Five students need to work together to prepare and present a paper for Finance class. All students will receive the same grade, regardless on how much effort and input they have put into the project. Two of the students are not pulling their weight. The first student only attends half of the time and does not have much to contribute, if anything. The second student seems uninterested and would rather tell jokes to pass the time since she does not need the grade to graduate. Question: How to get the two students more motivated and involved in the project?
Resolution Recommendations: “Unfortunately, there is no single magical formula for motivating students. Many factors affect a given student’s motivation to work and to learn (qtd. in Davis, Barbara): interest in the subject matter, perception of its usefulness, general desire to achieve, self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as patience and persistence. And, of course, not all students are motivated by the same values, needs, desires, or wants. Some of your students will be motivated by the approval of others, some by overcoming challenges” (Davis, Barbara).
Both students appear to be uninterested in their grades or participation. As suggested by the Expectancy Theory in Contemporary Management by G. R. Jones and J. M. George, “workers do not believe that performance and rewards are closely linked. ” Furthermore, “workers do not value the rewards offered for performance. ” Both students see a lack of value for their participation. Suggestions: Student #1: This student shows up only about half the time and does not participate. Could be that he/she does not feel that they have any real input that would be worthy enough for consideration.
They are withdrawn and unresponsive. Encouraging this student not only to participate, but also offering positive reinforcement in the way of compliments and showing sincere interest in their input, no matter how small, will help to build their esteem and confidence, effectively drawing them into to becoming a better contributor to the group. This kind of reinforcement is also mentioned in Alderfer’s ERG Theory stating that “relatedness” is one of a person’s highest needs which are encouraged through “good relations [and] accurate feedbacks” (Contemporary Management).
Student #2: This student simply has no interest in the project or the needs of the other students because she has already earned her reward – graduation. The final outcome, the grade, has no bearing on her and she is only half-heartedly attending and buying time until the class is over. Because this student feels that there is no gain or reward for her performance, it is suggested that the other students should try to approach the situation to meet her “relatedness” needs, that of “interpersonal relations [and] feelings” (Contemporary Management).
Encourage this student to be part of the group on the academic level, suggesting that their thoughts and input are helpful and needed. Also congratulate and praise the student for already having met the needs for graduation and how her knowledge would greatly benefit the group. This will help stroke her ego and since of worth while also helping to meet another of her ‘higher needs’, that of “self-development [and] creative work” (Contemporary Management). Conclusion: For both students to become more active and greater contributors to the project, the individual needs of each must be discovered and met accordingly.
As it appears that neither student is too concerned about their grades, the next step is to decipher what does appeal to them and how to meet those needs. The first student could be classified as an introvert, not comfortable being part of a group and not comfortable enough with their thoughts to share them with others. By encouraging him/her, asking questions, and giving appropriate praise when participation is given, this builds confidence and comfort and allows for the individual to become more active in the project. The second student does not feel the ‘need’ to participate because all of her requirements are met.
She is merely going through the motions, waiting out her time until the class is finished. Encouraging her to become active because her opinions and input are valuable will help give her self worth and a sense of being needed, giving her a ‘reason’ to have a more active role in the project. Works Cited Davis, Barbara Gross. “Motivating Students. ” Tools for Teaching. 26, March 2010. http://honolulu. hawaii. edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/motiv. htm. Jones, G. R. & George, J. M. Contemporary Management. 5th Edition. ISBN 978007353022.
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