Fighting Students’ Apathy with a Growth Mindset Approach

Have you had students who just didn’t seem to care about class? They may have shown up physically, but they were somewhere else mentally. They barely participated in class discussions, and their writing lacked the effort you tried so hard to encourage them to put forth. How do you combat this apathy?

According to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, bringing a growth-mindset approach, rather than that of a fixed mindset, to your classroom helps reduce apathy in your students.

Growth vs. fixed mindsets

People with a fixed mindset think their traits are static. They “have a certain amount of brains and talent and nothing can change that…[P]eople in this mindset worry about their traits and how adequate they are. They have something to prove to themselves and others” (Dweck). So, students who have fixed mindsets believe they cannot get more intelligent than they already are. If they’ve been a bad student with low grades before, then they assume they’ll continue performing poorly in academic settings because that is how they are. Likewise, if they succeed in school, that success confirms their inherent intelligence and creativity. They strive for success and try to avoid failure at all costs.

People with a growth mindset, however, believe they can learn and practice diligently in order to improve at the task at hand. This type of mindset “thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities” (Popova). Students are less preoccupied with failing and looking unintelligent and more focused on actively learning so they can become stronger in their character, creativity, and intelligence.

Changing the meaning of failure

Implementing a growth-mindset approach in class helps students understand that failure isn’t a terrible mistake that shines a light on their inadequacies. Instead, failure leads to opportunities to learn and get creative.

Risks often scare students with fixed mindsets because risks contain a chance of failing. Encouraging students to break outside of their comfort zones to take academic risks (within reason, of course!) gets them to try their hand at something different and put extra effort into their lessons.

Putting forth effort is nearly half the battle. When they apply their effort to learning something new and challenging themselves, students truly gain insight from the lesson instead of simply gaining a grade.

How Hawkes promotes growth

Hawkes gives students a penalty-free environment for learning. In the Practice mode, students can practice as much as they want to. Certify, the homework mode in the courseware, holds students accountable for learning the material on their own time. They can keep trying Certify as often as they need. If they don’t pass the first time, they don’t get a bad grade. Instead, they get the chance to try again—to get back on the proverbial horse and push themselves to keep learning and understanding the lesson. If they don’t pass Certify, students receive a customized Practice session with the question types they missed. By applying a growth mindset, students can learn from these Practice sessions, get more comfortable with the material and confident in their learning, then take on Certify again. When they pass Certify, they receive 100% full credit for the lesson, another reward for believing they can do it and applying themselves to the goal of truly learning the content.

Before taking an assigned test, students can create their own practice tests. Only they can see these practice tests. Not even instructors have access to this space, so students don’t feel judged by others. Instead of worrying about their performance on this practice assessment, students can ease into the material and allow themselves to explore what they know and what they still need to learn. Students have the option of setting a time limit, and they can also choose to not put a limit on how long they need to complete the questions.

By rewarding students for taking the time to learn the material through unlimited practice questions and customized practice tests, Hawkes’s system encourages students that they can learn and succeed when applying a growth mindset to their lessons.

 

 

Works Cited

Dweck, Carol. Mindset. Mindset Online, 2010, http://www.mindsetonline.com/index.html. Accessed 25 April 2017.

Popova, Maria. “Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets that Shape Our Lives.” Brain Pickings, 29 Jan. 2014. https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/01/29/carol-dweck-mindset/. Accessed 25 April 2017.

Where’s the best place to study on your campus?

Finals are here! (That statement is exclaimed more in sheer panic than happy excitement.) Around this time of year, finding a good spot to review your materials before heading into that final exam or finishing that paper looming over your head is as difficult as imagining finally being done for the term.

Remember to ask yourself a few questions when choosing a study spot:

  • Can I easily get help if I get stuck on a problem or concept I’m studying?
  • Is it quiet and easy for me to concentrate on my work?
  • Am I comfortable here?
  • How far away is this space from where I live? From my next class? From snacks? (That last one is especially important.)
  • What resources are available to me here? Do I have access to whiteboards, computers, books, etc.?

We asked two of our Student Ambassadors what their favorite study spots are on their campuses. Take notice of where they choose! We hope you have a similar place to which you can retreat for some last-minute studying.

From Kayla at Navarro College:

This is the QEP Teams Center, where I work at on Navarro Campus. It’s a place where you can get help with a specific class and use your time to study here. While working here, I’ve had students tell me that their one-on-one time with me has helped them tremendously because I can easily break down each problem with them individually. I also find it useful studying here as well. I am here three to five times a week studying.

 

From Austin at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania:

Sometimes finding the right spot on campus to study is a challenge. The perfect spot that I have found for myself, though, is our project room. Located in the same building as the professors’ offices makes it a perfect place for being able to step out of the room and ask your professor a quick question. The project room is also for upperclassmen, so normally it is a quiet place to study away from distractions. With white boards all around the room, it makes it easy to write up ideas or even write out some long problems.

A computer lab with a long table in the middle and a white board on the furthest wall is shown.

Perhaps these favorite study spots from peers have inspired you to find a great place!

Upgrade Student Access from Temporary to Permanent in the Web Platform

Did you request Temporary Access at the start of class? If so, you’ll need to purchase your Hawkes materials soon before that access expires. Don’t worry; the process is only 3 steps! Take a look below.

Step 1: Log in to your account at https://learn.hawkeslearning.com.*

*NOTE: If you log in from BlackBoard, Brightspace, or Canvas, skip this first step. You can just access your Hawkes course directly from BlackBoard, Brightspace, or Canvas.

Step 2: Select the Activate button.

(You are able to select this button, even if your Temporary Access has expired.)

Red button says activate next to message reading "Your Access has Expired" to the right of the math title College Algebra.

 Step 3: Using the pop-up window, complete one of the following steps:

*Reminder: To ensure that your temporary and permanent access merge correctly, use the same name and email address that you used for your temporary code.*

 a. If you purchased a license number in the bookstore:

Type in the 15-digit License Number and select Activate Now.

 b. If you need to purchase your materials:

Select Purchase Online to purchase using your school name and a credit card.

Message says "Activate Course - To activate this course enter the license number purchased from your bookstore then click the Activate Now button or purchase the code now with the Purchase Online button. Enter the license number purchased from your bookstore." Field to add number is above the buttons that say "Cancel," "Purchase Online," and "Activate Now."

Congratulations! Your Temporary Access has been made permanent. You can now log in to your Hawkes course the same way you’ve done since the start of the term.

Have questions? Check out the support article here: http://support.hawkeslearning.com/supportcenter/index.php?/article/AA-00552/0/.

Make Your Temporary Code Permanent in Installed Courseware

Do you use Hawkes Learning’s Basic Mathematics, Prealgebra, or Essential Calculus courses and have a temporary access code? You’ll need to take these quick steps to make your code permanent.

Option One: You’ve purchased materials from your school bookstore.

Step 1: Log in to your Hawkes course and select the Progress Report button (or log in to your Progress Report website directly at course.hawkeslearning.com/[YourCourseID]).

Step 2: Select the Activate Access Code button at the top of the screen: Button that says activate access code

Step 3: Enter the License Number found on your purchased materials and press the Enter key on your keyboard (or select Register).

Success! You’ve made your access permanent.

Option Two: You want to purchase materials online at hawkeslearning.com.

Step 1: Select Purchase Access Code at the bottom of the screen.

Step 2: Type in your school and select the product you need.

Step 3: View your cart and confirm you have the right product. Once you purchase our materials, you cannot receive a refund. Select Checkout.

Step 4: Fill out the form with your information, and don’t forget to use the same name and email address you used for your temporary code! Select Submit.

Congratulations! Permanent access to Hawkes is at your fingertips.


Still have questions? Check out our support article here: http://support.hawkeslearning.com/supportcenter/index.php?/article/AA-00620.

Meet Our Student Ambassadors

Hawkes Learning teams up with students across the country to help those who are new to using Hawkes. Through this internship, ambassadors meet with their peers to provide one-on-one guidance to answer many Hawkes questions, such as how to register a license number, where to go to complete homework, how to create a practice test, and what tools are the most helpful to get a good grade. Below are a few of the bright and talented students we work with!

 

**Details about spring 2017 ambassadors coming soon!**

10 Habits to Help You Succeed in College – FREE PDF Included

The title of the document is Reading Environment Assessment. It asks you to one: list three places you usually study in order of frequency. Then, two: Circle the response that applies to each of these places (T for True and F for False). Statements are Other people seldom interrupt me when I study here; Little of what I can see here reminds me of things unrelated to my studying; and I don't hear a TV or radio when I study here.

Getting a college degree is no easy feat. Fortunately, you and your fellow students have access to a plethora of tips and tricks to make the most out of your class time and study time. One such source is provided by Opportunity International, which lists out habits to help you succeed in higher education.

Here’s a taste of Opportunity.org’s 10 Habits of Successful Students, which includes my favorite three habits they’ve listed:

  1. Sleep. You don’t want to overdo this one and miss class, of course! However, you can’t pull all-nighters to finish projects and study for tests all the time. (Trust me. I’ve tried and learned the hard way.) Get your rest so you can think more clearly, retain information more easily, and be a more pleasant person to be around.
  2. Ask questions. You should use this tip inside and outside of the classroom. If you’re confused by what your instructor is saying, do your best to speak up during class! If you’re extra shy and don’t want to talk in front of all your peers, don’t miss the opportunity to ask your instructor during their office hours or right after their lecture. Make sure you ask friends for help with studying too.
  3. Maintain a study space. Sometimes, your dorm room or home isn’t the best place to get your work done. Take the time to locate a spot that’s quiet, easy to get to, and conducive to studying.

Need help with that last tip? We’ve got you covered. Check out our Reading Environment Assessment here. It asks you to evaluate three different potential study spots by answering a few true-or-false questions. It will help you identify your best environment to get your work done. Plus, it’s free and quick to complete!

Check out more habits of successful students here. Let us know what your best habits are in the comments below!


“10 Habits of Success Students.” Opportunity International. Opportunity.org, n.d. Web. 19 July 2016.