest series concludes, I will use the data to determine how the contest effected self-confidence in the listed skills. Questions I will try to answer are:

  • Did the contest appear to have an effect on student self-confidence, and if so, which of the five skills did it have the greatest impact on?
  • Is there a difference in effect between the team members that won their preliminary rounds compared to team members who did not win preliminary rounds?