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Buchanan Presenting at Fall Conference on the Use of Competition to Engage Students

Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) Associate Professor of Business Management Technology Bonnie Buchanan will be presenting at the 2016 Ohio Association of Two Year Colleges Annual Conference at Rhodes State College in Lima on October 14. Her presentation is titled Using Competition to Reinforce and Enhance Learning.

“At COTC, we’ve had tremendous success with competitions in the classroom,” said Buchanan. “I thought I would feature some of the contests our department has had with students in the classroom. When students compete in the classroom, it’s so much more fun than traditional exams or papers.”

The theme for this year’s conference is "Creating in the Classroom." Conference participants will hear from presenters, like Buchanan, who are using creativity and active learning to transform the classroom experience from dull to stimulating.  

“In my opinion, it’s important to share information with other faculty so that they can get ideas on how to increase student learning, engagement and retention of subject matter.” said Buchanan.

During her presentation, Buchanan will talk about specific competition activities that have been successful in COTC classrooms.

“Students in a recent advertising and public relations class were tasked with creating a new ad campaign for the business management technology program​ and worked on the project throughout the semester,” said Buchanan. “They presented their work not only to the class, but also to department faculty and marketing personnel. Knowing that the ‘best’ campaign would be picked added a different level of excitement to the project, and students exceeded all expectations in regards to the quality of their work and the creativity shown.”

Buchanan said the competition approach takes group projects to the next level by engaging students in a positive, competitive environment.

“Team projects are a terrific way to reinforce learning, course objectives and communication skills, but can fall short of true engagement and excitement about the work,” said Buchanan. “Why not take student learning up a notch by creating contests and competitions within the team structure?”

Buchanan has been instructing students in the classroom at COTC for 13 years. She is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and holds an associate degree in business management, a bachelor’s of business administration and a master’s of business administration with a focus on leadership.

Central Ohio Technical College opened in 1971 and is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2016. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs, as well as encouraging the professional development of students, staff, faculty and administrators to assist them in achieving their maximum potential. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.