Posts Tagged ‘Cal State Chico’

Old people like me may be familiar with motivational analogies related to carrots and sticks. Young people, I have determined by noting the bewildered faces of my students when I make reference to these analogies, are not familiar with what carrots and sticks have to do with motivation. If you are also young, here is a brief explanation. Like horses or mules or other animals that people in ancient times (like the 1900s or Amish farms) might have used for various tasks, students can be motivated by making them move away from something that they want to avoid (hitting mules with sticks, reducing student grades for lack of attendance) or they can be motivated by making them move toward something that they want (putting a carrot in front of a mule or offering students bonus points for class participation).

As discussed by Patricia Hernandez on Kotaku, a new app called “Pocket Points” offers students carrots for avoiding the use of their phones in class. Hernandez writes that the app tracks how long students keep their phones locked during class and is in use at Cal State Chico and Penn State, though only 1,000 students have downloaded the app, so its use can’t be very pervasive at either campus. Of course, Hernandez notes that people may try to game the system and commenters have several suggestions for doing so.

Carrots may work, but they probably don’t leave the lasting impression of a stick, even if the stick is staged. That way students will know that you’re not a part of their system, man.

“Like” Memoirs of a SLACer on Facebook to receive updates and links via your news feed. That’s a tasty carrot.

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