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 Would anyone be willing to help me with an experiment?

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Posts : 21
Join date : 2011-07-15

PostSubject: Would anyone be willing to help me with an experiment?   Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:29 am

Okay, I know this is going to be weird. But I've been doing a lot of reading about motivation and academic growth, and then stumbled across a very interesting idea that I'd like to try to implement/experiment with. I was thinking, if we do make a study group, then this could be used, and if not, then perhaps someone here knows the proper channels (I'm terrible with this side of things) to have it run/tried elsewhere.

So, I've been reading about a formula for action/motivation based on Development= NeedxReward/time restraints x possibility of distraction. And also, being a gamer, wondered what keeps people playing MMO games that really just aren't very fun. Then I also read about how positive response for good action has a greater impact developmentally than negative response for failure.

This also supplements my own idea that one of the factors that is causing American education to slip is the fact that we work on a flawed grading system. I believe this for two reason.

1. The fact that failure is seen as such a huge negative that having to retake a class is a huge stigma until college. Where as failing a class should be seen simply as a lack of proficiency in a single subject and nothing more, requiring the student to be re-educated on the subject, instead it comes across as meaning the student is stupid and is seen as something shameful instead of necessity for progress. This, coupled with the positive reinforcement issue, make teachers force the student to pass where they should not have, thus causing much larger problems for both the more proficient students who get a worse education because teachers play catch-up, and for the student who is pushed forward because they cannot keep up with the rest of the students.

2. Because we work on a system where we start off with A's and lose points, students develop negative feelings for getting a lower grade. It's like punishment as opposed to just comparison to a standard. A alternate I saw proposed, which is based off the earlier mentioned gaming. Is to instead implement a rising point structure. For example, Every assignment is worth a certain amount of points, and those points add. Getting to certain benchmark point levels would come with rewards, as an incentive to continue. Also, to alleviate the negative stigma of low grades, assignments can be redone to make up extra points. Thus failure is not a permanent failing, instead its an opportunity to correct ones failing. I think this is implemented a bit, but to such a small extent that it makes little difference.

So, I want to implement the following system:

Their would be a point cap (which could then be converted into a letter grade if needed just to fit the requirement of one).

Again, every assignment would come with a set amount of points based on difficulty.

Instead of failing because of a low grade, you would just not progress without enough points.

Rewards could vary depending on the subject. From extra points, to actual rewards. Also, some kind of "skill progression" could be implemented as well, however skills would instead be replaced with perks and privileges.

Also, as a way to promote teamwork, there would be extra point questions that span more than one subject and field, thus allowing students with different qualities and proficiencies to work together. These would also positively impact all students, not just the ones who solve it (thus, that old issue of the one student who acts like an idiot for comedic affect will have to realize that they're popularity could be better won through points)

These are all just experimental, but I do believe that adding a reward system and replacing the standard grading system with something in which the student starts at the bottom and can work up, instead of starting at the top and falling, could be implemented to positive effect.

Privileges and rewards can vary, some ideas:

1. The accumulation of enough points by one student would allow that student to eliminate a question of choice from a test.
2. Bathroom privileges without having to ask (of course not in college)
3. A homework assignment may be worth an extra % of points
4. Computer privileges

These of course are school related, in a group like ours, maybe some kind of reward based on our interests, or free food or something.

What do you think? good? bad? recommendations? any way you can help get this experiment up and running? Or would you be interested in being study group guinea pigs?
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Posts : 21
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PostSubject: Re: Would anyone be willing to help me with an experiment?   Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:55 am

I also have another idea involving education games, but it's a separate thing. It pretty much boils down to the fact that theres a huge divide between games meant to be fun, and games meant to teach, which is the reason the entire edutainment gaming industry is pretty much minigame based (though it wasn't always, I was awesome at math in elementary school because of a game where as a small part of the game, Zeus would ask math questions in exchange for ingame currency.)

My idea is to use a simple thing like RPGMAKER or one of the many pokemon editing programs, to make a languge based game that's actually fun. My plan to implement this is to have the character search for pages in a book of translations. for example, a character will give you a quest clue, but you won't be able to understand certain words because they're in romaji, kana, or kanji (depending on the difficulty you choose) and you have to find the translation in game. finding it will add either english (if easy) when the japanese term is selected, or kana (if hard). If in the Kanji section, the game will also have a dictionary, and these things will be key to progression. Also, finding the translation wont change the word, just let it become selectable ans shown in the alternate language. this way the constant exposure would become common and easily remembered (like how every old gamer still remembers the Konami code or how to beat Tyson in punchout), it becomes so common in your life it's remembered. eventually, all the words would be replaced by japanese, slowly, so that by the time you complete the game, you're reading the entire sentence in Japanese. There would also be findable items that teach about grammar. All this on top of regular RPG gameplay (or whatever game style it ended up being, platformer, strategy, fighter even.) This way, you still get to play a good game, but still learn something every time you play.

Of course, I couldn't do this yet. My own understanding of Japanese is still lacking...
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