Deadlines, Data Collection, and Hard Bribery

I made it to Step 3; which, for those of you following along at home, is the SET Lab equivalent of checking your gauges, revving your engine, and warming up your tires before the flag finally drops on your study. Step 3, bridges the gap from ideation to implementation — where the rubber meets the road — if you will.

So far, I’ve asked and inquired about the particular challenges my students and I face, as well as investigated the relevant research related to my design question “If students read for at least 21 straight days will they develop the habit of daily recreational reading?” Now my little fledgling study has outgrown it’s incubator, and is prepping for flight.

As a man of ideas, and not necessarily action, this is the step in particular that will take my desire to build the habit of recreational reading in my students from another epiphany to a legitimate study with an actionable set of data.

In order to begin to generate and collect said data, Urvi and her awesome team at Strategic EdTech, presented our delegation with thirteen different methods from journals, logs, and checklists, to surveys and scales. Our task was to choose, design, and develop a timeline for implementing the 2–4 different strategies for collecting observable and meaningful data, that best fit our individual studies.

Julia helped me pick three different forms of data collection for my particular study. I chose to use a reading attitude survey from Assessment for Reading Instruction by Michael C. McKenna and Katherine A. Dougherty Stahl to gauge my students feelings towards various literary activities — both digitally and in print. I decided to keep a log of students independent reading that would span the entire study, as well as a week prior and two weeks beyond. In addition, I wrote a survey with questions such as, “How often do you read recreationally?” and “What activity are you most likely to turn to when you have free time?”, to delineate how important students find reading for recreation independently.

Knowing that reading, even for a short time, daily for 21-straight days is an incredibly hard sell to a group of millennial 2.0’s — (based entirely on informal observation…) I decided that intrinsic motivation to do well in school simply wasn’t going to cut it, and that I’d need to up the incentives. What follows is the poster I designed to promote and encourage my readers to take up the “Snapchat challenge” yoke.

Nine out of ten middle schoolers will jump through fire for stickers.