James Lang's article "Failing to Motivate"

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Visiting ass't. prof.:
I just read with interest James Lang's "Failing to Motivate" http://chronicle.com/jobs/2004/11/2004112901c.htm on the web.  I agree with his well-supported assertion that grades should not be used as a motivating tool.

Perhaps this may be a generational split (I just got out of grad school last year), but I hadn't before encountered the philosophy that grades should be used as a motivating tool in the first place.  From the time I started teaching as a TA a few years ago, I had always thought of grades as a communication tool.  A letter grade followed by a narrative assessment communicates to the student how his/her performance on a given assignment stacked up.

I would love to hear other related or unrelated responses to this article.

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