Getting Team Members to Study

New high school teams looking for advice should post here.

Getting Team Members to Study

Postby ndikkala » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:09 pm

My school is one of those STEM Charter schools, and because of that and our being ranked #3 in the nation, a lot of people on my team don't really take quiz bowl too seriously. They seem to think that going to a STEM school means that they don't need to study science, and I really doubt that half of them study in the first place. Our past two captains were really good generalists, so they basically scored most of the points while they were around, but now there's a lot of ground our team needs to cover before we can be competitive with other Atlanta-area schools, or at least, that's my take from watching Dorman at ACE Camp this year. We have just 2 practices a week but it's difficult getting everyone to come to the practices even then. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get a team to focus and actually study quiz bowl?
Naren Dikkala
GSMST '15
Communications Officer
User avatar
ndikkala
Lulu
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:01 pm

Re: Getting Team Members to Study

Postby Mewto55555 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:24 pm

One good way to make improvement to your team happen is by improving your own study habits. I couldn't help but notice this thread, and would recommend you avoid this highly ineffective way to study and just hit the packets instead.

A more relevant answer to the question you directly asked is to focus on only a small number of people: if there's someone who seems really interested in studying, direct them to the boards/study resources/whatever. Across-the-board efforts, like trying to get everyone to come to every practice multiple times a week are going to flame out if your school doesn't have much of a culture of quizbowl participation. Also don't come on too strong, a lot of people don't really care about improving at quizbowl and there's no way to make them. Keep around these people who sometimes show up, since they give you more people on average at practice/tournaments.

Also just learn science yourself if no one else wants to.

But in terms of things that's going to make the biggest difference in your team's performance, drop Protobowl like it's a hot potato.
Max
formerly of Ladue, Chicago
User avatar
Mewto55555
Forums Staff: Administrator
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:27 pm

Re: Getting Team Members to Study

Postby ndikkala » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:27 pm

Really? I thought ProtoBowl was pretty decent. How is it bad for studying as opposed to Quinterest?
Naren Dikkala
GSMST '15
Communications Officer
User avatar
ndikkala
Lulu
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:01 pm

Re: Getting Team Members to Study

Postby Mewto55555 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:38 pm

ndikkala wrote:Really? I thought ProtoBowl was pretty decent. How is it bad for studying as opposed to Quinterest?


I've written stuff about this in more detail elsewhere on the forums (here in particular, you can find more by searching posts with the word "Protobowl" in them written by Mewto55555), but a brief summary:

  • lots of improvement comes on bonuses
  • the selection of questions on protobowl is very limited (this has a LOT of problems -- you don't hear recent sets, you have this echo chamber where you're buzzing on the same clues everytime and thus think they're easier than they actually are, and many more)
  • when you're protobowling with people the focus is on "winning" as opposed to learning
  • when you're protobowling with people you'll get a lot of racism/sexism/other horrible things you'd expect from teenagers with internet anonymity
  • it hasn't been updated and probably never will be
  • it's not optimized to be useful as a quizbowl studying resource, because the people who designed it literally never play(ed) quizbowl and know literally nothing about how to study for quizbowl
  • and many more!

There's a reason everyone who has ever become very good at this game does not swear by Protobowl, and why if you spend even a fraction of the time you spend on Protobowl studying the packets on quizbowlpackets.com instead you'll improve much more quickly. Quinterest is useful if you want to search clues/answerlines to see when they've come up before, but probably shouldn't be your only resource, otherwise you'll be missing a lot of things that come up but that you haven't heard of.
Max
formerly of Ladue, Chicago
User avatar
Mewto55555
Forums Staff: Administrator
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:27 pm

Re: Getting Team Members to Study

Postby ndikkala » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:39 pm

Yeah, as for that culture of quiz bowl participation, we wouldn't have a team at all this year if I didn't find a sponsor on my own. Our administration had originally intended to cut the club this year because our previous sponsor left the school. I wasn't going to let them marginalize us in favor of Science Olympiad or Robotics so I worked for 2 weeks to find a teacher to be our new coach. So part of my motivation to improve our team is to show the administrators that it's worth having a quiz bowl team at the school.
Naren Dikkala
GSMST '15
Communications Officer
User avatar
ndikkala
Lulu
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:01 pm

Re: Getting Team Members to Study

Postby ndikkala » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:54 pm

Mewto55555 wrote:
ndikkala wrote:Really? I thought ProtoBowl was pretty decent. How is it bad for studying as opposed to Quinterest?


I've written stuff about this in more detail elsewhere on the forums (here in particular, you can find more by searching posts with the word "Protobowl" in them written by Mewto55555), but a brief summary:

  • lots of improvement comes on bonuses
  • the selection of questions on protobowl is very limited (this has a LOT of problems -- you don't hear recent sets, you have this echo chamber where you're buzzing on the same clues everytime and thus think they're easier than they actually are, and many more)
  • when you're protobowling with people the focus is on "winning" as opposed to learning
  • when you're protobowling with people you'll get a lot of racism/sexism/other horrible things you'd expect from teenagers with internet anonymity
  • it hasn't been updated and probably never will be
  • it's not optimized to be useful as a quizbowl studying resource, because the people who designed it literally never play(ed) quizbowl and know literally nothing about how to study for quizbowl
  • and many more!

There's a reason everyone who has ever become very good at this game does not swear by Protobowl, and why if you spend even a fraction of the time you spend on Protobowl studying the packets on quizbowlpackets.com instead you'll improve much more quickly. Quinterest is useful if you want to search clues/answerlines to see when they've come up before, but probably shouldn't be your only resource, otherwise you'll be missing a lot of things that come up but that you haven't heard of.

Wow I was not aware of that post but I'm definitely going to send the link to it to the rest of my team. Thanks.
Naren Dikkala
GSMST '15
Communications Officer
User avatar
ndikkala
Lulu
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:01 pm

Re: Getting Team Members to Study

Postby vinteuil » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:16 pm

Mewto55555 wrote:Quinterest is useful if you want to search clues/answerlines to see when they've come up before, but probably shouldn't be your only resource, otherwise you'll be missing a lot of things that come up but that you haven't heard of.

Of course I agree with Max that reading packets (as well as actual material on the subjects!) is a much better strategy than "using Quinterest," but I will note (acknowledging some bias, obviously) that Quinterest's "Study" feature provides a sort-of packet-reading-like experience, especially as more bonuses get added to the database.

In general, I find that emphasizing "packet study" as by far the biggest part of "study" really turns off some people who would otherwise be quite good; if someone seems inclined to read a lot of textbooks/video courses/etc., and is able to buzz on clues they learned from those sources, it's probably best to encourage that.
Jacob Reed
Yale '19
East Chapel Hill '13
"...distant bayings from the musicological mafia"―Denis Stevens
User avatar
vinteuil
Yuna
 
Posts: 983
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:31 pm

Re: Getting Team Members to Study

Postby cchiego » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:38 pm

Doing well--and making sure the administration knows you're doing well--can get a school to invest more in your team and raise the prestige of quizbowl within the school. Make sure you get profiled in the school newspaper, the local micronewspaper, the local microblogging site, and everything you can up to the AJC. Make sure if you win stuff that you get your school board to honor you (a teacher or admin can probably submit a request for that). If you get trophies, make sure to prominently display them. You can be creative in how to do this, but everyone likes a winner and the more you can get your name out there for the school, the better.

As far as getting team members to study, you need to first get them motivated and excited about quizbowl first. Whether it's appealing to their competitive instincts in general or to specific rivals (how could you lose to team X???), there's gotta be something that will get them to take it more seriously. Try to get as many people as possible out to a tournament where some of the nationally competitive teams will be playing so that they can experience/see firsthand what a top team does and how much fun a tournament is. Make sure to set expectations high--if you are allegedly the #3 high school in the country, you ought to be the #3 high school in quizbowl at least (or so your logic can go to get people to realize that "best in Gwinnett County" is probably not good enough--and I'm not sure that'd be true for next year anyways).

It also may be difficult to get juniors/seniors who take it seriously since they're already doing a million other things. Try to get freshmen/sophomores--or better yet, middle schoolers--since they haven't yet formed their extracurricular preferences and might be willing to invest more, if you can make sure they aren't sitting bored in practice (separate practices are a good idea for newbies and veterans, if you have the time).

A good coach/sponsor can be very helpful too in identifying and encouraging promising team members and providing extra incentives to study. Coaches/sponsors also like to be winners too, so see if you can't work that angle to get more of their help.

So the short answer is that getting team members to study is actually a lot more than just "study X." If you want a team that wants to study, you have to put the building blocks in place for that kind of team culture first.
Chris C.
UGA '09, UCSD '12, UPenn '(?)
Greater Pennsylvania QuizBowl
http://gpqb.wordpress.com
User avatar
cchiego
Yuna
 
Posts: 757
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:14 pm


Return to New High School Teams

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest