Why Competitions Engage Students

by Mary Gannon on 03 Feb, 2023

Educators are always searching for new and engaging ways to teach students. Fun interactive activities, like games, help to entice and interest the student in new material, but nothing garners engagement quite like competition! Luckily for you, with ChatterHigh you can have both! The gamification of ChatterHigh’s competitions using the daily quiz or modules helps engage students as they develop essential, lifelong skills. Competition among students can foster collaboration and motivation, where students take a more proactive approach to their interests.


Engage students with Competitions




  • Competitions motivate students by diversifying the learning experience and fostering an energetic and engaging environment 
  • Collaboration boosts the competitive spirit and fosters creativity which pushes students to help each other succeed
  • Gamification keeps the competition fun and engaging while learning new  material
  • Competitions garner positivity from students as they are incentivized by prizes and school recognition. This positivity instills focus and energy that propels learning throughout the day.
  • ChatterHigh provides interest reports that allow students to self-reflect. Researching builds resilience and concentration while cultivating a deeper understanding of career possibilities.




Students go to school in the same classroom with the same teacher every day. Students benefit from routine, but they may also find the days repetitive or tedious.  Competitions diversify the learning experience and offer a new way to engage students. Competition often brings forth new concepts and material that pique students’ interest. These new concepts, paired with the potential of winning and seeing their name on a leaderboard, drives students to complete the daily quiz every day of the competition. 


Motivation grows as students are energized and actively participating, as competition helps push students beyond their typical learning environment. Prizes and school pride work together to foster an energetic and driven classroom, which is reflected in students’ work that further propels their motivation.


ChatterHigh strives to propel learning through its competitions, which is why ChatterHigh conducts surveys to understand the impact of competition. Here is what students had to say about how competitions motivate them.


Number of students engaged by ChatterHigh competitions



Competitive spirit fosters collaboration


The Let’s Talk Careers competition informs and educates on all types of careers while helping students develop soft skills like teamwork, adaptability and problem-solving. When working in a group or as a collective, each individual carries responsibility for the success of the work. In the case of a competition, such as Let’s Talk Careers, each student is also representing their school, so a heightened sense of pride and responsibility helps ignite the competitive spirit.Why Competitions Engage Students - Infographic


In addition, collaboration fosters creativity. Working together, students introduce and investigate new ideas and resources, helping to bridge the gap between students of all levels and build confidence in the classroom. In a collaborative environment, students have the opportunity to encourage one another and aid in each other’s success.




Although competitions are fun and informative, they can become stressful. Some students may not be naturally inclined to compete or enticed by prizes and leaderboards. Luckily, ChatterHigh’s gamified model solves this. The gamification of the competition eliminates any boring or static elements, so students are engaged and motivated while receiving continual feedback. 


Gamification also enables students to learn new and complicated topics without becoming bored or discouraged. Gamification allows students to set goals and work towards achieving them, where learning becomes visible through progress indicators. ChatterHigh has successfully informed students across Canada about taxes, including completing a basic tax return, using competition and the gamified-research approach to its advantage. This February, ChatterHigh will continue to educate and inform on all things financial literacy with Financial Literacy Fest. 


Competition helps garner positivity


In a competition such as ChatterHigh’s Let’s Talk Careers Competition, students can work together with the community, parents and teachers to place among the top schools. What's more, students can opt to make a difference in the community by using the points they earn while competing, which remain on the leaderboard, to donate to Food Banks Canada. These collective goals help students work together in an environment with positive reinforcement. In a classroom where students work together rather than against one another, such as placing on school leaderboards, competition easily encourages positive energy and engagement from all participants.


A research study out of Stanford University examined the effect of a positive attitude on children’s learning, and found that “being positive improved their ability to answer math problems, increased their memories and enhanced their problem-solving abilities.” With prizes as incentives and both peers and teachers supporting student success throughout the competition, students are surrounded by positive influences that help promote a positive attitude.


Competition helps to highlight the positive aspects of students' work while simultaneously pushing them to their very best. Welcoming this positivity into the classroom every morning as a bell ringer activity enforces a positive attitude and helps garner energy and positivity for the rest of the day.


Competition helps students self-reflect


Competitions foster Self-reflection


ChatterHigh is unique, where interest reports allow students to review their daily quiz activity throughout the competition. ChatterhHigh also encourages and facilitates Chatter and reflection in the moderated forums, so students can reflect with one another. This reflection is also noted through surveys, which allow students to demonstrate how much they have learned.


What did you learn about careers in STEM (Science, technology, engineering or math)? 

They offer way more than I thought, like having a career of researching and finding rocks. 

How much goes on behind the scenes.
I learned about the opportunities, wages, duties and benefits of several jobs such as biologists, engineers, doctors, and quite a few others.


The interest profile that students build allows them to review their interests and career possibilities even after the competition is over! Competition paired with ChatterHigh's 'seek and find' method helps students concentrate on the task at hand as they must focus to accurately answer questions. Moreover, as students research programs and careers with each question, they build resilience. As students reflect on the competition and their research, they have the opportunity to dive deeper into the subjects or careers that interest them. 




The daily quiz is available year-round so even after the competition is over, you can snowball your students' motivation by continuing to explore. Similarly, you can take advantage of ChatterHigh’s challenges feature and create your own competition by challenging other classes. What’s more, dive into the many modules at your disposal. ChatterHigh offers modules on diversity and inclusion, mental health and wellness, financial literacy, and more that your students can start exploring today!

Back to Blog