If your student scores consistently in the 80% to 100% incorrect range on a lesson, in all probability that skill has been mastered. So how can you change that incorrect to correct? Scroll down for more…
Wrong is Right?
Choosing the wrong answer consistently doesn’t mean that the student doesn’t know the material. Just the opposite in fact. To get it wrong every time, he has to know the correct answer in order to avoid it.
80% to 100% incorrect usually means that whatever is being used to signify a wrong answer is more attractive than the correct answer’s reinforcer. Changing your prompts or reinforcers is a simple thing that can have a huge impact.
What is a Reinforcer?
Reinforcers increase the likelihood of a student choosing correctly in the future. Problems creep up on us when a prompt we meant to let him know his choice was incorrect becomes a reinforcer–the big red “X” is more attractive to that child than the smiley face chosen to reinforce the correct answer.
How to Turn it Around
The first step is to identify the reinforcers. In many interactive lessons, the prompt for a wrong answer is the culprit. If you are working one on one with a student, it may be your reaction that has morphed into a reinforcer. That theatrical grimace at an incorrect answer can have exactly the opposite effect than you intended.
Once you have identified the problem, change it! It is all about customizing for the individual you are working with. Make the sure the only reinforcers are a) something that child likes, and b) only reinforcing positive outcomes. Change or even remove entirely anything that inadvertently reinforces the wrong answer. If the prompts or reinforcers aren’t customizable, you may need to seek alternative formats.
For VizZle lessons, changing the prompts and reinforcers just takes switching toggles in the options.
For examples of how different the experience of the lesson becomes with these simple changes, check out these three shortened edits from the same lesson, and guess a wrong answer first.