Friday, March 5, 2010


Motivation is a very tough thing to gauge. It certainly isn't a feature of standards and testing that so often serve as the marks that we are trying to hit in our schools. In fact, the tests themselves are supposed to be the motivators-- and I suppose they are.

But, without any question, motivation is critical to learning. And what the cbl experience reflected was that intensely motivated groups of learners became deep learners, engaged with activities that enriched their understanding of our course material (and the world) in ways that no one could possibly plan.

Jenna became so involved with her group web site that she claimed that family members were worried that she was becoming "addicted." Rosie's determination to set the bar high for her group's web design had everything to do with her group presentation and the public dimension of the group projects. The coolest thing about the cbls: The kind of motivation exhibited by Jenna and Rosie was typical of my other students, rather than extraordinary.

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