Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Young, R. A., Turk, J. K., Jelinski, N. A., Anderson, A. D., Clark, K. M., Dere, A., Moorberg, C. J., Osterloh, K., & Presley, D. (2023). Jumble judging: Cognitive and affective outcomes of intercollegiate collaboration at a soil judging competition. Natural Sciences Education, 52, e20104.


Open access.


Student–student interactions are influential parts of field experiences. While competitive judging events are a fun way to engage students in field-based learning, the focus on competition leads to an atmosphere that discourages collaboration between students. The objective of this study was to evaluate the cognitive and affective learning outcomes resulting from intercollegiate collaboration at a soil judging competition. Teams with students from two to three different universities were assigned and referred to as jumble judging teams. Jumble judging was held for the first time in the 2021 Region 5 Collegiate Soil Judging Contest. Learning outcomeswere assessed using a pre- and postsurvey, as well as group and individual reflections completed in the field. Student responses were generally positive, with 70% of students expressing agreement or strong agreement that they would like jumble judging to be included in future contests, 54% citing jumble judging as one of the best parts of the contest, and 93% identifying learning outcomes or describing an affective learning experience resulting from jumble judging. Evidence of both cognitive and affective learning were identified through student surveys and reflections. Overall, the event created a collaborative and collegial atmosphere and increased interaction between students from different universities, while maintaining the competitive nature of the event that motivates many students to get involved with judging teams.