Content Tech: Reinforcing Effort

Content Tech
Ideas for Technology Use in the Classroom

In an ongoing look at the book, Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works, the next strategy is reinforcing effort. Probably the single biggest factor affecting student performance is the ability to “stick with it” until successful.

Technology can be a tough one to incorporate into reinforcing effort, as it is a mode of working as opposed to a skill or concept to be learned. Pitler et al discuss an interesting scenario in which spreadsheets can be used to help reinforce effort. First, students are provided with a rubric that reinforces effort. The categories include class notes, attention, participation, homework and studying. During the course of a unit of instruction, students rate their daily effort according to the rubric in a spreadsheet. At the end of the unit, the students reflect on the chart of their effort ranking compared to their achievement. The teacher can also create an aggregated chart showing class averages.

While there is a good amount of work in doing something like this, it targets exactly the goal that, “…reinforcing effort enhances students’ understanding of the relationship between effort and achievement by addressing their attitudes and beliefs about learning.”

Image courtesy of Capt Kodak on Flickr






2 responses to “Content Tech: Reinforcing Effort”

  1. Nancy Cook Avatar

    Another idea for this is to post exemplary student work as a type of Student Showcase or Highlighted work of the week. It can be on a class website, or a teacher’s webpage (like WITS). Students love seeing their work posted online. If the site is open to the public, parent permission would need to be sought before posting.

  2. Michael Avatar

    Great idea – posting and viewing work can be very motivational for everyone!