A recent study has shown that crowdsourcing activities are prone to bringing out the competitors’ worst competitive instincts.
“[T]he openness makes crowdsourcing solutions vulnerable to malicious behaviour of other interested parties,” said one of the study’s authors, Victor Naroditskiy from the University of Southampton, in a release on the study. “Malicious behaviour can take many forms, ranging from sabotaging problem progress to submitting misinformation. This comes to the front in crowdsourcing contests where a single winner takes the prize.” (emphasis mine)
You can read more about it here but it’s not a pretty story. Looks like a pretty good reason to be very careful about how we construct competitive challenges in the classroom!