As I sit in office hours with no students around, I will share with you, dear reader, a tale of higher education, motivation, and an angry unicorn.
My students in CS222 are working in pairs on a two-week project, a little RSS analyzer. This was the halfway point, and we used our meeting today for each team to give a status report. After giving my introduction, I sat down so that student teams could, at their pace and discretion, come up and give their status reports. The first team came up rather quickly and did a fine job. After they collected their peer evaluation forms and sat down, there was a delay while the rest of the students considered whether or not to go next. I started a doodle, which turned out into a nearly-complete rendition of Strong Bad:
We spent the next 50 minutes or so hearing status reports, at which time there was another lull, although by my estimation, about 20% of the class had not yet presented. So I started sketching again...
Immediately upon mentioning credit, there was hubbub and three more groups got up to give status reports. One of the groups had very little done, but they gave a great honest report. Another "group" was missing half, but the sole attendee gave a great synopsis of the team's status.
Most likely, it was mention of credit that made these last few get up and present, but I like to think it was the threat of angry unicorns.