Students frequent Sporcle

Trivia website an educational tool

As UNC awaits Wednesday’s matchup against Duke University, students can already take pride in one victory: its ranking.

On Sporcle, that is.

A few months ago, Sporcle began compiling data on colleges’ use of the site, creating a top 25 ranking of worldwide schools. UNC is currently ranked seventh, while Duke does not make the top 25.

Sporcle rankings:

1. Michigan

2. Ohio State

3. Maryland

4. Notre Dame

5. Penn State

6. Boston College

7. North Carolina

8. Pittsburgh

9. Northwestern

10. Michigan St

As of Jan. 29, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor ranked first.

Sporcle.com is a trivia website with games and categories ranging from the most popular boy names in the last 100 years to naming the running backs taken in the NFL draft’s first round from 2000 to 2010.

But it isn’t the just fun that is driving students to the site, Sporcle officials said.

Instead, it’s the site’s educational value.

“I used it in Swahili 101 to study the capitals in Africa. I got a bunch of extra credit because of Sporcle, so I think it’s great,” said senior Tim Smith.

Derek Pharr, vice president of products at Sporcle, said the website had actually contacted some teachers to discuss how Sporcle could be better used in an educational context.

“Sporcle has talked to many educators who have agreed that the site can be a useful tool for students,” Pharr said. “The educators also recommended that Sporcle make a specific section for study guides and for each college, so that the study guides would be more relevant to each particular school.”

For most students, however, Sporcle is just a fun site to test their skills, and not a way to defeat other colleges or bone up for their next geography test.

“Sporcle encourages learning in a fun and competitive way,” said freshman Anna Grace Fitzgerald. “It’s a great way to build communal knowledge among whomever is playing the game.”

“Sporcle is an excellent distraction from boring lectures,” junior Kegan Daly said.

Contact the University Editor at university@dailytarheel.com.

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