at GLoCALL 2021
Prof. Dr. Thomas Robb Kyoto Sangyo University, Japan
Thomas Robb, Ph.D., University of Hawaii, is Professor Emeritus, Kyoto Sangyo University. He is a long-time user of CALL and the Internet, and has created a number of websites and applications for Extensive Reading, student projects, interactive learning and professional exchange. One site for extensive reading, mreader.org has over 100,000 student users in 40+ countries. He has been President of JALT, served on the Board of Directors of International TESOL, and is the past president PacCALL. He is Chair of Extensive Reading Foundation, the editor of TESL-EJ, the first online journal for ELT, and the founder of the annual GLoCALL conference.
Presentation: Can badges encourage students to do more online work?
When a teacher assigns online work the teacher can usually track how much work each student actually does. However, in the speaker’s experience, once the target amount of online work has been accomplished, students immediately stop using the app. This is natural, of course, since they will feel no need to do more. Badges, however, bring the promise of encouraging students to ‘go the extra mile’ and do more than the minimum. To test this hypothesis, the speaker’s extensive reading quiz program, mreader.org, now includes a function to award badges to students who reach certain goals apart from what is required to achieve a satisfactory grade. Badges are awarded for reaching specific lifetime goals, such as 500,000 words read, reading more than 95% of the amount of other students or passing a quiz daily for two weeks. There are also group challenges, whereby the instructor sets up groups that together have to achieve the highest number of quizzes passed, or the highest total word count during a specific period of time. The results will be compared to the amount of reading done by comparable cohorts from the previous year at a number of participating schools. Will there be a statistical difference?