Reward and Recognition

Dan Pink notes that the most powerful motivations are intrinsic, not extrinsic.

At the same time, reward and recognition signal the importance of contributions, and equip people for work that is innovative, bold, and risks failure. ┬áCertain core academic traditions such as tenure and promotion are obvious places to begin thinking about reward and recognition, but we should also examine other nodes in our process such as recruitment, opportunities for development, opportunities for creative research, teaching, and informal learning. Our community wants job security, beyond question. Yet a dynamic community also wants job delight, and to renew that delight throughout one’s career.

Virginia Tech needs to reward and recognize our innovators and their successes. These rewards and recognition must occur at multiple levels. There are no simple solutions. We need to balance intrinsic and extrinsic motivations very carefully. Nevertheless, the following are some preliminary ideas to start this necessary conversation:

– Students: Entice students to enroll in courses and degrees employing innovative instructional technologies, reward them with support services, tuition breaks, certificates, early graduation, and the like.

– Faculty: Recalibrate the promotion and tenure guidelines to reward and recognize integration of innovative instructional technology into classes, advising, and degree programs.

– Departments and Colleges: Allocate a percentage of teaching (208) monies to administrative units based on the student-weighted-credits associated with innovative instructional technology. Fund discipline specific innovative instructional technology support staff to assist departments and faculty, much like library and foundation support staff.

– University: Capitalize on the brand enhancement, accountability, and cost saving benefits of innovative instructional technology. Virginia Tech really will invent the future. Students and funders will flock to us because of our innovative instructional technologies and the life-long-learning support we can provide. Begin pilot projects with Google, Apple, IBM, Modea, and the like to develop innovative instructional technologies that will have potentially significant market value and help us justify our purpose and budget to stakeholders.

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