Friday, November 27, 2009

Congratulating Good Performance

I have written extensively about the emails and SMS messages I have sent to students at risk and the difference it has made to some students.  I have not just concentrated on the negative, I have also been sending congratulatory emails to students who have performed well.  For each assessment item, I sent an email congratulating all students who achieved a mark in excess of 85%.  I have also sent congratulatory emails to all students who achieved Distinction and High Distinction grades.  The final group of emails I sent were to a few less talented students who achieved great results through hard work and perseverance.  I do not know if these emails have had any impact on these students' performance but I like to think that the positive reinforcement made them feel better at least.  A few students have written back to me thanking me for my messages.

1 comment:

Leigh Blackall said...

For sure they would have an impact..

I knew a teacher who used to send postcards on the same basis.

When I teach online, I use the phone a lot! SMS reminders for every major event.. but not more than one SMS per week.

And voice calls to each person, no less than 3 calls, no more than 5 for the duration of the course.

These numbers of voice calls I got from a study done at the Open Uni UK.. no reference sorry could find if you need or don't believe me ;) It said that individual phone calls greatly enhanced participation, but any more than 5 calls had no effect beyond the initial impact of receiving calls.

Its a lot of ringing around for a typical undergrad course I know.. and it might be smarter to ring smaller numbers strategically.. such as, a group leader in group work projects, followed by a personal message to the group as a whole - such as a face video on Youtube or something..