Don't Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Exactly because revision is such a natural part of working online, it's okay to make mistakes. And that goes for your students, too: It's how we all learn! [next]

We learn by making mistakes.

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School puts us all in an impossible position: mistakes are an essential part of learning, but we are penalized and humiliated for the mistakes that we make. What a disaster! Over the years, I've developed a grading system that removes that my students' fear of making mistakes, at least in terms of grade penalties. You can find out more about my grading system here: Grading Without Fear. There are still some other ways in which my students might feel some fear at first: I ask them to blog publicly and share their work with others, I ask them to do creating writing, etc. — but once the fear of "getting a bad grade" goes away, those other fears are much easier to confront and overcome.

For more about this important topic, check out Carol Dweck and the growth mindset. There's even going to be a presentation about growth mindset at this conference: a presentation by Laura Slade at 1:15PM — Increasing student motivation and engagement by fostering a growth mindset community.

This image above is another one of the LatinLOLCats: Errando discitur. We learn by making mistakes. And yes, you can find lots of videos of cats in jars at YouTube!

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