Category Archives: UNL / College Teaching

Classroom Democracy, Part V: Bibliography

I was going through some papers and posts, preparing for the next installment of The Wary Guerrilla, when I realized I had not posted a bibliography for my Classroom Democracy series. Throughout the series I cite chapters and journal articles but never state where I got them from. Thus, without further ado, my long occulted sources:

Bruning, R. (1995). The College Classroom from the Perspective of Cognitive Psychology. Handbook of College Teaching: Theory and Applications.

Dawson, J.D. (1996) Relations of mutual trust and objects of common interest. In J.K. Roth (Ed.) Inspiring Teaching: Carnegie Professors of the Year Speak. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc. (pp. 44-53).

Halonen, J.S. (2002). Classroom presence. In S. Davis & W.Buskist (Eds.). The teaching of psychology: Essays in honor of William J. McKeachie and Charles Brewer. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. (pp. 41-55).

Ley, K. and Young, D. (1998). Self-Regulation Behaviors in Underprepared (Developmental) and Regular Admission College Students. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 1998, Vol. 23, 42-64.

Roth, J.K. (1996). What teaching teaches me: How the Holocaust informs my philosophy of education. In J.K. Roth (Ed.) Inspiring Teaching: Carnegie Professors of the Year Speak. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc. (pp. 199-210).

Royse, D. (2001). The mental groundwork. In D. Royse (Ed.). Teaching Tips for College and University Instructors: A Practical Guide. Needham Heights, MA.: Allyn & Bacon. (pp. 1-24).

Ruiz, T.F.(1996). Teaching as subversion. In J.K. Roth (Ed.) Inspiring Teaching: Carnegie Professors of the Year Speak. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc.(pp. 158-165).

Smith, K. (2006). “Representational Altruism: The Wary Cooperator as Authoritative Decision Maker,” American Journal of Political Science, October 2006, Vol. 50 No. 4, pp 1013-1022.

Smith, K. et al. (2004). Evolutionary Theory and Political Leadership: Why Certain People Do Not Trust Decision-Makers. Presented at the 2004 Midwest Political Science Association Conference in Chicago, 2004, 1-42.


Classroom Democracy, a tdaxp series
1. A Parliament of Scholars
2. A Defense of Republics
3. The Life of Constitutions
4. The Evolution of Learning
5. Bibliography

Classrooms Evolved, Part V: Conclusions

When students begin a program of study in computer science, they naturally focus on the programming: what lines to write, what language to write them in, and other such concerns. However, as they become more skilled they learn to focus on the data structures – they realize that a seeming detail that actually is actually the most critical factor. Teaching is similar. My first-hand experience in instruction, as well as a seminar on college teaching, shifted my focus towards grading and social setting, and away from the many small details I first worried about.

The benefits of social cognition are intertwined with motivation. Too many teachers believe that students are slackers who put in the least amount of effort possible, when really they are cooperative when put in a healthy environment. Students need to know that fairness has a place, and that they won’t have their work exploited by low-preforming peers without consequence. Students will contribute and try to help until they believe they are being cheated. The ability for even a small amount of students — holding just one-third of the assembly — to prevent the re-election of an Administration they dislike — means that student who who care about fair play will have the power to act on the behalf of the group. Further, the deliberative, inclusive manner of the elections are likely to correlate with student happiness. Students want to do well, want to be treated fairly, and want to treat each other fairly. My philosophy will succeed because it recognizes all these primal drives, and doesn’t simplify students into listening-reading-regurgitating machines.


Students are social animals. The sort of classroom deliberations I advocate succeeds because they are founded on social interaction, social discourse, and social consent. The use students’ pre-existing orientation towards fairness and achievement to build critical thinking skills. The innovative nature of classroom democracy makes this doubly true, as its unusual methods force students to be aware of how they learn and how they want to learn. Socialization encourages self-regulation, self-monitoring, and self-control among students. Whatever we would wish, many college students do not develop study skills because they are never given any control of their learning in a classroom environment. Classroom democracy allows students to develop self-regulation in a Vygostkian, zones-of-proximal-development, style by working with more established learners in deciding how to learn.

The processes I outline above fit the various learning styles of students better than a series of lectures. Classroom democracy allows both dynamic and static matching for personalities. Different groups will experiment with different styles, not only presenting information in new was but modeling new ways of lecturing. Students will gain experience in the complicated mental work of translating learning into educating, which improves, rather than sacrifices, comprehension.

Students are too important to be left to the status quo. Let’s do better.


Classrooms Evolved, a tdaxp series
1. Traditional Methods
2. Social Grading
3. Deliberative Learning
4. Overcoming Doubt
5. Conclusions

Classrooms Evolved, Part IV: Overcoming Doubt

Every class I have ever had has challenged this system. Students, wise from more than a decade of classroom instruction, have figured out that teachers lie to them and that collaborative learning is really just a way for a teacher to lecture and then act grumpy when students don’t talk up. So students, who don’t like hypocrisy, attempt to expose it by spending an entire class period on parliamentary procedures, or letting the class leave early after ten minutes, or some other stunt. They are, like good scientists, attempting to determine the real rules of the class by seeing what a teacher does and not just what he says.

An example of this is an election I observed in the Fall of 2006. The most lopsided race I have ever witnessed began with students offering chocolate to others who vote for them. I recognized this as a challenge, and so allowed it. Another student offered himself as a candidate, stating “I don’t know what to do, but I know this is not fair.” He received twice as many votes, and he offered nothing but fairness. Interestingly, he did this with the help of a defector from the bribers. One of those students, the last to vote, said “The class is clear what it wants. It wouldn’t be fair to vote for ourselves and so against himself. Too often we assume that students are greedy cretins and that peer pressure is our enemy. Often, the reverse could not be more true.

It is after the challenges that teaching becomes delightful. Recently, for example, I walked in early as students were negotiating how the class would be run. They understood the basic rules and knew that those guidelines would be consistently enforced. This allowed the students to think ahead about how classroom matters should be solved, and not just strategically worry about what a professor said that day.


Classrooms Evolved, a tdaxp series
1. Traditional Methods
2. Social Grading
3. Deliberative Learning
4. Overcoming Doubt
5. Conclusions

Student Differences and Deliberative Learning

Because of maddening and inferiority problems with my blog hosting service, a comment I wrote to Mark of ZenPundit did not go through. Mark had a question on deliberative learning over at my series, Classrooms Evolved, and as Mark was kind enough to link to those posts, I do not feel good letting him wait until blogspirit gets its act together. (That could, literally, take forever.)

My reply is below:

I’ve tried classroom democracy on community college students, gene. ed students in a survey course, and political science / international studies students in an introductory course. I think all three of these tries went better than a piagetian attempt or lecture-based attempts.

Students differed on motivation. Community college students and major students tended towards mastery orientation, with the major students taking the democracy itself as a system to master while community college students used it to help them master their technical skill. Thus the major students devised and implemented clever alternatives to the sort of democracy I layed out, while the community college students used it as a way to select tutors who would help other students in exchange for reduced assignments.

Gen. ed. students were generally performance oriented. Several times there were “coups” with a President or Prime Minister declaring his term extended — students were focused mostly on grades and so such coups were popular (as they provided more continuity than elections in course structure).

Thus the directional nature of the classroom I describe in this series. I expect that by embedding the democracy within a curriculum you would have a more durable system for gen. ed. students, while still allowing major students the ability to play with the system if they want to.

I plan on handing out an edited version of this philosophy to students on the first day next semester. This system is designed for practical implementation.

Phil’s question over at “Open Thread” is also still hanging, but Catholicgauze and Sean seem to have that covered. (I don’t have the original text of my comment anymore, so I hope it stops being AWOL soon!)

Classrooms Evolved, Part III: Deliberative Learning

In a standard, lecture-based classroom students overrate the power of the professor and thus discount their own contributions. This encourages authoritarian thinking and retards the development of self-efficacy and metacognition. To overcome these problem I run my class as democracies. Formal offices, such as Assembly, the President, the Prime Minister, and the Government Ministers, are elected and hold real power.

First, every student votes for an Assembly. The Assembly is elected as previously described, so that a candidate’s representation in the Assembly is proportional to the combined voting power of the students who elected him. The assembly automatically involves every student in the deliberations, either directly (if he votes for himself or another student votes for him) or indirectly (through his vote). Because the Assembly is proportional, every vote counts.


Secondly, the Assembly elects a President. The President is chosen by a two-thirds vote of the Assembly. In the case there are more than two candidates and none receives a two-thirds vote, the lowest-vote-earning candidate is removed, and the Assembly votes against on the remaining candidates. In the case that there are only two candidates and none receives a two-thirds vote, the Assembly can vote one more time. In the case that the Assembly is deadlocked, the Assembly begins electing again, but cannot vote for any candidate it has previously considered. If the Assembly repeats this process such that there is no one left to vote for, the Assembly falls and a new Assembly is elected by the Class. The requirement of a two-third majority avoids the problem of winner-take-all elections, where a slightly more powerful clique could control the class. Instead, any significant opposition will stop a Presidential candidate, forcing consensus picks. Therefore, students who wish to be leaders know they have to appeal to a wide variety of learning styles. Prime Ministers who do not care about the learning of others, either by not paying attention to other’s needs or being flippant, are not chosen again. Students want a good grade on their projects, and in a Democracy they realize that their ability to gain one depends on interaction with the different perspectives of their peers.

Third, the President selects a Prime Minister. This is the first stage in forming a Government. The Prime Minister is selected by the President but most be confirmed by half of the Assembly. If the President’s selection for Prime Minister is not approved by the Assembly, the President may try a second nomination of anyone, including the first choice. If the President is again rebuffed, the President’s Administration falls and the Assembly selects a new President. If a second President falls, the Assembly itself falls and a new Assembly is elected. In my democracies the President is not an executive officer, but merely the head of the class in charge of naming the executive. This prevents a strong personality from running the room.

Fourth, the Prime Minister selects two Ministers, both of whom must be approved by the President. This is the last stage in forming a Government. If either of the Prime Minister’s candidates are rebuffed, a second selection may be made of anyone, including re-nominating the candidate for the office again. If the Prime Minister is again rebuffed, the Prime Minister’s Government falls and the President selects a new Prime Minister as described above. The proper role of the Prime Minister and his Ministers are described in the preceding section.

The Assembly can find that it has “no confidence” in either the President or the Prime Minister by a majority vote. If the Assembly has No Confidence in the President, then the Assembly must select a new President who will form a new Government as outlined above. If the Assembly has No Confidence in the Prime Minister, the President must then name a new Prime Minister as outlined above. Likewise, the President can dissolve the Assembly and start the process of choosing a government all over again. The purpose here once more is on deliberation, consensus, and student buy-in. Unlike informal learning contracts and other such measures, this process makes students intimately connected with and responsible for how their class is run. It is my experience that student-lead efforts create higher motivation and tougher enforcement than teacher-led efforts.


Classrooms Evolved, a tdaxp series
1. Traditional Methods
2. Social Grading
3. Deliberative Learning
4. Overcoming Doubt
5. Conclusions

Classrooms Evolved, Part II: Social Grading

My style requires a reorganization of classroom society. The following section describes my processes and. It also makes reference to elected student officials who are instrumental in the process. Following this section, I will describe a model of deliberative democracy similar to one I have used successfully.

On the second class give a long multiple exam over the first chapter in the book. The point here is not so much grading but weighting the student’s votes in the classroom democracy. Biasing democracy in favor of high-performing students helps build a high-achievement society. The weighting does not have to be much, but it should be enough to effect the election of the President as well as establishing a “merit” standard for the legislators. Students, indeed all human beings, accept control more readily when they believe those above them are there because of “merit.” Similarly, students also like to participate in deliberative decisions. This system combines both.


Next, ask the Prime Minister to break the class into a number of groups. Every group should be responsible for some portion of class material, and each group should be responsible for lecturing on it. Grade students will be graded three times for every presentation they give. After a group presents, give the entire class a multiple choice exam on the material that group was supposed to cover. This creates an individual score for every student, a class average, and a group-presenting average. Give all students their individual score and give presenting individuals both the class’s their group’s average score. This makes every student responsible for three different levels of performance: individual performance, group performance, and class performance.

The general benefits of group work are well known, and include increased motivation when working collectively and increased validity of learning. Additionally, group work is closely connected to multiple perspectives, improved rationality, and better decision making. Just as we ask questions in class to engage students in the information, the whole structure of the class should be centered on student engagement. Additionally, groups are a better medium for social interaction than a traditional classroom where students are called on. People who speak up are generally looked down on, so socially wise students will remain quiet (and so not participate) during normal lecture students. Additionally, compared to mentally exhausting lectures, students simply enjoy well-designed group work more..

If possible, cycle through this process two or three times, depending on how the class units can be broken up. At the end of every cycle, ask the Prime Minister to re-divide the class such that no more than two or so students are in the same group with students they have already worked with. This both creates a social dynamic, by rewarding high performers with the ability to work with other high-performers, while preventing the groups from becoming cliques.

At the end of the semester ask the Prime Minister to create new groups, and then direct the groups to create an integrative project or report. Between its members, each group should have relevant expertise on several units of the class. This deliverable should focus on understanding and be graded by the instructor. This combination requires students to right an integrative essay based on a collection of unique expertise. It forces students to transform their knowledge to teach others, in order to improve their own grade, as well as the grades of their fellows.

No class goes as planned, so use the Government of the Prime Minister and his Ministers to handle grade disputes. If a student believed that a question on the exam was bad, or that the exam did not properly measure his skills, he can present his case to the Government. If the Prime Minister and one other Minister agree, the issue will be put to the Assembly for a majority vote. In my experience the toughest graders are students, as involved students are proud of their work and hate to see their achievement minimized by rewarding incorrect answers or involved students. Thus, by-and-large the decisions of such a commission will be academically rigorous.


Classrooms Evolved, a tdaxp series
1. Traditional Methods
2. Social Grading
3. Deliberative Learning
4. Overcoming Doubt
5. Conclusions

Classrooms Evolved, Part I: Traditional Methods

The most common style of teaching ignores my definition of a class Student society, and student concern for their grades, are sidelined throughout the class hour. A professor will stand up with a lesson plan, often written years ago, and talk. For an hour or two or three, depending on the class, students just sit and listen. Students are essentially uninvolved with the lecture, except for the mental work required in paying attention. Then after class, students (supposedly) study, typically individually, and for most classes ineffectively. Standard ways of grading in these classes, such as exams and essays, individual and group work, do not help much.

Multiple-choice exams are not effective. Doing well on such a test requires the student to memorize terms for a tremendous amount of material. “A” students learn to sacrifice understanding to breadth. Students do not leave the class any smarter, or even more able to use concepts in conversation, let alone in life. This sort of studying is exhausting. Worse, it encourages lazy teaching. “It’s in the book” is a reflexive answer to a student complaint. It is hard to see multiple choice exams, as they are regularly given, as anything other than a rotten instrument.


Yet essay tests are counterproductive too. They are more useful because they require linguistic reconstruction of information, and this writing makes writing both more cognitively valid than multiple-choice exams. But essays encourages lazy teaching. By essentially punishing the teacher for giving this sort of work (it takes h o u r s to grade these things), essays act as constant reinforcement against instructors who assign them. Standard essay tests punish the professors who use them. Additionally, the temptation to use a rubric (and sacrifice measured comprehension for something mindlessly easy to grade) becomes too great – and at that point, why not just use a multiple-choice exam?

Assigning individual work is full of dangers. Private assignment deprives scholarship of a social component. The human animosity towards isolation can keep student from putting in the necessary time on individual projects. Likewise, individual work channels students in their own ignorance, too often making the assignment either a desperate example of fumbling in the darkness. Comprehension is ignored in favor of meeting the teacher’s requirements.

Not that typical group work is much better. Until graduate school I despised group work, because such assignments really meant that high-performing students would just carry the load for low-performing students. Group work without accountability was some sort of prisoner’s dilemma game, with one player being both unwilling and unable to meaningfully cooperate. Indeed, I think many teachers’ overemphasis on individual work comes from a learned aversion to poorly contributing group-members.

So what is needed is a grading system which avoids the memorization of practice exams, the grueling mind-numbingness of essays, the isolation of individual work and the free-riding of group work. Thus must be done in the context of a teaching style that embraces society. It requires a new style of classroom – a style I have been developing for years.


Classrooms Evolved, a tdaxp series
1. Traditional Methods
2. Social Grading
3. Deliberative Learning
4. Overcoming Doubt
5. Conclusions

Classrooms Evolved, Introduction: A Philosophy of Teaching

This series is a modified version of “Philosophy of Teaching,” my final project for a doctoral-level seminar in college teaching. Throughout the semester we wrote four smaller papers, two of which became tdaxp series: “Classroom Democracy” and “Learning Evolved.” Therefore, many of the ideas presented during the following week will be recognizable to long-time tdaxp readers.

My philosophy of teaching centers on the fact that the classroom is a society that is oriented towards grades. In the paper below I will explain the importance of grading and the drawbacks of common grading methodologies. Next I will describe an effective way to run classrooms which maximizes positive peer pressure. I will then integrate these into a social-grading system that gets the best out of every student. Last, I will briefly mention some limitations and offer a conclusion. What follows is not a scholarly text, but an applied method to improve the learning of students who sacrifice years of their lives – and often tens of thousands of dollars – to attend an institution of higher learning.


Classrooms Evolved, a tdaxp series
1. Traditional Methods
2. Social Grading
3. Deliberative Learning
4. Overcoming Doubt
5. Conclusions

Wary Motivation & Implicit Knowledge

Bruning, Roger, & Horn, Christy. (2000). Developing Motivation to Write. Educational Psychologist 35(1):25-37.

Bruning, Roger, & Flowerday, Terri. (1999). Response: Dempster and Corkill’s “Interference and Inhibition in Cognition and Behavior: Unifying Themes for Educational Psychology.” Educational Psychology Review 11(2):89-96.

Glover, John A., Zimmer, John W., & Bruning, Roger H. (1980). Information Processing Approaches Among Creative Students. The Journal of Psychology 105:93-97.

Hibbing, John R., & Alford, John R. (2004). Accepting Authoritative Decisions: Humans as Wary Cooperators. American Journal of Political Science 48(1):62-76.

Kiewra, Kenneth A., et al. (1997). Effects of Advance Organizers and Repeated Presentations on Students’ Learning. Journal of Experimental Education 65(2):

Hibbing, John R., & Theiss-Morse, Elizabeth. (2001). Process Preferences and American Politics: What the People Want Government to Be. The American Political Science Review 95(1):145-153.

Rankin, Joan L., Bruning, Roger H., & Timme, Vicky L. (1994). The Development of Beliefs about Spelling and Their Relationship to Spelling Performance. Applied Cognitive Psychology 8:213-232.

Todorov, A., Mandisodz, A. N., Goren, A., & Hall, C.C. (2005). Inferences of Competence from Faces Predict Elections Outcomes. Science 308:1623-1626.

Can you find the central theme?

In the field of educational psychology, the questions addressed in most detail by researchers and text authors are these: How are connections made? What conditions lead to effective encoding and retrieval strategies? and How can learners actively participate in their own cognitive processes? The questions not being asked include, What information is not being activated? Why is it bypassed? Is incorrect or inappropriate information being activated? and Could it be due to a deficit in inhibitory function?
(Bruning & Flowerday, 1999, 93)

Hayes and Daiker (1984) found that the single most important principle of response in a writing environment was positive reinforcement. (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 33)

If, as Wittrock suggests, learning is a generative, active process, then the present findings indicate that a major cognitive difference between creative and noncreative students lies in the greater ability of the former to access other sources of information to broaden the semantic base of their productions. (Glover, Zimmer, and Bruning, 1980, 96)

To our knowledge, this is the first empirical evidence that, controlling for perceptions of greed, the belief that decision makers are ambitious has an independence and relatively strong inverse effect on decision acceptance. Apparently, being treated badly by someone who did not necessarily want to be in a position to treat us badly is much more tolerable than being treated badly by someone who machinated to be in a position to treat us badly.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 71)

Indeed, survey instruments rarely include questions about what government processes respondents would like to see. For example, every two years NES asks: “How much attention do you feel the government pays to what people like you think?” It does not ask: “How much attention should government pay to what people like you think?”
(Hibbing & Theiss-Morse, 2001, 147)

The present experiment replicated previous research findings that repeated presentations of a lecture increase both note taking and learning. It extended previous research, however, by showing that repeated presentations facilitate the learning of facts about topics, but not relations across topics. Apparently, students did not spontaneously integrate ideas across topics, even when given repeated opportunities to do so.
(Kiewra, et al., 1997)

Students who held the highest levels of efficacy for themselves as spellers, and who expected that good spelling had important consequences for themselves as writers, were, in fact, the best spellrs. The highest levels of performance, however, were reserved for those who attributed good spelling more to effort htan to ‘being smart'” (Rankin, Bruning, & Timme, 1994, 228)

We conducted an experiment in which 40 participants (19) were exposed to the faces of the candidates for 1 s (per pair of faces) and were then asked to make a competence judgment. The average response time for the judgment was about 1 s (mean = 1051.60 ms, SD = 135.59). These rapid judgments based on minimal time exposure to faces predicted 67.6% of the actual Senate races (P < 0.004) (20). The correlation between competence judgments and differences in votes was 0.46 (P < 0.001). (Todorov, et al., 2005, 1624)

The rest of the notes are, as always, below the fold


The general answer is that interference and inhibition were abandoned as psychology rushed into the 1960s and 1970s to embrace more contextualized, constructivist views of learning. In a highly influence American Psychologist article, for example, J.J. Jenkins (1974), a prominent memory theorist, described how he had come to doubt associationistic explanations of memory and moved to contextualist ones. More than associations were involved, he argued: the quality of events greatly affects what is observed in any experiment. Using this reasoning, he and others created a host of compelling experimental and naturalistic demonstrations of how contextual variables can affect learning and memory.
(Bruning & Flowerday, 1999, 90)

Many of the most cherised cognitive goals — reading, writing, learning strategies, problem solving decision making — require expertise built on repertoires of automatized responses. Acquiring this expertise involves basic learning processes of association, repetition, and extended practice to which the concepts of interference and inhibition are especially applicable. (Bruning & Flowerday, 1999, 91)

What the neurosciences are beginning to make possible are increasingly revealing glimpses of what is happening in the black box. Researchers can now “view” internal neurological processes (at least their physiological correlates) as they occur in specific brain regions as learners grapple with simple and complex learning problems.”
(Bruning & Flowerday, 1999, 91-92)

By demonstrating the concetps’ relevance in a variety of research areas, Dempster and Corkill show that the concepts can be extended well beyond the narrow “verbal learning” and “rote memory?” niches into which many educational psychologists had tucked them.” (Bruning & Flowerday, 1999, 93)

At a more specific level, however, we are less sanguine about the utility of interference and inhibition as explanatory concetps. Taking two examples provided by Dempster and Corkill, for instance, we think that performance difficulties that occur (1) when math problem types change e.g., 3 + 6 = ? becomes 3 + ? = 9) or (2) when learners are overloaded with too much information are more satisfactorily explained by concepts other than failure of inhibition or interference.
(Bruning & Flowerday, 1999, 94)

Motivational considerations are an integral pan of their vision as writers make trade-offs between costs and benefits of various goals and ways to use resources (Flower et al., 1994; Hayes, 1996). In any writing task–from a child’s brief book report to the reading-to-write assignment of college composition–writers must negotiate between what is expected and what can be done. Students need to be motivated to enter, persist, and succeed in this ill-defined problem space we call writing.
(Bruning & Horn, 2000, 26)

Snow (1983) argued that learning to read is facilitated by oral language experiences where parents scaffold understanding by speaking in literate ways. Writing needs the same kind of structure (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 27)

Gender also appears to play a role in the development of writing efficacy. Pajares and Valiente (1997) found, for example, that fifth-grade boys and girls did not differ in their writing performance but that girls perceived writing as more useful than boys, had greater self-efficacy, and worried less about it. In a sample of ninth graders, however, girls reported lower self-efficacy than boys, even though their actual writing performance did not differ. These findings may reflect a general downward trend for girls in perceptions of their academic competence (Phillips & Zimmerman, 1990). It may also be, as Cleary (1996) argued, that secondary schools and colleges emphasize a male-biased form of discourse requiring females to adapt to structures that may be less intuitive, interesting, or intrinsically motivating.
(Bruning & Horn, 2000, 29)

Cycles of goal setting coupled with feedback regarding progress toward the goals often are necessary to activate a full capability for self-monitoring and self-regulation (Cervone, 1993). (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 30)

Even when selected for sound pedagogical reasons, writing activities often are not set within larger social or communication frames that can create interest and a sense of writing’s relevance. (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 30)

Hiebert (1994) described authentic literacy tasks as activities that involve children in the immediate use of literacy for enjoyment and communication, distinguishing them from activities where literacy skills are acquired for some unspecified future use. (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 30)

Having genuine reasons for writing almost certainly has motivational consequences. Authentic tasks would seem to afford students the opportunity to express and refine their voice (e.g., Elbow, 1994; Schiwy, 1996). Words set down on a page to a real audience for a real purpose are their own, not borrowed (Elbow, 1994). Authentic tasks are likely to help students develop one or more distinctive styles of writing and to determine if these styles are “theirs.” (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 30)

The research on the impact of interest on writing has revealed a complex relation between knowledge, interest, and writing performance (Benton, Corkill, Sharp, Downey, & Khramtsova, 1995; Hidi & Anderson, 1992). Benton et al. (1995), for example, found that students with high topic knowledge and high interest wrote essays that included content-relevant information that was logical and well-organized, whereas writers with relatively less interest and knowledge generated more ideas unrelated to the topic. Although there was a strong relation between knowledge and interest, they were found to be separate constructs. (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 30)

Gaining and maintaining control of a writing task almost certainly are critical motivationally. No matter what the writer’s developmental stage or ability level, each act of writing poses a formidable challenge, having much in common with other ill-defined problems (Flower et al., 1990). In creating the problem space and in its later refinements, writers must balance the potential costs of various courses of action with their hypothesized benefits (Hayes, 1996). Do I need more information? Do I need to change the focus of what I’m writing? Do I have time to revise? Should I read over the paper one more time? Parameters defining this fluctuating problem space include the writer’s purposes for writing, the norms of the discourse community (as embodied by the teacher or other audiences), and the writer’s own knowledge and writing skill.
(Bruning & Horn, 2000, 31)

Students find cognitively complex learning activities inherently more interesting and demanding of mental effort (Meece & Miller, 1992); such tasks lead to higher levels of motivation because they create interest, allow for self-improvement, and afford opportunities to control one’s own learning (Turner, 1995). They prefer complex literacy assignments for much the same reasons (Miller et al., 1993). Writers need to believe, however, that if the task is complex it can be accomplished with reasonable effort. (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 31)

If anxiety rises to a high level, the result may be emotional and cognitive thrashing that disrupts writing entirely. (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 31-32)

Case study research has indicated that students respond favorably to specific and explicit ways to improve their writing (Straub, 1996, 1997); students are quite clear about their need for specific coaching about their writing. In a number of studies examining student response to teacher comments, students responded very well to comments that dealt with organization, development, and matters of form, but resisted comments that dealt with the value of their ideas or issues they did not consider germane to the writing task (Cleary, 1996; Larson, 1995; Straub, 1997). (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 32)

Students appear to be very aware of control issues in writing and recognize when the person giving feedback begins to exert too much control (Straub, 1996). (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 32)

Although we strongly believe that developing motivation to write is best conceived of as a process of building intrinsic motivation, rewards may play a productive role. Rewards can help build achievement-directed motivation when they are made contingent on student effort (Brophy, 1987; Stipek & Kowalski, 1989) and on progress in relation to short-term goals (Schunk, 1989). (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 32)

Reducing the aversiveness through reward may increase young writers’ general readiness to expend effort in goal-directed writing tasks (Eisenberger & Cameron, 1996) (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 32)

With this exposure can come feelings of loss of control and its attendant anxieties (Bandura, 1997), which can be amplified when conditions for successful performance and feedback are unclear. (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 33)

In classrooms where teachers create a climate of trust, caring, and mutual concern, students are motivated to engage (Connell & Wellborn, 1991; Wentzel, 1997). (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 34)

The Unusual Uses subtests were scored for fluency, flexibility, elaboration, and orginality by two independent raters. Reliability indices for these measures were .95 (fluency), .93 (flexibility), .94 (elaboration), and .87 (originaility). Scores on the four variables were summed for each S to provide an overall “creativity” rating, with the total score median used to determine creative and noncreative categories for analysis.
(Glover, Zimmer, and Bruning, 1980, 94)

The lack of consistent differences between creative and noncreative participants on the reading test or the essay posttest is congruent with research assessing relationships of creativity with other intellectual abilities. However, when summary and “flight of fancy” passages were analyzed, some important differences emerged between the two groupings.
The findings of significantly higher numbers of logical intrusions in both passages generated by creative Ss suggest that they may have related new information contained in the essay to existing “schemata” or previously existing knowledge structures, to a greater extent than noncreative Ss. The passages produced might, thus, be considerations of “new” and “old” information. Passages generated by the noncreative students tended, in teh main, to be less coherent and more straightforward compilations of “facts”: e.g., serial listings of essay relevent and irrelevent information.
(Glover, Zimmer, and Bruning, 1980, 95-96)

A central requirement — perhaps the central requirement — of civilo society is a willingness of its members to accept binding decisions and to view the makers of those decisions as legitimate.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 62)

Since it is unrealistic to expect that legitimacy could be bought by magically increasing the resources avialable to distrituve to all residents, like a growing number of social scientists, we pay social attention to the possibility that different decision-making processes will have an impact. (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 62)

As Popkin puts itthe prevailing wisdom is that people make judgements on the basis of “results and are generally ignorant of or indifferent about the methods by which the results are achieved.”
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 63)

In psychology, Tyler has led the way in demonstrating that people do “not react to the degree to which they received a personally beneficial decision. Instead, they react to how failry the decision was made by the authority…”
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 63)

“Some of these researchers, for example, have stressed people’s preference for relative as opposed to absolute gains. It turns out, people express high levels of satisfaction when they receive $3 from another player who keeps $3, but low levels of satisfaction when they receive $3 from another player who keeps $13. By holding constant the payoff offered to the receiver and then varying the size of the pot (and therefore the amount the other player proposes to keep), the crucial role of relativity becomes apparent (Frank 1999; Kahn and Murnighan, 1993) (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 63)

Scholars from a variety of fields, including political science, have demonstrated the extent to which social context influences people’s reactions to decisions. People are affected by whether they have interacted (even briefly) with the decision maker prior to the decision, by whether they are likely to interact with the decicion maker again, by whether they perceive the decision maker to be a member of their “in-group,” and by whether the deciion maker is perceived to be a decent human being or to have “earned in a fair contest the right to be the decision maker… TYpically, for example, people are more willing to take a loss for themselves in order to punish someone who has behaved badly or to cooperate with someone who has behaved nobly (see, for example, Boyd and Richerson 1992; Henrich and Boyd 2001; Thaler 1992). (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 63)

One common explnation for nonmaximizing behavior is that humans retain in their psyches a strong and innate desire for fair distributions (see Kravitz and Gunto 1992; Rawls 1971). Two problems with this explanation immediately suggest themselves: one empirical and one theoretical. In experiments, people do gravitate toward fair allocations, even if doing so is costly, but their tendency to be fair vanishes if steps are taken to protect their identity from the experimenter and, especially, from affected players (See Hoffman et al. 2000; see also Larimer 2002). people are less concerned with fairness than with the appearance of fairness. But even if this desire for fairness were more robust, we would still be left with the question of why humans woudl carry with tthem such a nonrational concern. A satisfactory theory ofr people’s behavior must go beyond the simple assertion that “this is the way people are.” (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 64)

In brief, this theory flows from Darwinian biology and holds that, far from being an add-on, our sociality — that is, our frequent concern fro the welfare of our group and for our own place in the group, our eagerness to conform and to guage our own success by that of those around us, our desire and ability to “read” and to emphasize with other people, and out tendency to view members of outgroups with disfavor — is deeply ingrained in the human condition and has been for millions of years. (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 64)

At a remarkably early age, babies display empathy (Pinker 2002). (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 64)

The idea that behavior has even a modest biological basis is still upsetting to many people, including scholars. Btt upsetting or not, the evidence seems firm and is growing. Beavers know how to build a dam even when they have not seen other beavers do so; monkeys raised isolated in a lab fear a snake after viewing a videotape of another monkey’s fear of a snake buty can never be taught to be scared of other creatres and objects no matter how many videos they see of monkeys being scared of those things (Dawkins 1982; Mineka and Cook 1993). (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 64)

In humans, people suffering from autism (a condition known to be at least partially genetic) help us to see the kinds of social skills that the vast majority of the population takes for granted. Most autistic individuals are said to lack a “theory of mind” meaning they are unable to view social situations from the perspective of another person … ; thus, they are often unable to form normal social relationships. Autistic individuals have difficulty understanding how to make other people happy since this requires empathic abilities they lack. The point is that the “sociality as a learned behavior” theory seems to suggest that all humans are first autistic but then most learn to be otherwise, a vision of human development that is not accepted by experts in the area. (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 64)

We call individuals who follow these rulers wary cooperators since their first impulsive is to cooperate but they are ever wary of the behavior of others. (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 65)

People thus spend much of their existence trying to avoid being perceived as a leech by those who are other-regarding and being played for a sucker by those who are self-serving.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 65)

Specifically, the theory suggests that people are using decisions and decision processes to draw inferences about decision makers. Are decision makers concerned for others? Are they trying to feather their own nests? Are they driven by personal ambition? Recent public opinion research indicates that the substance of most individual political decisions is of only passing concern to most people but the traits of other people, and especially the traits of powerful other people, is of great concern (see Hibbing and Theiss-Morse 2003) As a result, other things being equal people should be more accepting of authoritative decisions when they are made by decision makers believed to be unconcerned with either acquiring power or with benefiting themselves at the expense of others. In other words, we predict that deiciosn will be more acceptable if they indicate that the decision maker is the kind of person who would help to make a viable social group.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 65-66)

The framework we employ for testing the theory utilizes the so-called ultimatum game. The theoyr was first introduced by Guth, Schmittberge, and Schwarze over 20 years ago (1982).”
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 66)

With regard to the allocator, rather than keeping all but a modest portion of the money, the modal decision is to split the pot equally between the allocator and the receiver and the median proposal is fo rthe allocator to give up about 40% to the receiver… To be specific, offers of 30% or less are rejected better than 50% of the time (Nowak, Page, and Sigmund 2000, 1773). As one scholar colorfully described it, the attitude of receivers toward allocators is often “take your offer of epsilon and shove it” (Thaler 1992, 35)
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 66)

In short, while psychological and economic experimental research has pointed us in a useful new direction, designs such as the ultimatum game need to be modified if they are to help us understand the political arena generally and people’s acceptance of authoritative and unfavorable decisions specifically.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 66)

Once the instrument was completed, for purposes of realism, subjects wer asked to wait a monent for their “partner” to complete the survey; then the ultimatum game began.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 67)

One of the pretest questions was “how far did you travel to get to the experimental site today?” In this last option, subjects were told teh computer would calculate the differential in travel of the “two” subjects and prorate the payoff accordingly, with those traveling farthe rin relative terms receiver the greater share.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 67)

What makes our results unique is that they permit us to compare this acceptance rate with that generated by allocations made via other processes. When teh allocation was ostiensibly determined by calculations of the respective distances traveled by the two players, teh acceptance rate of the same $2 (of $20) allocation jumped to 71%, and when the allocation was determined by chance, the acceptance rate of, again, a $2 (of $20) allocation was even higher — 80%.”
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 68)

“When we control for outcome by freezing in a payoff that is small both in absolute and relative terms, substantial and significant variation is apparent in acceptance of that payoff depending entirely on the manner in which it was derived. Too often, analyssts assume people conflate a fair outcome with a fair process. Our findings help to pull apart these two very different concepts. Few could argue that an allocation of $18 for one person and $2 for another is a fair outcome, but if tha toutcome is believd to have resulted from a fair (random) process four out of five accept it.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 69)

Out expectation is that subjects who believe the allocator decided to make the decision himself will perceive the decision maker as much less fair than subjects who believe the allocator left the decision up to chance or desert…. As can be seen in Figure 2, the results are perfectly supportive of this expectation.”
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 69)

But the extension of this finding to the political arena may be problmatic. Earnign a position does not equal coveting a position and previous expeirmental work has never analyzed the differnce.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 70)

Here, the choice of how to make the allocation is Forced on Player 1…. As expected, receivers were much more willing to accept decisions made by decision makers who did not overtly crave power.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 70)

Our hypothesis is that when people believe they have bene played for a sucker, little time and thinking are needed in formulating a response because the brain is hardwired to react neagatively to being played for a sucker but can afford to react to other scneariors at a more measured pace… As can be seen from Figure 4, results comform nicely to our expectations. Subjects who had been playerd for a sucker by an allocated who used his/her own discretion to keep $18 of th e$20 responded to the fairness/unfairness item relatively equickly, after just 6.6 seconds. But subjects who were not the victim of a self-serving allocator (but were simply unlucky or undeserving) took well over 10 seconds to respond to the fairness/infairness item, a different that was significant at teh .01 level.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 72)

The concsensus, hwoever, certainly among economists, is that the evidence indicates a perference is a preference (whether it is monetary or not) and that the more telling issue is the size of the stakes (See Smith 2000, 16-17), which leads us to the second complaint. Results generated when $20 is at play, as was the case in our experiments, are not likely ot be similar to thsoe obtained when $200 or $2,000 is at play. We agree with this point ecompletely, and it has been amply demonstrated in previous research (see Brockner and Weisenfeld 1996; Cameron 1999).
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 73)

And just what do our findigns have to say about these effects? That if people are convinced the political process makes it impossible for decision makers to benefit themselves at the expense of non-decision makers, they will be surprisingly accepting of governmental decisions, even those that are unfavorable to them from a substantive point of view. This is especially true if the people believe that decision makers did not want to be decision makers in the first place.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 74)

At the aggregate level, confidence in government dropped most dramatically in the late 1960s, when the economy was doing quite well, and shortly after Lane (1965, 877) declared that the new “age of affluence” woudl lead to “a reapproachment between men and their government and a decline of political alienation.” More recently, Seelye (1999, A15) notes with surprise that “most Americans still deeply distrust the Federal Government despite the end of the cold war, the robust economy, and the highest level of satisfaction in their own lives in 30 years.” There is even less support at the individual level. Cross-sectional analyses find no or only a modest relationship between poloicy satisfaction and institutional approval (Caldeira, 1986; Mueller 1973; Patterson and Caldeira 1990).
(Hibbing & Theiss-Morse, 2001, 146)

The belief that the government is out of touch with ordinary Americans is extremely common, but Figure 1 gives no indication that, on the whole, the people see government policies as out of line with their own preferences.
(Hibbing & Theiss-Morse, 2001, 147)

Kimball and Patterson (1997) find that disappointment with government is concentrated among those who expect elected officials to be honest, caring and altruistic but perceive them to be otherwise.
(Hibbing & Theiss-Morse, 2001, 147)

Again, process perceptions may explain the anomaly. Whereas people seem to believe the parties espouse different policies, they may view them as nearly identical in terms of processes. (Hibbing & Theiss-Morse, 2001, 149)

The benefit of repeated presentations of a lecture has been found by researchers using either audiotaped or videotaped instruction (Bromage & Mayer, 1986; Kiewra, Mayer, Christensen, Kim, & Risch, 1991; Mayer, 1983). In each study, recall was greater when students listened to or viewed a lecture presentation multiple times. (Kiewra, et al., 1997)

Advance organizers appear to have much the same effect as repeated presentations. Students who read an organizer in advance of a single presentation recall as many ideas as those receiving multiple presentations but no organizer (Mayer, 1983). (Kiewra, et al., 1997)

The matrix, however, was more computationally efficient (Larkin & Simon, 1987) than the outline was. One organizer is considered more computationally efficient than another if information is drawn more easily and quickly from it. (Kiewra, et al., 1997)

Authors of previous research have found an advantage for matrix organizers over linear organizers as a technique for increasing retention test performance (Benton, Kiewra, Whitfall & Dennison, 1993: Kiewra, DuBois, Christian, 8,: McShane, 1988; Kiewra, DuBois, et al., 1991: Robinson & Kiewra, 1995), with a few exceptions (e.g., Kiewra, Benton, Risch, Kim, & Christensen, 1995).
(Kiewra, et al., 1997)

In the present study, we compared matrix and linear organizers to each other and to a conventional organizer. We examined the three organizers in conjunction with repeated presentations of a lecture. We developed three dependent measures, each to tap a learning outcome that was considered appropriate to particular experimental treatments. We used a fact test that asked participants to respond true or false to 20 discrete facts about the lecture, a relational test that asked participants to compare old and new methods of radar across steps of the radar process, and a recall test that asked participants to recall all that they could about each radar step.
(Kiewra, et al., 1997)

The conventional organizer was more effective in enhancing overall recall, and particularly the recall of general topic information, as evidenced by analyses of the recall test scores. These results can be explained by the theory of transfer-appropriate processing (Morris, Bransford, & Franks, 1977). Performance was facilitated when information was processed in a manner consistent with the criterion task. The linear and matrix organizers, which emphasized relationships within and across topics, enhanced relational learning; in contrast, the conventional organizer, which provided general topic information, enhanced recall of associated topic information.
(Kiewra, et al., 1997)

Self-eficacy was the strongest predictor of spelling performance at all grade levels; attribution for ability entered into the regression for grade 4 students, while outcome expectations for school and writing were most important in grades 7 and 10. (Rankin, Bruning, & Timme, 1994, 213)

Individuals’ ratings of self-efficacy have been shown to relate strongly to general academic achievement (Schunk, 1984), reading (Bruning, Shell, and Colvin, 1987; Nicholls, 1979; Paris and Oka, 1986; Shell, Murphy and Bruning, 1989), writing (McCarthy, Meier, and Rinderer, 1985; Rankin, Bruning, Timme, and Katkanant, 1993; Shell et al, 1989), and spelling (Rankin et al, 1993). (Rankin, Bruning, & Timme, 1994, 214)

Causal attributions, like other belief variables, have also been shown to exert a powerful influence on expectations for future performance (Weiner, 1977, 1979, 1986); attributions for ability and effort have been shown to be among the most influential of these. Ability is considered to be a failry stable factor, while effort is presumably more changeable due to the belief that it is under an individual’s voluntary control (Schunk, 1984). Causal attributions reflecting an internal locus of control have been found to relate to perceptions of reading ability (NIcholls, 1979) and reading achievement (Paris and Oka, 1986).
(Rankin, Bruning, & Timme, 1994, 214)

Directions were read orally to all groups; individual items were read orally to the grade 4 students only. (Rankin, Bruning, & Timme, 1994, 217)

Attributions of effort or ability did not relate to actual spelling performance for these students. However, effort was related to spelling self-efficacy for grade 7 and 10 students, indicating that students who judge effort (Trying hard to spell correctly) to be important to good spelling tend to be those who have greater confidence in their ability as spellers. (Rankin, Bruning, & Timme, 1994, 223)

At grades 7 and 10, however, outcome expectancies, entered significantly into the prediction fo spelling performance. At both grades, outcome expectancy for school was a negative predictor of spelling performance (partial rs of -.188 and -.316 for grades 7 and 10, respectively), while outcome expectancy for writing was a positive predictor (partial rs of .174 and .150, respectively) (Rankin, Bruning, & Timme, 1994, 225)

Specifically, we show that inferences of competence, based solely on the facial appearance of political candidates and with no prior knowledge about the person, predict the outcomes of elections for the U.S. Congress.
(Todorov, et al., 2005, 1623)

Yet, from a psychological perspective, rapid automatic inferences from the facial appearance of political candidates can influence processing of subsequent information about these candidates. (Todorov, et al., 2005, 1623)

As shown in Table 1, the candidate who was perceived as more competent won in 71.6% of the Senate races and in 66.8% of the House races (13). Although the data for the 2004 elections were collected before the actual elections (14), there were no differences between the accuracy of the prospective predictions for these elections and the accuracy of the retrospective predictions for the 2000 and 2002 elections (15). (Todorov, et al., 2005, 1624)

Our findings have challenging implications for the rationality of voting preferences, adding to other findings that consequential decisions can be more “shallow” than we would like to believe (31, 32). Of course, if trait inferences from facial appearance are correlated with the underlying traits, the effects of facial appearance on voting decisions can be normatively justified. (Todorov, et al., 2005, 1625)

Social Motivation, Amongst Other Notes

Albanese, Robert, & van Fleet, David D. (1985). Rational Behavior in Groups: The Free-Riding Tendency. The Academy of Management Review 10(2):244-255.

Beins, B.C. (2002). Technology in the classroom: Traditions in psychology. In S. Davis & W.Buskist (Eds.). The teaching of psychology: Essays in honor of William J. McKeachie and Charles Brewer. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. (pp. 307-321)

Fass, Paula. Testing the IQ of Children.

Fels, Rendigs. (1993). This is what I do, and I like it. The Journal of Economic Education 24(4):365-370.

Leuthold, Jane H. (1993). A Free Rider Experiment for the Large Class. The Journal of Economic Education 24(4):353-363.

Slavin, Robert E. (1996). Research on Cooperative Learning and Achievement: What We Know, What We Need to Know. Contemporary Educational Psychology 21(1):43-69.

Slavin, Robert E. (1999). Comprehensive Approaches to Cooperative Learning. Theory into Practice 38(2):74-79.

Taylor, M.C.(1996). Creating global classrooms. In J.K. Roth (Ed.) Inspiring Teaching: Carnegie Professors of the Year Speak. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc. (pp. 134-145).

In a recent comment, Mark of ZenPundit tipped me off to Robert Slavin, an education researcher who emphasizes group goals and individual accountability. Some other tips were read, as well:

The studies that examined the role of task variables indirectly support the counterforces proposition. Making tasks identifiable, difficult, and/or unique (Harkins & Petty, 1982) or altering the nature of the task (Kerr & Brunn, 1983) basically changes the incentive system fro a group member. In general, such actions enhance the intrinsic satisfaction a group member receives from contributing to the group’s public good. This intrinsic satisfaction is, in effect, a special incentive or private good the group member receives for contributing to the group’s public good, and it serves to decrease the likelihood of free riding. (Albanese & van Fleet, 1985, 252)

Besides some other articles which I am required to read, most of this batch of notes deals with free-riding, accountability, and other similar issues. Many of the articles can be found on JSTOR


Nevertheless, it often is true that people acting rationally, try to minimize their costs relative to the benefits they receive. Free-rider theory (Olson, 1965) explains how this tendency operates to affect group formation and individual productivity in groups. (Albanese & van Fleet, 1985, 244)

Stigler states the basic free-rider problem as follows: “In a wide range of situations, individuals will fail to participate in collectively profitable activities in the absence of coercion or individually appropriate inducements (1974, 359). (Albanese & van Fleet, 1985, 244)

Free-rider theory assumes that individuals (1) are the actors in social situations, (2) share homogeneous value systems, similar information, and similar perceptions of reality, and (3) act rationally. Rationality means that an individual has an ordered set of preferences defined by the individual’s selfish interests and when free to do so will choose behaviors efficacious for achieving those preferences. (Albanese & van Fleet, 1985, 244-245)

The distinction between private and public goods is central to free-rider theory (Buchanan & Tullock, 1962; Olson, 1965; Samuelson, 1954). A good is anything tangible or intangible that satisfies an individual’s needs or desires. Goods can be differentiated by their degree of excludability. In a group, a private good is one for which it is feasible or economic to exclude one or more group members… A public good is one for which it is not feasible or economic to exclude one or more group members. (Albanese & van Fleet, 1985, 246)

One way to assure provision of public goods in large groups is through coercion and/or special incentives. Coercion is any form of influence or persuasion that tends to force the provision of public goods by a a group… Special incentives include increased shares in the public good and various individual incentives, such as personal recognition, a bonus, and so on. (Albanese & van Fleet, 1985, 247)

An identifiable task is one for which the output of an individual can be identified with that particular individual. Studies reporting “social loafing” effects used nonidentifiable tasks (Harkins, Latane, & Williams, 1980; Latane, Williams, & Harkins, 1979). Subsequent research by Harkins and Petty (1982) suggests social loafing effects cna be eliminated by making tasks identifiable. However, even when tasks are nonidentifiable, social loafing may not occur if subjects perceive tasks to be difficult or unique (Harkins & Petty, 1982). (Albanese & van Fleet, 1985, 248)

A study by Kerry and Brunn (1983) suggests that the task type affects group members performance. High-ability group members exerted less effort with increasing group size on a conjunctive task, a group task for which the group product is limited by the contribution of the least capable member (Steiner, 1972). Low-ability group members exerted less effort with increasing the group size on a disjunctive task, a task in which the group product is confined to the contribution of the most capable member (Ingham, Levinger, Graves, & Peckham, 1974; Steiner, 1972). (Albanese & van Fleet, 1985, 248)

Orbell and Dawes (1981) refer to the role of a group member who carries free riders as the “sucker role.” When a group member reduces efforts rather than play the sucker role, the effort reduction is referred to as the “sucker effect” (Kerry, 1983). The sucker effect may arise from incorrect attributions abotu the extent of free riding in a group. (Albanese & van Fleet, 1985, 252)

Altruistic motives may reduce the likelihood and degree of free-riding, but they do not eliminate it. (Albanese & van Fleet, 1985, 252)

Social information processing theory (Griffin, 1983; Salancik & Preffer, 1978) suggests that social cues from respected co-workers or supervisors about task characteristics may cause a group member to perceive a task as unique. (Albanese & van Fleet, 1985, 252)

Yandell, Lonnie. (2002) Web-based resources. In S. Davis & W.Buskist (Eds.). The teaching of psychology: Essays in honor of William J. McKeachie and Charles Brewer. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. (pp. 295-305).

Thorndike was among the first to imply that if we were to alter the process of instruction, the outcome would differ. In what we might now see as a prophetic utterance, he asserted that if “by some mechanical ingenuity, a book could be so arranged that only to him who had done what was directed on page one would page two become visible, … much that now requires personal instruction could be managed by print” (Thorndike, 1912, p. 165). (Beins, 2002, 308)

For example, Gaskill (1933) may have been the first teacher to usher in a form of distance learning. He presented two lectures over the radio; they involved what we would probably now call sports psychology. However, radio did not reappear in the literature as a medium of tutelage for 35 years (Snyder, Greer, & Snyder, 1968). Television broadcasts began as the beginning of the 1950s (Barden, 1951), and even teh telephone served as a teaching tool (Cutler, McKeachie, & McNeil, 1958). (Beins, 2002, 310)

“Instead of producing revolution, interactive courseware has produced barely a ripple on the stagnant surface of the instructional program. But the courseware mirage still beckons” (Ehrmann, 2000, pg. 44). (Beins, 2002, 315)

One of the newest approaches, Just in Time Teaching (JiTT), gives a good illustration of how to maximize what the student, teacher, and computer can achieve in combination… Using this approach, instructors pose questions or offer other preparatory assignments that students have to complete and submit within a few hours of the class meeting. The instructor reads the student responses prior to class and uses their ideas to structure class time. (Biens, 2002, 318)

Progressive social reformers hoped to use education to revitalize democracy through the reconstruction fo the elements of individual political responsibility. (Fass, 307)

The science that had the most profound effect on educational practice as psychology, a hybrid calling which was part biology, part philosophy, and in good part linked with the evolving profession of education. (Fass, 307)

What had begun as a way of eliminating the feebleminded, proceeded to a ranking of individuals according to talent, and finally became a means for ordering a hierarchy of groups. (Fass, 309)

Chamberlin reported using classroom games or experiments for teaching purposes as long ago as 1948. (Fels, 1993, 365)

Universities are based on the principle that teaching and research go together. (Fels, 1993, 365)

At the other extreme, a poor lecturer with low ratings on student evaluation questionnaires could pep up a course with these games. (Fels, 1993, 365)

Free riders are those who enjoy the benefits of a public good without contributing to the costs of providing it. Because it is impossible, or highly expensive, to exclude people from the benefits of a public gone once it is produced, consumers have an incentive to free ride” on the contributions of others. The presence of free riders can lead to the underrepresentation of preferences for the public good and, hence, to its underprovision. (Leuthold, 1993, 353)

Rosen (1992, 76) stresses that free ridership is not a fact, but a hypothesis. (Leuthold, 1993, 353)

Asch and Gigliotti (1991, 33) are also concerned that the standard treatment of free riding behavior as “rational” is ethically questionable. They believe that economists often ignore such noneconomic motivation as sense of commitment or morality. Other motivations for voluntary behavior that have been suggested in the literature include “a desire to win prestige, respect, friendship, and other social and psychological objectives” (Olson, 1965, 60) or “a desire to avoid the scorn of others or to receive social acclaim” (Becker, 1974, 1083). Andreoni (1990, 464) identifies the desire for a “warm glow” as a possible influence on behavior. (Leuthold, 1993, 353)

However, when Isaac and Walker (1988) tested the effect of group size on free riding in an experimental setting, they got mixed results, with small groups being more cooperative in some situations but less cooperative in others. (Leuthold, 1993, 354)

Experimental economics can provide interesting and profound insights into many types of economic behavior. Used in the classroom experiments stimulate student interest and involve students actively in the learning process. Involved students tend to be more attentive, have a more positive attitude toward the subject, and have higher self-esteem because they have more control over their own learning. The free rider experiment described here was specifically designed to bring active learning to the large classroom. It could, of course, be conveniently used in the small classroom as well. (Leuthold, 1993, 361-362).

From a motivationalist perspective (e.g., Johnson & Johnson, 1992; Slavin, 1983a, b, 1995), cooperative incentive structures create a situation in which the only way group members can attain their own personal goals is if the group is successful. Therefore, to meet their personal goals, group members must both help their groupmates to do whatever helps the group to succeed, and, perhaps even more importantly, to encourage their groupmates to exert maximum efforts. In other words, rewarding groups based on group performance (or the sum of individual performances) creates an interpersonal reward structure in which group members will give or withhold social reinforcers (e.g., praise, encouragement) in response to groupmates’ task-related efforts (see Slavin, 1983a)… students to encourage goaldirected behaviors among their groupmates (Slavin, 1983a, b; 1995). A substantial literature in the behavior modification tradition has found that group contingencies can be very effective at improving students’ appropriate behaviors and achievement (Hayes, 1976; Litow & Pumroy, 1975). (Slavin, 1996)

The motivationalist critique of traditional classroom organization holds that the competitive grading and informal reward system of the classroom creates peer norms opposing academic efforts (see Coleman, 1961). Since one student’s success decreases the chances that others will succeed, students are likely to express norms that high achievement is for “nerds” or teachers’ pets. Such work restriction norms are familiar in industry, where the “rate buster” is scorned by his or her fellow workers (Vroom, 1969). (Slavin, 1996)

Use of group goals or group rewards enhances the achievement outcomes of cooperative learning if and only if the group rewards are based on the individual learning of all group members (Slavin, 1995). Most often, this means that team scores are computed based on average scores on quizzes which all teammates take individually, without teammate help. (Slavin, 1996)

Comparisons of alternative treatments within the same studies found similar patterns; group goals based on the sum of individual learning performances were necessary to the instructional effectiveness of the cooperative learning models (e.g., Fantuzzo, Polite, & Grayson, 1990; Fantuzzo, Riggio, Connelly, & Dimeff, 1989; Huber, Bogatzki, & Winter, 1982). (Slavin, 1996)

However, motivational theorists hold that students help their groupmates learn at least in part because it is in their own interests to do so. Social cohesion theorists, in contrast, emphasize the idea that students help their groupmates learn because they care about the group. A hallmark of the social cohesion perspective is an emphasis on teambuilding activities in preparation for cooperative learning, and processing or group self-evaluation during and after group activities. Social cohesion theorists tend to downplay or reject the group incentives and individual accountability held by motivationalist researchers to be essential. For example, Cohen (1986, pp. 69-70) states “if the task is challenging and interesting, and if students are sufficiently prepared for skills in group process, students will experience the process of groupwork itself as highly rewarding…never grade or evaluate students on their individual contributions to the group product.” (Slavin, 1996) [this seems crazy — tdaxp]

In general, methods which emphasize teambuilding and group process but do not provide specific group rewards based on the learning of all group members are no more effective than traditional instruction in increasing achievement (Slavin, 1995), although there is evidence that these methods can be effective if group rewards are added to them. (Slavin, 1996)

One widely researched set of cognitive theories is the developmental perspective (e.g., Damon, 1984; Murray, 1982). The fundamental assumption of the developmental perspective on cooperative learning is that interaction among children around appropriate tasks increases their mastery of critical concepts. (Slavin, 1996)

There is a great deal of empirical support for the idea that peer interaction can help non-conservers become conservers. Many studies have shown that when conservers and nonconservers of about the same age work collaboratively on tasks requiring conservation, the nonconservers generally develop and maintain conservation concepts (see Bell, Grossen, and Perret-Clermont, 1985; Murray, 1982; Perret-Clermont, 1980). (Slavin, 1996)

The importance of peers’ operating in one anothers’ proximal zones of development was demonstrated by Kuhn (1972), who found that a small difference in cognitive level between a child and a social model was more conducive to cognitive growth than a larger difference. (Slavin, 1996)

However, Damon (1984, p.337) explicitly rejects the use of “extrinsic incentives as part of the group learning situation,” arguing that “there is no compelling reason to believe that such inducements are an important ingredient in peer learning.” (Slavin, 1996)

As noted earlier, reviewers of the cooperative learning literature have long concluded that cooperative learning has its greatest effects on student learning when groups are recognized or rewarded based on individual learning of their members (Slavin, 1983a, 1983b, 1989, 1992, 1995; Ellis & Fouts, 1993; Newmann & Thompson, 1987; Manning & Lucking, 1991; Davidson, 1985; Mergendoller & Packer, 1989). (Slavin, 1996)

In groups lacking individual accountability, one or two students may do the group’s work, while others engage in “social loafing” (Latane, Williams, & Harkins, 1979). (Slavin, 1996)

A comparison among Learning Together studies (Johnson & Johnson, 1989) also supports the same conclusions. Across eight studies of Learning Together methods in which students were rewarded based on a single worksheet or product, the median effect size was near zero (+.04). However, among four studies that evaluated forms of the program in which students were graded based on the average performance of all group members on individual assessments, three found significantly positive effects. (Slavin, 1996)

Several studies have focused on the question of which students gain the most from cooperative learning. One particularly important question relates to whether cooperative learning is beneficial to students at all levels of prior achievement. It would be possible to argue (see, for example, Allan, 1991; Robinson, 1990) that high achievers could be held back by having to explain material to theirlow-achieving groupmates. However, it would be equally possible to argue that because students who give elaborated explanations typically learn more than those who receive them (Webb, 1992), high achievers should be the students who benefit most from cooperative learning because they give the most frequent elaborated explanations. The evidence from experimental studies that met the inclusion criteria for this review support neither position. A few studies found better outcomes for high achievers than for low and a few found that low achievers gained the most (see Slavin, 1995). Most, however, found equal benefits for high, average, and low achievers in comparison to their counterparts in control groups. (Slavin, 1996)

One category of tasks that may not require group goals and individual accountability is tasks in which it is likely that students will benefit by hearing others thinking aloud. This is the classic Vygotskian paradigm; students in collaborating groups make overt their private speech, giving peers operating at a slightly lower cognitive level on a given task a stepping stone to understanding and incorporating higher-quality solutions in their own private speech (see Bershon, 1992). Tasks of this kind would be ones at a very high level of cognitive complexity but without a well-defined path to a solution or a single correct answer, especially tasks on which there are likely to be differences of opinion. For such tasks, the process of participating in arguments or even of listening to others argue and justify their opinions or solutions may be enough to enhance learning, even if no teaching, explanation, or assessment goes on within the group. Perhaps the best classroom evidence on this type of task is from Johnson and Johnson’s (1979) studies of structured controversy, in which students argue both sides of a controversial issue using a structured method of argumentation. (Slavin, 1996)

As in the case of controversial tasks without single correct answers, there is evidence that adding group rewards to structured dyadic tasks enhances the effects of these strategies. Fantuzzo, Polite, & Grayson (1990) evaluated a dyadic study strategy called Reciprocal Peer Tutoring. A simple pair study format did not increase student arithmetic achievement, but when successful dyads were awarded stickers and classroom privileges, their achievement markedly increased. (Slavin, 1996)

individual learning of all group members, and feel that it is unnecessary and cumbersome to do so. Widespread reluctance to use extrinsic incentives, based in part on a misreading of research on the “undermining” effects of rewards on long-term motivation (Cameron & Pierce, 1994) has contributed to many educators’ reluctance to use group rewards. (Slavin, 1996)

Cooperative learning is one of the greatest success stories in the history of educational innovation. Almost unknown in the mid-1970s, cooperative learning strategies are now so common-place that they are often seen as a standard part of educational practice, not as an innovation. One national survey (Puma, Jones, Rock, & Fernandez, 1993) found that 79 percent of third grade teachers and 62 percent of seventh grade teachers reported making regular, sustained use of cooperative learning strategies. (Slavin, 1999, 74)

Research on teh achievement effects of cooperative learning emphasizes the importance of group goals and individual accountability (e.g., Davidson, 1985; Slavin, 1995). Yet observational studies of teachers using cooperative methods find that most are using informal versions of the model, typically lacking group goals and individual accountability. This “group work” creates the danger that one child can do the work for the whole group, that some children will take the “thinking rolee” in group activities while others take clerical or passive roles, or that some children may be ignored or shut out of the group activitity, especially if they are perceived to be low achievers (see, for example, Cohen, 1994). (Slavin, 1999,74)

The emergence of electronic and tellecommunications technologies is not only changing what we teach but is transforming how we think, write, and communicate. (Taylor, 1996, 134)

While many nineteenth- and twentieth-century philosophers accept Kant’s criticism of the notion of the mind as a blank slate upon which the data of experience are directly imprinted, they remain suspicious of his claims for the universality of our mental apparatus. From Hegel and Nietzsche to Heidegger and Sartre, philosophers insist that systems of knowledge are physcologically, socially, historically, and culturally relative. While the mind might be preprogrammed, it is not necessarily hardwired. (Taylor, 1996, 135-136)

Whlie personal and cultural differences can, of course, be enriching, they can also generate conflict. (Taylor, 1996, 137)

One of the most common uses of teleconferencing by universities is for distance learning in which communication tends to be one-way and non-interactive. It is obvious that in this kind of extended classroom or lecture hall, contact between teacher and student is difficult if not impossible. (Taylor, 1996, 139-140)

In addition to increasing contact among seminar participants, the electronci environment influenced the teacher-student relation in another important way. Students were much more willing to take the lead in discussions than in any other class I have taught. While the initial impulse to contribute might have been the result of the desire to see themselves on screen, students quickly overcame their exhibitionist impulses and became serious participants in a sustained dialogue. (Taylor, 1996, 140)

Not only did they [graduate students] devise effective laboratory sessions adn write clear procedures and instructions; they also repeated the gesture of uniting theory and practice or form and content by creating a hypertextual multimedia lab manual. (Taylor, 1996, 143)

Having given by research asssistants the opportunity to teach what they had designed, I elected not to attend any of the laboratory sessions… I was beginning to suspect that these technologies create new possibilities for nonhierarchical relationships in which the line separating students and teacherse becomes obscure. (Taylor, 1996, 143)

More faculty are choosing to integrate Web resources into their teaching, and many more teachers are beging encouraged to do so. (Yandell, 2002, 296)

Brown (2000) sugested three aditional positive aspects of the Web. He pointed out that the Web is a “two way push and pull” media (p. 12)… He also observed that the Web is the “first media that honors the notion of multiple intelligences — abstract, textual, visual, musical, social, and kinesthitic… He also suggested that the Web has the distinct advantage of being able to “leverage the small effort sof hte many with the large efforts of the few” (Yandell, 2002, 303)