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June 27, 2014

UAA students' first ever participation in quiz bowl sets high bar

UAA students Dudley Babb, Michael Holmes and Ashley Schroeder made history in late May during the annual American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Student Bowl in Orlando, Florida. The students’ participation in the competition marked the first time a team from Alaska competed at the national level. This dynamic trio did not disappoint, notching fifth place against 11 other regional chapters.

ACSM Quiz Bowl participants Michael Holmes, Ashley Schroeder, and Dudley Babb.
ACSM Quiz Bowl participants
Michael Holmes, Ashley Schroeder, and Dudley Babb.
“I am very pleased with our students,” said Maryann Hoke, term instructor in the Community & Technical College’s Department of Health, Physical Education & Recreation and board member for the Alaska Regional Chapter of ACSM. “They faced the challenge and pressure of competing at the national level and represented the department and the university well.”

The ASCM Student Bowl is modeled after the popular TV game show “Jeopardy” and provides undergraduate students in kinesiology-related majors the opportunity to showcase their knowledge of exercise science. The competition operates in "Jeopardy" format, with single-, double- and final-round questions of escalating difficulty.

It turns out that the American College of Sports Medicine is right on target when it comes to using competition to augment learning. Higher education journals these days are teeming with the new buzzword, gamification. The term refers to the application of typical elements of game playing, such as point scoring and competition, as an effective teaching and learning technique.

So, how does ACSM’s particular form of gamification contribute to learning? Holmes, who competed in this year’s student bowl, explains.

ACSM Quiz Bowl participants Ashley Schroeder, Michael Holmes and Dudley Babb.
Ashley Schroeder, Michael Holmes (center), and
Dudley Babb are the first students from Alaska to
compete in the national ACSM Student Bowl.
“Participating in the college bowl enhanced my understanding of the intricacies of each subject covered,” he said. “The topics of muscle physiology, EKGs and exercise testing were all covered in various classes throughout our degree. To be exposed to a final quiz in the form of ‘Jeopardy’ has given me confidence to be ready in the real world.”

Schroeder agrees that participation in the student bowl reinforces all the learning experiences in the Health, Physical Education & Recreation program.

“Competing helped me to consciously realize that my teammates and I have gained the knowledge we need to succeed in our various fields,” she said.

The return on this investment will continue in years to come, as well. Babb appreciated being part of the Alaska Regional Chapter of ACSM, which he says is in the midst of a regrowth.

“The opportunity for everyone to brainstorm about the potential for the chapter to flourish, along with the potential for students to enhance their college experience was the greatest takeaway,” said Babb.

Story by Clarice Dickess, Grants and Research Specialist, UAA Community & Technical College