Marzano: Reinforcing Effort

This post is part of a series on integrating the McREL research on classroom instruction that works with videoconferencing.

Reinforcing Effort: Generalizations

  1. Not all students realize the importance of believing in effort.
  2. Students can learn to operate from a belief that effort pays off even if they do not initially have this belief.


Use these to improve your practice.

  1. Explicitly teach students about the importance of effort.
  2. Have students keep track of their effort and achievement (Pitler, et al., 2007, p. 155-156).

Brainstorming for Videoconferencing

This strategy is very sparse for applications to any communications technology. The ideas in the book are for using spreadsheets to help students track their own effort and achievement; and to use data collection (web-based surveys) to help students see how others also put in effort to achieve.

Maybe, the focus should be on what effort students put into preparing for a videoconference. The rubrics and charts on effort and achievement could be applied in this way.

What student effort do we want to reinforce in a videoconference?

  • Asking good questions
  • Effective presentations – speaking slowly & clearly
  • Listening

I’m on a MysteryQuest / MQ USA / HistoryQuest8 week, so that format is in my head. Have you noticed that you don’t have to get students to put forth effort when they are racing to find the answer to the clues presented by the other schools? They are EAGER to figure it out! Is there a way to reinforce that effort?

Celebrating Effort?

One of the examples in the original Marzano book is of a math teacher assigning homework to watch the Olympics and make a note of the stories of how the athletes kept going when it was hard. Could classes share stories (The Little Engine That Could) or examples of effort that they see? Classes could create and share illustrations and results of effort in every day life.

What do you think?

Can you think of another angle to apply this strategy to videoconferencing? Or do you think this one is already too much of a stretch? Please comment! Let’s think out loud together.

References: Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D., & Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works : research-based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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