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Lesson around Dan Pink’s TED video

June 4, 2010

Today, I built a lesson around Dan Pink’s TED talk

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Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation

Students had (I hope) watched the video before coming to class to take a test on the video.  After the test, I presented a scenario based loosely on an article by Dan Pink, Forget carrots and sticks, they don’t always work.  I put the scenario into PowerPoint based on a blog entry I read at Making Change entitled “Why you want to use scenarios in your elearning”.  The PowerPoint is at

I handed out a matrix with the characters’ names and asked the students to write down explanations for who would benefit and who would not benefit if the sales people went from working for a commission to working for a salary.  Using iclickers, they voted for what they thought each character would think and explained their reasoning.  The discussion moved along well and even the quiet ones were able to contribute.  The students also had some strong biases for commission or salary.  We then read some of the Dan Pink article that I used for the activity since I could project it on the screen. 

This is a summer class and goes for almost two hours.  During a regular semester this would probably take two days.

Improvements I am thinking about include adding some more information to a couple of characters to make their stories more difficult.  Also, I think I should have a little more background story before I get to the characters.

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