Driving the wrong behaviours with rewards.

875413 47541979 Driving the wrong behaviours with rewards

Andrzej Marczewski

Gamification Expert, author, consultant and designer. I love to write about it, talk about it and bore people to death with it! If you really want to get to know me, check out the About page.

You may also like...

7 Responses

  1. LudicityLudicity says:

    Nice read!

    It made me wonder though, what would you do to improve the performance of students through the teacher-student relationship in the current model of education (ignoring the movement towards more free forms of education like provided by Coursera for a moment)? What would you do to give an incentive to the teachers to perform better by appealing to their creativity?

    On a first quick thought the surprise bonus pay feels like it’s unsustainable. The bonus will normalize over time and you can’t keep giving a little extra more. And after all, you’re using money as an incentive (even though the purpose is removing it from the equation). Perhaps another solution would be to create and nurture a competitive / cooperative context for the teachers to explore themselves in.


    • Having worked in education, giving a little more would cost relatively little most of the time! Teachers can be a funny breed. The ones I worked with took a lot of persuading to work together on our online platform – they all kept their notes closely guarded, Turns out that the main reason was because they were rubbish!

      Traditional education is going to be hard to motivate. Stand at the front of the class, read the same notes you have read for the last decade and hope the students don’t throw things at you. The whole thing needs changing, not just trying to work out clever incentive schemes. As I have said, and many others in the gamification field – you can’t polish a turd. Gamifying a shitty system just gives you a slightly patronising shitty system.

      The intrinsic value of teaching and the supposed reward is to watch students learn and understand. When I used to teach martial arts, the biggest buzz was to see a student perfect a technique. Second only to one of my adult students besting me in a fair fight – using things I had taught him!

      Breeding competition between teachers would be very negative indeed, cooperative is the only way to further the system. We also have to look at why many people are teaching – I can say with a high degree of certainty that that many are not there for altruistic reasons sadly.

      Another thing to do, would be to stop penalising teachers if students do well. In the UK, if students do badly in the end of year exams it is either the teachers fault or the fact the exams are too hard. If the students do really well – it is because the exams were too easy – never because the teachers have done a good job!

      Praise and re-enforce the good work and try to remind them why they became teachers.

  1. December 21, 2012

    […] Driving the wrong behaviours with rewards. […]

  2. January 14, 2013

    […] […]

  3. February 17, 2014

    […] Driving the wrong behaviours with rewards by Andrzej Marczewski, Gamification Blog […]

  4. March 13, 2014

    […] Driving the wrong behaviours with rewards by Andrzej Marczewski, Gamification Blog […]

  5. September 4, 2014

    […] have promised in the past not to write about the dangers of extrinsic rewards anymore. However, can’t stand reading about gamification being a failure anymore, when the […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *