Discerning What Motivates Responding to General Questions in the Classroom

Submitted by Suzanne Weston on
What is the Purpose of the Assessment?

Which motivates my student’s more: candy, food, or extra credits?

Describe the necessity for this assessment

Some students are hungry, which can inhibit learning.  Through observation, students are hesitant to answer general discussion questions.

Describe how the practice will be implemented

Offered extra credits or consumable products.

Interpret, compare, and describe the results

Beginning of class, I show them motivation items, based on 41 past psychology classes taught at Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC). These items are: hard candy, different sizes candy bars, bananas, grapefruit, grapes, mandarin oranges, cookies, small/large bag of chips/pretzels, and large Costco/Sam’s Club muffins.

After analyzing, and reflecting on the outcome, what are the next steps?

I would keep offering consumables or extra credit, as motivators.


I wanted to see what motivated students to respond to general questions in the 7am Introductory to Psychology class.  Was it consumables or extra credits?

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Average: 3.1 (7 votes)


Suzanne Weston Thu, 03/19/2020 - 12:09pm

Thank you Catherine Cochran for teaching a very engaging "Assessment Practioner Training" course, as I have always wanted to do a CATS, but never had the courage or reason too.

Catherine Cochran Mon, 04/20/2020 - 4:00pm

Hi Sue,

Thank you for submitting your CATS!  It was great having you in the Assessment Practitioner course. 

I would love to see if your results change with another class and semester?  

You are such a caring instructor.  I know you bring snacks for your students.  I hope you write more CATS in the future. 


Suzanne Weston Tue, 04/21/2020 - 1:26pm

Hi Catherine Cochran,

Thank you for the compliments.  It would have been interesting to do another semester.  Bittersweet emotions, as I'm leaving Arizona in May.  Riley gets the snacks now; he loves bananas. Wish you and your family the best!