I have started a new system in my class that will run as an experiment for the rest of this semester and if it works I will use it for the next semester. I feel that my students need a paradigm shift from the typical point system. I must assign grades in my class with a number value. I am mostly rubric driven in that point scale. Most of my students never question a 10 out of 20. They just accept it and move on. They don’t read the rubric to see how they can improve because getting a 70 in the class is fine with them.
Enter paradigm shift. I have substituted the word points for the word dollars. Instead of a 25 point assignment I tell them that the assignment is worth $25. I will “pay” them full price for perfect work. I will withhold payment for incomplete work and will not pay for late work. I will not pay full price for work that is not perfect.
This is simply a mind game that actually works. The students are actually excited to get their “money”. They question why they were not paid full price or why they received $0. I may have found my student’s currency!
Enter my paradigm shift. I actually pay more attention to the quality of my students work if I think they are being paid. It’s kind of like the plumber coming and almost fixing my problem. I don’t want to pay for crap work and if I am going to pay for work to be done, I want it done right.
So what do my students get with their money? This is where I need suggestions. Each point/dollar that my students receive is like money in the bank. They can use that money to buy things from the “class store”. I am in the process of stocking the shelves. My students have suggested homework passes, points on exams, chewing gum in class, etc… All of the items in the class store would have a point value and I would keep track of purchases.
I need some feedback on this idea. Is this a good idea? Is this a bad idea? Is this a really bad idea? What should I sell? How much should I charge for items? Creativity is crucial…