Do you ever wonder if your students are paying attention to your Announcements? Are they reading through an entire assignment, or just skimming it? Do you have some items in your course modules that you suspect they skip altogether? One way to check, to reward students who are thorough, or to give all students the incentive to pay stricter attention to the course material, is the idea of using Easter eggs.
For example, I quite frankly despair of having all of my students read the weekly Announcement in my Canvas course. I don’t know why, because the Announcement always includes a summary of what we did in class, links to the handouts used in class, any upcoming homework, and what to expect in the next class – I would think that these would be important enough for students to check in regularly, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. So once or twice a semester, I plant a random (usually not even content-related) Announcement with a bonus point opportunity. Because I am just checking to see who has read the Announcement, it’s something easy like:
This semester, right before Spring Break, I posted an Announcement asking students to keep an eye out and send me pictures of anything that said "Coronavirus Economy" to them, along with the date/place, and why it caught their eye. I then used the student photos and comments to create an Animoto video.
You could also give out some low-stakes information eggs, such as
What are some other ways to use Easter eggs?
Here's an idea shared last Spring by Dr. Alisa Beyer, Psychology Faculty:
Try hiding your own Easter Egg - it's easy!
Moreover, if your class is just resuming this week, it may be a way to reinforce the desired habits from your students in this Brave New World of Remote Learning (it's never a surprise that the Psychology faculty like to use this technique, because a Psych major friend years ago told me that "Intermittent Reinforcement" is the most powerful way to develop the desired behaviors)!!
And if you have questions or need assistance regarding Teaching, Learning and/or Assessment, your friendly neighborhood CTLA is (as always) happy to help. These days that means remote assistance, but we're still here for you!
Don't forget that you can use this link to Submit a Request for Assistance from the CTLA:
HAPPY TUESDAY, EVERYONE!