The Carrot and Stick Method Useful in Higher Education

Consider how the process of learning begins for young students. As a general perceptual rule, when students begin their degree programs they wish to obtain high gpa’s, useful skills, and relevant knowledge. The tuition paid assures placement in the class there are implied results that students expect being a product in their involvement as class. In contrast, instructors expect that students will obey the academic rules, perform towards the best in their abilities, and abide by specific class requirements which include deadlines for completion of learning activities.

For students, grades be an indicator of the progress at college, a symbol of the accomplishments and failures, along with a record of these standing in the degree program. I have heard a lot of students state that their primary goal for that class were to earn whatever they refer to as “high gpa’s” – vehicles may not be fully mindful of what produces a good grade for him or her. When students aren’t achieving high gpa’s, or minimum expected by instructors and/or school, instructors may attempt to nudge them on – through either positive motivational methods for instance coaching and mentoring, or negative motivational methods that are included with threats and also a demeaning disposition.

I learned that many educators dangle a carrot in front with their students through indirect methods, for instance the possibility to earn a greater grade, as a possible “A” in a signal of the ultimate achievement in college. There may be incentives fond of prompt better performance, including more hours or a resubmission allowance for any written assignment, like a means of encouraging students to complete better.

My question for you is whether the focus training in college should be around the carrot we dangle looking at students to carry out better or should there be even more of a focus on which motivates every person student to perform on the best in their abilities? In other words, should we need to be dangling something when in front of students to serve being a source of motivation?

What could be the Carrot and Stick Method?

I feel that most people understand this is of dangling a carrot when in front of students to motivate them. The phrase will be based upon an account about a means of motivating a donkey even though the carrot is dangling looking at it, the stick is utilized to prod your pet along. The carrot serves to be a reward along with the stick is used being a form of reinforcement and punishment for non-compliance.

This approach continues to be used in the office, even subconsciously by managers, to be a method of motivating employees. The carrot or incentives can include a promotion, pay increase, different assignments, as well as the list continues. The stick that is utilized, and the punishment for not reaching specific goals or performance levels, might include demotion or maybe a job loss. A threat of that nature can serve like a powerful motivator, get the job done essence in this approach is negative and stressful.

The Carrot and Stick Approach in Higher Education

If you’re uncertain regarding the use on this approach in advanced schooling, think about the following example. You are providing feedback to get a written assignment in fact it is now the halfway reason for the class. For one particular student, you would imagine they have not met the criteria with the assignment and even more importantly, they’ve either not devote enough effort, they did not perform on your expectations, or they did not fulfill their full potential.

It will be worth mentioning that your particular beliefs about students are shaped by how you view them as well as their potential. In other words, I attempt to see my students as people who have varying degrees of performance understanding that means many will be further along as opposed to runners. In contrast, instructors who believe they will not have plenty of time to get to know their students as individuals may look at the class as being a whole and hang up an expectation concerning the overall performance level that most students needs to be at because of this particular reason the class.

Returning to your example provided, my question for you is this: Do you reward the attempt manufactured by the student or does one penalize that student for which you perceive becoming a lack of effort? As a faculty trainer, I have interacted with lots of faculty who feel that all students must be high performers and earning top grades, regardless of the background and prior classes. When students neglect to meet that expectation, you will find there’s perception that students either tend not to care, they may not be trying, or they may not be reading and applying the feedback provided. The instructor’s response then would be to dangle a carrot (incentive) and rehearse the stick to try and change the necessary student behaviors.

Relevance for Adult Learning

There is usually a perception held by many educators, particularly those who teach in traditional college classes, that this instructors are usually in control and students must comply. This reinforces a belief within students that they tend not to have control of their outcomes which is why many believe grades are beyond their control. I have seen all students stop trying by the point they were enrolled inside a class I was teaching simply because could not come up with a connection between the effort they’ve got made towards the outcomes or grades received. In other words, as they believed these folks were doing everything “right” – these people were still getting poor grades.

At the heart in the adult learning process is motivation. There are as numerous degrees of motivation because there are types of students and it’s not realistic to expect that every students will probably be performing in the same level. I’ve learned over the years and practice that adult student behaviors will not or is not going to permanently change being a result of forced compliance. However, behaviors will vary in time when a teacher has built an association with their students and established feeling of rapport using them. I encourage instructors to consentrate beyond dangling a carrot and make an effort to influence behavior, and never always through the usage of rewards.

From a Carrot to some Connection

It is very important for instructors to generate a climate and classroom issues that are conducive to engaging students, while becoming aware about (and recognizing) that every students possess a capacity to learn and several gradually reach their potential while other people develop additional quickly. My instructional approach has shifted in early stages from a rewards or carrot focus to your student focus. I want to build connections with students and nurture productive relationships using them, regardless if I am teaching an internet based class and find the distance the answer to consider. I encourage students for making an effort and I welcome creative risks. I teach students to embrace whatever they call their failures as valuable learning lessons. I encourage their involvement inside learning process, prompt their original thinking during class discussions, and I make them learn that their efforts do influence positive results received.

I understand that this type of approach may not be easy to implement when classroom management is time consuming, and this also is especially true for adjunct instructors. However, at the very minimum it could possibly become an attitude and a part of an engaging instructional practice. I encourage instructors to add it as part of the underlying teaching philosophy in order that they recognize and work to implement it. Every educator should employ a well-thought out teaching philosophy the way it guides the way they act and interact with students and classroom conditions. A student focus, as opposed to a carrot and stick focus, generates a shift in perspective from looking first with the deficits of students and seeing their strengths – along using their potential. It is an attitude of looking clear of lack and searching towards meaning inside the learning process, along with a shift from seeing a whole class to viewing students individually. My hope are these claims inspires someone to re-evaluate and re-examine how teach your students and consider new strategies to prompting their utmost performance.