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Chopped, Learning Scientists Edition: Stimulating Innovation, Collaboration, and Creativity Through Friendly Competition

Authors:

Abstract

Research has shown that using games in team-based learning activities can help participants address knowledge gaps (Croker, Bryce, & Burgess, 2018). Enterprise competitions have potential to enhance 1) cognitive abilities; (2) employability skills; (3) personal effectiveness; (4) knowledge; and (5) career readiness (Hanson, Hooley, & Cox, 2017). LSGSC will be the first host of Chopped: Learning Scientist Edition (CLSE). This workshop emulates the television show Chopped (Food Network UK, 2019), where chefs are presented a basket of random ingredients and create a 3-course meal constrained by a time limit. In the present scenario, replace chefs with learning scientists. The goal and intended outcome of CLSE is to 1.) network students across disciplines, and 2.) exercise effective communication, creativity, and interdisciplinary collaboration skills. Participants will be assembled into pairs and be presented a 3-course challenge revolving around contexts (focusing on formal learning), complexity (design & technology), and communities (informal learning).
Chopped, Learning Scientists Edition: Stimulating Innovation, Collaboration, and
Creativity Through Friendly Competition
Sherry Yi
University of Illinois, College of Education
fangyi1@illinois.edu
Keywords: creativity, entertainment, collaboration, teamwork, interdisciplinary
Abstract: Research has shown that using games in team-based learning activities can help
participants address knowledge gaps (Croker, Bryce, & Burgess, 2018). Enterprise competitions
have potential to enhance 1) cognitive abilities; (2) employability skills; (3) personal
effectiveness; (4) knowledge; and (5) career readiness (Hanson, Hooley, & Cox, 2017). LSGSC
will be the first host of Chopped: Learning Scientist Edition (CLSE).
This workshop emulates the television show Chopped (Food Network UK, 2019), where chefs
are presented a basket of random ingredients and create a 3-course meal constrained by a time
limit. In the present scenario, replace chefs with learning scientists. The goal and intended
outcome of CLSE is to 1.) network students across disciplines, and 2.) exercise effective
communication, creativity, and interdisciplinary collaboration skills. Participants will be
assembled into pairs and be presented a 3-course challenge revolving around contexts (focusing
on formal learning), complexity (design & technology), and communities (informal learning).
There are 3 rounds to the competition in decreasing duration: 20 minutes, 15 minutes, and 10
minutes. Each round involves a “basket” that will include 3 ingredients that pertain to the
theme
1
. Teams must then create a single slide markets their idea for either an interdisciplinary
research project or technology that integrates all 3 ingredients and explain their idea through
elevator pitches lasting no more than 2 minutes. No teams will be eliminated throughout the
competition; however, scores will be kept for each team. The ideas of teams are scored based on
their originality, use of existing literature, and contribution to research literature; the final score
is a sum across a panel of 3 judges. The team with the highest points wins the game. Ideally, this
workshop would have 6-8 participants form 3-4 paired teams, and 3 volunteers to form a panel of
judges. I will play the neutral role of facilitator in this workshop. I have held several leadership
positions at my university that allow for comfort in organizing such an event, including: College
Research Committee Graduate Student Conference Chair, and the College Grievance Committee.
Participants in this workshop will benefit from interacting with one another in a structured
format that encourages creativity, collaboration, and innovation. The workshop would also allow
for competing participants to practice communicating research-focused ideas in a condensed
format using common language. The following is a 50-word pitch to recruit participants: Do you
have what it takes to win Chopped: Learning Scientists Edition? Teams of pairs test their skills
through 3-courses revolving around context, complexity, and communities within learning
sciences. Teams are scored on originality, innovation, and contribution to the learning sciences
research literature.
1
For example, the context basket may include “feedback,” “well-being,” and “daily” within the context of formal
learning environments.
I expect to at least 4 tables to configure the room to resemble the set-up in Chopped. I will use
PowerPoint slides, a timer and music (perhaps from the television show) during the workshop. I
anticipate that researchers who are interested in collaborating with others, wanting to network
within a structured environment, and perhaps those who possess competitive spirit would want to
participate.
References
Croker, S. L., Bryce, D., & Burgess, A. (2018). The games students play: student perceptions of creative revision
strategies. The FASEB Journal, 32(1), 507-22.
Food Network UK | TV Channel | Easy Recipes, TV Shows and Videos. (2019). Foodnetwork.com. Retrieved 6 May
2019, from https://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/chopped
Hanson, J., Hooley, T. and Cox, A. (2017). Business games and enterprise competitions. What works? London: The
Careers & Enterprise Company.
Appendix
Fig 1. Image of chefs on Chopped opening their basket filled with mystery ingredients
2
.
Fig 2. Host of Chopped talking with panel of 3 judges
3
.
2
https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2015/3/24/chopped-blog/
3
https://www.mashed.com/32044/reasons-chopped-totally-fake/
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Business games and enterprise competitions. What works? London: The Careers & Enterprise Company
  • J Hanson
  • T Hooley
  • A Cox
Hanson, J., Hooley, T. and Cox, A. (2017). Business games and enterprise competitions. What works? London: The Careers & Enterprise Company.