More on Motivation: Knowledge Workers like Progress

Catherine Gewrtz, EdWeek, make great observation here that the ability to see progress is a great motivator.  Check out Harvard Business Review, “this is worth a look.”  Catherine continues:

It’s an argument for the importance of feeling that you are making progress in your work. The authors studied “knowledge workers” of many stripes, and found that recognition, incentives, interpersonal support and clear goals are not as high on the motivation scale as that sense of making progress in your work.”

Some schools and students will soon jump from no data to full keystroke data (tracked responses to instructional experiences to the keystroke level).  The instantaneous feedback, as we see from game playing, is addictive and instructive.
The power of individualized learning models (eg, RISC in Alaska, AdvancePath, EdVisions) is the ability for students to influence and monitor their own learning path.   Progress is motivation.
And motivation is everything in life and learning.

Tom - Speaking Engagements

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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2 Comments

Hans Hageman
2/13/2010

In the classroom, the lack of timely and constructive feedback is a killer for students. Many teachers make a trade off between meaningful work (with a longer turnaround time) and easily assessed assignments that do little for student motivation.

UseSerendipity
2/15/2010

Thanks for sharing education models which give students more meaningful feedback.
For more discussion of how we can use this principle in our classrooms, please see my post here:
http://teachingserendipity.blogspot.com/2010/02/light-bulb-about-light-bulb.html
I'm a teacher writing a new blog, and I'm eager to get discussion going. I would love to hear your thoughts!

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