I have found that some students put little effort into their assignments because they feel like they will just fail anyway.  I am interested in increasing student effort on assignments and projects.  What is the best way to show them the correlation between their effort and their success? 

Also, do you think students at the elementary level can be accurate judges of the effort they've put into their work?

I'm always looking to find ways to incorporate technology, any ideas for increasing achievement or providing feedback?


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What a deep question, Michelle.... Anyone that has a surefire answer to that is certainly a wealthy individual. Seriously though, integrating technology into your curriculum is definitely a step in the right direction. The more your students are creating and taking ownership for projects and online content the more likely you will be seeing real, authentic engagement.

Keep us posted on your journey.... it will be a process, but well worth the effort...

Sean, I agree that I need to help them take more ownership in their work.  Intrinsic motivation is sometimes difficult to foster and technology might be part of the equation.  I like the idea of having students rate their effort using rubrics and then graph their scores and compare them to their grades to see the correlation (hopefully there is a correlation ;)).

Thanks for the encouragement!

Well I believe that most of us have been in your situation at least once and I believe that there might be many different ways to proceed. As a matter of fact as you and Sean suggest, I would try to integrate some technology in order to make projects more appealing to students. Besides, by doing so you would also be diverting students'concerns about failing towards using something new and trendy. 

How would I do so? Since I don't know what kind of project you carry out with your students, I would base myself in a typical report o research project. Well, I would have students do the assignments in pairs or in small groups and use free tools like google docs, which would allow online collaboration among the members. Additionally, I would encourage the use of enriched media in the docs like embedded google maps, youtube videos, pics, etc. Once they have the assignments ready, I would ask students to share their projects with the other groups and I would also give them some guidelines to evaluate/edit/etc the projects of other groups and so on...


I hope that my insight was useful

William, I think you're right that technology might be a way to divert their concerns about failing.  I hadn't thought about it that way!  I also like the idea of getting peers involved in evaluating/editing projects, it might make them take more pride/ownership in their work if they know others are going to be seeing their work.  Maybe "publishing" projects online would be helpful for them and give them a reason to put in effort.  If more than just I will be seeing their work students hopefully will be compelled to give more effort.

Thanks for your perspective!



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