In the “reinforcing effect” strategy, students are learning about the relationship between effort and achievement. This seems to be such common sense that we do not need to elaborate on it. However, research indicates that not all students recognize this relationship (Pitler 2007). Students need to be taught the value of work. By showing the students Ms. Powell’s rubric, student have the opportunity to see what the teacher is looking for in students. Students can also see what behaviors to avoid, such as only studying for a test on the previous night. By using the spreadsheet idea, students are learning how to collect date, organize data, and create graphs, in addition to understanding how effort impacts achievement. The calculation and graphs are easy to develop using the spreadsheet. This makes seeing the results that much easier. Students who had to make the graphs using paper and pencil may get frustrated that they never see the correlation between effort and achievement due to not completing the graph adequately.
In the “homework and practice” strategy, students have the opportunity to review the newly acquired material. Practicing this material will strengthen students’ knowledge of concepts. Pitler recommends giving homework with a clearly articulated purpose and outcome. He also recommends teachers should also provide feedback as quickly as possible. By providing this feedback, student work can be reinforced or corrected more efficiently. Technology can enhance this experience. There are many online application that provide practice problems with instant feedback. There are also many applications which can help with the reinforcement of skills. These include word processing and spreadsheet applications, multimedia, web resources, and communication software (Pitler 2007). The communication software is being more influential as today’s technology grows. GoogleDocs is a common communication application which helps to organize information from several students.
The behaviorist learning theory allows for building up students using reinforcement. Two strategies using this learning theory were examined. Technology can help in several ways. As technology develops, there will be even more ways for to reinforce positive student work.Tim Trotta