Overview
Biography
Publications
Conferences and Workshops
Links
Ask the Grade Doctor
Contact Me
Links
  

 
Ask The Grade Doctor

Full Question Detail

Return to All Questions

 : : : :

Question

Giving marks for quizzes and assignments often boosts the marks of students who are
hard workers but struggling--or have trouble writing exams. Of course one hopes that
they will also learn material as they do the work. Why would one want to take this
opportunity to get credit for work done and the incentive to do the work away from them?
"0 until you do this" works as a good motivator in many teacher's experience.

2012-02-29
bailey green
 

The
Grade
Doctor
says:

Why would one want to take this opportunity to get credit for work done and the incentive
to do the work away from them?
Because it gives an inaccurate picture of achievement. Students know that in band and
basketball you have to practice to perform well. We need students to understand this in the
classroom - you do the work to learn well. Everything counts - some as practice, some as
performance!
"0 until you do this" works as a good motivator in many teacher's experience.
Threat/punishment is never a "good" motivator.

 

bailey green's
Comment

2012-03-01

0,does not have to be punishment--it can just be a place holder. Most marks programs
don't do well with i (incomplete)
I just asked my son (young adult) about punishment--he considers detention (I know you
don't want to call it that, but I believe you do recommend forced attendance in a
supervised situation until work is completed) huge punishment--while a zero (especially if
it can be made up) is very fair in his opinion. I believe that most students would agree with
that. Would you not agree that whether or not something is punishment does depend on
how it is perceived?
BTW, in many situations we get $0 until we do the work. I would not consider that
punishment-- would you?
Threat/punishment is never a good motivator is an opinion.


The Grade Doctor's
Comment

2012-03-01

The place holder should be incomplete, and the consequence for not doing the work is that you have to do it, not just be given a zero. Your son is exactly right and that is why they shouldn't be used - it is the easy way out for students.


bailey green's
Comment

2012-03-08

In a certain actual class, where the zero is used as a place holder, many students look on
the zero with "oh sh#@#! I'm f*&&^". Most see the opportunity for doing the work and
making the 0 disappear as a bonus. In this instance there is a government exam at the
end--this teacher has an excellent reputation for helping students learn and his class
marks are usually very close to the diploma marks. Of course one would love to see them
learn for intrinsic rewards--but it's too late for that. They enter highschool after 10 years
of rewards for learning and compliance. The teacher on the other hand is very keen on his
subject and continually learns new things in his field just for the joy it. My question is: why
would anyone want to mess with his system?


The Grade Doctor's
Comment

2012-03-12

Given that students can complete missing work with the teacher using zero as a placeholder, the teacher is really using incomplete but calling it a zero.

 

Top