What effect does the introduction of Praise Postcards have on the confidence of a class of S2 pupils, and on the quality and quantity of the work they produce?
Following the change to virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to continue to meet the needs of all learners. Transitions for pupils and an increase in demand can lead to disengagement (Dweck and Master, 2009) and we found this in our practice. The challenge of online learning had resulted in a lack of engagement from pupils in relation to their online learning tasks. A survey sent out by the school to pupils and parents highlighted that some pupils were feeling ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘not receiving positive feedback’. We thought we could focus on these problems and increase the use of positive feedback in the hope this would reduce feelings of being overwhelmed and increase engagement. In looking at motivating pupils to engage, motivational language from teachers is found to increase the learners motivational learning behaviour as well as their emotional state (Guilloteaux and Dornyei, 2008) so we decided to incorporate motivational language to assist in increasing pupils’ engagement. In addition to this, we followed the General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) Standards for Registration (SfR) 3.1.2 “use a range of communication methods, including a variety of media, to promote and develop positive relationships to motivate and sustain the interest and participation of all learners” as this relates to motivation and engagement of learners. We decided to use a virtual ‘praise postcard’, as our source of media, and incorporate motivational language in this to try and promote positive relationships and in turn increase the engagement of pupils during the period of virtual teaching and learning.
To increase the quality and quantity of work completed
To increase the confidence of pupils with online learning