The free App Motivation Checker for iOS was created at my father’s request. He has many years of experience in class music making and over time has developed many ideas to bring the social components of the classroom to the fore.
Get feedback from the students
Important points include the ability to take everyone with you, to give students choices, to be creative together or – and this is where the app comes into play – to create space for feedback and strengthen the perception of the group. Because there is often great shyness in expressing your opinion, the motivation checker is an anonymous alternative that you as a teacher can use in a targeted manner.
Find the right question
For this purpose you consider a valuable question such as “How motivated are you today?”, “How well did you understand the task?”, “How do you feel about the coming exam?” or “How well are we prepared for our performance?”. Things that the students should consider, such as the scope of an examination, the preparation time invested or the difficulty of the works to be performed, you explain verbally if necessary.
Give it a try
Next, the iPhone or iPad is passed around, or students line up and tap a smiley one by one. An “average smiley” is calculated for the results page, which you can present to the class. The conclusions can be manifold:
The joy of a motivated class gives self-confidence and increases one’s own fun at work. The knowledge of an unmotivated class can be examined more closely. Is it the way of teaching, the form of the day or maybe even something has happened that does not even relate to your own teaching? Over- or underchallenges of the students come to light more quickly.
Of course, every student can see for himself how he feels in comparison to his class. If he is far off base, at best he questions his attitude and gives himself a jerk. In this context the smiley hustle and bustle, which you see shortly before the results page, becomes exciting. Sometimes there are only one or two very demotivated smileys. But these are enough to greatly reduce the average motivation. If you explain that, the students will understand better that everyone is important.
I hope the app will help you and I am looking forward to your feedback. Be sure to let me know how you use it!
Thanks to my father (Burkhard Mikolai) for the idea and to my better half (Lina Mikolai) for designing the smileys!