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During a recent grading workshop based on the 15 fixes, there was considerable disagreement from most of the teachers in attendance in reference to Fix #12. The general consensus was that zeros do motivate students because this elicits an immediate reaction—one in which the students and often the parents as well are suddenly heavily invested in taking corrective action. I responded by asking whether students are motivated to learn or are merely motivated to complete the assignment. So it appears that positive motivation is interpreted by our teachers as that which deals effectively with procrastination and other related issues in which the assignment/test has not been completed. I know from my own experience with my daughter that when I saw zeros on her progress report, it elicited a strong reaction from me—one in which both my daughter and I began taking immediate corrective action steps. Based on what I read in the repair kit book, it seems the counterproductive motivation occurs when there is a significant amount of zeros and students feel they can’t catch up. At this point I am a bit confused as to how to debate this topic in future workshops. There are good points to both sides.



By posting zeros your colleagues are using scare tactics to get students to complete their
'work' but apparently they are using what I call a 'soft zeros' approach - students can
submit the work after the deadline date. What in effect they are saying with the soft zero is
that the student's work is Incomplete and can still be completed. If that is the case it
should be communicated honestly with an MW for missing work or an NS for not
submitted. Then if, at the time grades have to be determined, the student has not
submitted enough evidence for the teacher to determine a grade what goes on the report
card is an I for Incomplete. This is far better than calculating in zeros that distort the
student's achievement because Incomplete is an accurate honest communication, puts the
responsibility where it should be (on the student) but gives the message that it is not over.
I would suggest you and your colleagues look into poweroficu.com.