I'm a teaching assistant for the upper level under-graduate courses for Game Design and Development at my University, and the professor and I are having a hard time finding a way to motivate students to:
- Actually complete and turn in their homework on time.
- Attempt to do more than just the bare minimum.
- Listen to feedback for on-going assignments.
We have tried things like offering a bit of extra credit for turning it in on time or going above and beyond on the assignment, but as you can assume the only students that actually get that extra credit are the ones that are already excelling.
These classes are built around building a strong portfolio, but what generally comes out are projects that I wouldn't even want to include in my portfolio. Generally about 15% of the class are students that do work that deserve an A, and the rest is split fairly evenly between a C and an F (F's generally fall around 30% for these students).
I appreciate your feedback and thoughts, hopefully with the help of this community I can help motivate these students to excel.
Edit: Adding more to the 3rd bullet above. They have an assignment one week, and they get feedback on what they need to do to improve their marks. However, they ignore the feedback and end up losing the same amount of points they did the previous week for the same problem.
Edit2: Answering some comments here. This is in the United States and they are working in C# with Unity3D. The class has pre-requisites that do funnel nicely to the content, because they start with just learning the basics of C# then they learn more complicated computer science concepts in C# all while learning simple game design using gamemaker, which can essentially be a drag and drop tool. It isn't until around the second semester of Sophomore year that they start using Unity3D. As for the games they are creating, please feel free to take a look at my portfolio: http://ryandarras.weebly.com/examples-of-work.html. These are games I made throughout my undergrad, and while I'll admit I'm a big nerd that probably spent way too much time on my homework because I enjoyed it, I would expect a resemblance to this quality in their games. Homework is also given with a very detail description of the requirements, as well as the exact rubric that is used to grade the assignment (the rubric is as objective as we can make it).