Archive for the ‘Pedagogy’ Category

Note to Self

March 16, 2010

Keri Kettle, a Marketing student at the University of Alberta’s School of Business, has demonstrated that people tend to perform better when they expect feedback on a given task to be more immediate. His reasoning is that the fear of disappointment is such a strong motivator that the threat of immediate bad feedback will motivate people to perform, whereas the knowledge that possibly disappointing or negative feedback will be delayed acts to relax our drive to perform.

I’ll have to remember this when next I’m called upon to provide feedback to a student for one of my TA assignments: the sooner, the better. But by the time one reaches grad school, one would hope that it is not the fear of negative feedback, but rather the anticipation of encouragement that acts as the mainspring for producing good work. And then there is the idea of doing good work for its own sake, as its own inherent reward; this, I think, would confound Kettle’s conditioning-based model altogether.

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