Effects of friendship relations and gender differences on classroom-based surrogate competitive learning

Calvin C. Y. Liao, Zhi-Hong Chen, Hercy N. H. Cheng, Tak-Wai Chan

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Competition has been recently come to be recognized as a significant factor in the design of strategies for classroom-based learning. However, although the influences of cognitive factors (e.g., ability) and interpersonal factors (i.e., anonymity) on surrogate competitive learning have been investigated, there have been few studies emphasizing the impact of social factors (e.g., friendship) in the classroom. In addition, previous studies have also suggested that gender differences should be taken into account in surrogate competitive learning. Thus, this study investigates how both friendship relations and gender differences influence students’ choice of peers as opponents in the classroom environment. An empirical study with 29 elementary students over a 4-month period was conducted. The results indicated that students tended to choose peers with whom they did not share friendship relations as opponents. Specifically, boys tended to choose from either category, whereas girls liked to choose those without friendship relations. In addition, most students tended to choose same-gender peers. Moreover, if choosing same-gender classmates, boys tended to choose opponents with whom they shared friendship relations, whereas girls tended to choose opponents without friendship relations. In short, both friendship relations and gender differences can serve as predictors for student participation in classroom-based surrogate competitive learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-277
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Computers in Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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