The behaviorist learning theory is based on the principles that desired behaviors are rewarded and undesired behaviors face consequences. The student is encouraged to repeat successful behaviors to seek further rewards. The students also will learn from consequences and change undesirable behaviors. Technology and the behaviorist learning theory work hand-in-hand in motivating and engaging students in the learning process.
Many students have a preset notion about certain subjects. For one reason or another they will come up with reasons why they will be unsuccessful. Due to this attitude students may not put forth the effort needed in order to succeed. Through the use of spreadsheet software and an effort rubric teachers are able to help students see the difference in success when students put forth effort by taking class notes, paying attention, participating, doing homework and studying. “The instructional strategy of reinforcing effort enhances students’ understanding of the relationship between effort and achievement by addressing their attitudes and beliefs about learning” (Pitler, 2007, p. 155). By tracking and graphing the results students are able to clearly see that the level of their participation in the classroom activities will significantly affect their overall achievement. Students that are not attaining the desired results are able to task analyze what area they can work on to better their chances at success.
Homework can be the bane of existence for any classroom teacher. Assigning meaningful, clear and helpful homework is the first battle but then comes the tricky problem. Making sure that every assignment that is handed in is reviewed, commented on and returned in a timely fashion can be over whelming. Not to mention the effort involved in motivating reluctant students to even consider completing the given assignments. Within the chapter on homework and practice, Pitler mentions the use of multimedia and web resources to engage students in increasing their conceptual understanding of skills and concepts (Pitler, 2007, p. 188-198). One idea that was not mentioned in the reading was the use of a classroom blog. I have used this resource in the past with great success. Every week I would post different questions, videos, pictures or scenarios about topics that we had discussed in class. Students would respond to the posts with examples, further discussion, pictures and questions. It was a great resource to have students interacting together and building off what their peers had stated. The duties and dread of homework was somewhat relieved. Students were motivated to participate and would check back several times a week.
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.