Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition

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Enhance students' understanding of the relationship between effort and achievement by addressing students' attitudes and beliefs about learning.

Provide students with rewards or praise for their accomplishments related to the attainment of a goal.

Generalizations From Research

  1. Not all students realize the importance of believing in effort.
  2. Students can learn to operate from a belief that effort pays off even if they do not initially have this belief.
  3. Rewards do not necessarily have a negative effect on intrinsic motivation.
  4. Reward is most effective when it is contingent on the attainment of some standard of performance.
  5. Abstract symbolic recognition (praise) is more effective than tangible rewards (candy, money).

Example Activities

  • Class Website with student work
  • Electronic Portfolios

Recommendations & Ideas

  1. Personalize recognition
  2. Use the “Praise, Prompt, and Praise” strategy
  3. Use concrete symbols of recognition
  4. Explicitly teach students about the importance of effort
  5. Ask students to keep track of their effort in relationship to achievement


Information presented above in the definition is from McREL, and generalizations from research, and recommendations & ideas is from Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement (ASCD)(Robert J. Marzano, Debra J. Pickering, Jane E. Pollock).

Web 2.0 Connections

"Y" Under each category indicates that this tool can be used with this strategy.

"Free +" Indicates that the tool is free at the basic level, but that more advanced versions are available at a cost.

Category Key:

SD = Identifying Similarities and Differences CL = Cooperative Learning SNT = Summarizing and Note-Taking ER = Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition HP = Homework and Practice NR = Nonlinguistic Representation OF = Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback HYP = Generating and Testing Hypotheses QCO = Questions, Cues, and Advance Organizers

Tool Link Desc Cost SD CL SNT ER HP NR OF HYP QCO Notes
MixedInk Collaborative Writing Tool [[1]] Online Collaborative Writing Free Y Y Y Y Y Enable students to craft an essay collectively by remixing ideas & language and rating & commenting on different versions. The tool encourages cross-pollination of ideas through a number of unique features and automatically tracks authorship.
MediaWiki [[2]] Open Source wiki software Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Wiki engine that powers [http://www.wikipedia.org Wikipedia] as well as this wiki.
Schoopy [[3]] School & Classroom Websites Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Great for guest speakers
iGoogle [[4]] Online Personal Homepage Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Integrates with all Google tools
Netvibes [[5]] Online Personal Homepage Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Twitter [[6]] Online Messaging Free Y Y Y Y Y Y
Basecamp [[7]] Online Project Collaboration Free + Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Ning [[8]] Community Websites Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Can be used for a classroom website
Writeboard [[9]] Online Collaborative Note-Taking Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Integrates with BackPack
MyNoteIT [[10]] Online Note-Taking Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
stu.dicio.us [[11]] Online Note-Taking Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Currently under redevelopment
pbWiki [[12]] Wiki Hosting Website Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
YackPack [[13]] Online voice Messaging Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Links directs to YackPack for Educators information
Ajax13 [[14]] Online Graphic Editor Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Requires Firefox 1.5 (or higher) Browser
Thinkature [[15]] Online Collaboration & Whiteboard Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
ScanR [[16]] Online Scanner, Copier, Fax from Phone or Digital Camera Free + Y Y Y Y Y Y
Flickr [[17]] Photo Hosting Website Free + Y Y Y Y Part of Zoho Suite of Online Apps
Zoho Wiki [[18]] Wiki Hosting Website Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Part of Zoho Suite of Online Apps
Zoho Notebook [[19]] Online Notebook Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Part of Zoho Suite of Online Apps
Rubistar [[20]] Online Rubric Generator Free Y Y Y
Wikispaces [[21]] Wiki Hosting Website Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y


Examples from teachers, students, classrooms, schools

Please click on the "edit" tab to share your examples here.

Contributor: Vicki Davis

I reward good behavior on the wiki, blog, and scribe posts in my classroom by creating a hall of fame on my classroom wiki. On this hall of fame, I link to student groups who have been designated as creating a hall of fame quality post. I also list the criteria for hall of fame quality. This is something students work for.

I also put students in the hall of fame for pioneering the use of new technology. Here are the hall of fames on my wiki:

This has been an amazing motivator for students. (And the criteria for inclusion is a copy of the rubric I use to evaluate their work!)

Contributor: Jennifer Clark Evans

Juniors in my American Literature class create serious comic strips using the graphic techniques of Art Speigelman as they study "Maus I" and "Maus II." Students publish their final product on a Flickr account. Good work is rewarded by positive comments left by their classmates, which can be more powerful and gratifying than just a comment by the teacher. Students also judge their work as it compares to others by the number of views. More effective works will receive a higher "view" count than lesser effective work.

Twitter: jclarkevans

Contributor: Jennifer Clark Evans I use a wikispace to publish and recognize good student writing from my literature classes. I posted recordings of original sonnets written by sophomores in my British Literature classes here. Here is the general page of Best Student Work. jclarkevans@fredericksburgacademy.org

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