Best trivia prize for Taiwanese high schoolers

Hey, so before every midterm exam, I design a comprehensive review game using either Kahoot, quizzizz, or jeopardy (also if there’s a better platform to use I’d love to hear about it). In the past I haven’t offered prizes since I was thinking high schoolers were too old to need them.

But I’ve noticed the novelty effect has started to wear off and students seem less engaged. I also realized how valued prizes seem to be in Taiwanese society just in general. I think the students would really appreciate special prizes for being a winner.

My trouble is I’m not sure what high school students would value as a prize?

I think if I choose a less valuable prize, no one will care. But also I don’t want to drop a lot of not everytime there’s a midterm.

So I wanted to ask other teachers what they think taiwanese students value in terms of physical prizes.

  • Best prizes
  • Gift card
  • Dessert/candy
  • Stationary (pens, Notebooks, etc)
  • Key chain
  • Other (please comment)
  • No prize

0 voters

LINE points to buy happy face stickers


Are there gift cards for that at like family mart/711?

Never asked.
But in my Android LINE, go to SETTINGS, then COINS, and at top right is “Buy”. Gives you prices.
I think then you can “Gift” them, like in the “Gift Box” of Stickers in SETTINGS.

Don’t worry. Just ask your students, they’ll certainly know how to do it.

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First, ask if there is a reward policy or something like that at the school, the last thing you want is to get in trouble cuz you gave something to a student.
I would personally enjoy a drink the most.



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Do note every marketing campaign aimed at adults. credit card rewards, 711 toys, points programs etc.

Rewards are not just for toddlers. or, more accurately, most adults are just as attracted to shiny free shit as kids and crows.

use rewards. just dont make the people lose face by them openly admitting them wanting something that would make others laugh at them. in other words, sell your product to the right audience. Bribes have always been a fantastic way to encourage success. And with teaching, you have very little responsibility afterwards to deal with their spoiled entitled asses as you only have a year or 3 with them anyway :slight_smile:

I wouldnt do it with my children necessarily, due to said time commitments and karma.

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They also encourage external motivation (“if theres no prize, there is no reason for me to try”).

As a teacher, it becomes increasingly more difficult to teach children who expect rewards, because the best reward for them should be “I learned something new!”

Rewards also set children up for failure in later life and they become easily manipulated with rewards and whack incentives as adults (“we’ll be having a meeting tonight from 6-9pm. Lunch boxes will be provided. No, of course you don’t get paid overtime, but we’ll give you a very expensive lunch box from this very nice restaurant” or “we provide $5000 red envelopes and give you two weeks off for LNY, theres nothing unreasonable about expecting you to come in on a Saturday once a month”). They become unable to understand what anything is actually worth, especially their time and work.

Rewards also never have a logical reason for why you get them. Think of store and credit card points. Either you were already buying the thing when you got the points, or you are buying more than you need in order to get/use them. Its the store/credit card company that wins, not the consumer (unless you’re one of those people who carefully researches how to get the very last drop of every rewards program, which is few people).

When you use any rewards in the classroom, you are simply providing candy/bubble tea/stickers/whatever to the students who already know the stuff from outside of class. When they work in teams, it means the “good students” earn all the points and the “bad students” end up either getting screamed at for being “stupid” or are provided with embarrassingly easy questions in order to avoid the embarrassment of being wrong and losing points.

I used to try rewards and prizes, but then I started reading up on the entire theory. Looking back on every incentive and reward system I ever tried, 100% of them were crap. I rewarded the learners who were already going to do well and the ones who weren’t going to do well were not incentivized by me dangling a prize in front of their face. I think about the rewards systems various teachers had for our classes in elementary school or “if the class brings x number of non-perishable food items, you’ll get a pizza party” sorts of incentives, and they never worked. At the end, the two people in the class of 26 who read one novel a day read all the books for the whole class. The rich kid asked their dad to have an entire semi-truck full of canned goods brought to the school so there wouldn’t be any concerns about meeting the target, etc. Now, you could have rules about limiting how many canned goods or books are allowed per person, but now what do you do with the child who is a slow reader or the student whose family would be collecting canned goods from the pantry, not making the donations? Everything about it inherently doesn’t work.

Nowadays, I am careful to avoid saying even “good job!” to anyone. Instead, I say “you did it!” or “wow, you spent a lot of time on that!”. When children say things like “my mom said she’s proud of me”, I push them to reflect on what they did and whether they are proud of themself and also why they would be proud of themselves. As Dr. Maria Montessori found, through trying incentive systems at first, external rewards of all kinds actually rob children of the joy that comes simply by doing something through their own hard work. As an adult, you are taking the actual reward, which is being able to do it, and making it about you, the adult, and how the child should please the adult. This is why Taiwanese children are so unbelievably hard to motivate. EVERYTHING they do from the moment they are born is about getting the “你好棒棒!” from everyone around them. They are robbed of the experience of doing anything for themselves, so the only way they will do anything is if you offer them rewards. This is problematic for so many reasons, but you can be the teacher who breaks that vicious cycle.

If you come to my classroom, I have children doing insanely huge research projects and figuring out any amount of higher level math and geometry, dragging their friends in to figure out even more, all on their own. We’re talking 6-12 year olds who are understanding, through hands-on experience, how to do math I wasn’t taught until high school. No one needs a gold star for figuring out the cube root of a huge number or determining the volume of a bathroom stall in five different units of measure. They are introduced to the concept and they run with it because they are motivated by their own inner drive, not the promise of a collection of gold coins.

We can say “well everyone else in Taiwan is only motivated by external rewards, so I will have to use them too” but that makes you part of the problem. Obviously coming into a classroom and saying “no rewards for you! Research says you shouldn’t have them!” is not going to work either. But if the content is engaging, like you review material through TPRS (look up “story asking”), they will be motivated by the interesting content of the story you built together and not the promise of bubble tea.


writing all that :point_up: , you should be rewarded somehow

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I’m rewarded in that I have the joy of knowing I have spread the gospel of what I know to be true to others across this here platform :joy:

Back when I worked in person at an actual company, we used to have classroom style trainings. Every time the facilitator threw me a prize that wasn’t edible, I was extremely disappointed.

Every time.

Well said. This is what I was trying to say but whilst just using shit to express my feelings haha.

I agree. I bet you and me probably agree on a lot of things like these actually.

My only concern with teaching is that it take a long time commitment. this cannot be done with teaching because, as with politics, there is a very short time commitment for the consumer (students, the public, parents etc). So it is hard to really go full on, but it is worth trying no doubt. Really it is the family that will have the time advantage, and so it is quite worth talking to parents just as much as the kids. I understand for many that teaching is a job. but if taiwans future is at all a concern, spending unpaid time talking with parents is essential in reselling your product. Back when I had a buxiban, that was easily 2/3 of my time. always unpaid. but it paid off 10 fold.

Now I feel bad. I just wanted to make it a little more fun for the students since the class is in the last period when many other students get to go home/ to buxiban

Also I just realized there’s a category just called “best prizes :joy:

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With stickers?

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Let’s not forget that Montessori abandoned her child and embraced Mussolini. That doesn’t necessarily impact her theories on early learner development.

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Sorry but I think you’ve seen a different version of Maria Montessori’s life. She abandoned her son when he was born because she was a female medical doctor who was unmarried in the early 1900s. Admitting he was her child would have meant an end to everything she had worked toward and she would have had to live as a charity case and would have been forbidden from practicing medicine. She did take him back when he was in his teens and they worked together to develop the elementary curriculum.

As for embrace of Mussolini, sorry but no, quite the opposite. She fled Italy and ended up a POW in India during WWII because she didn’t accept his views. That’s when she and her son worked together to develop the elementary montessori curriculum.

There’s no need for you to apologise, but I was correct both times.

Ok, if you want to say she accepted Mussolini before he made it apparent what kind of fascist dictator he was going to be, sure, they did try to have montessori as the standard of education for all in Italy and she did cozy up to him at that time. But lots of people team up with individuals that turn out to be total maniacs. If, like Maria Montessori, they recognize that that person is not a good person and they go their own way, you can’t say they “embraced” them, as that implies that they never publicly made it clear that they very much do not embrace them.

The vast majority of experimental education people were genuinely psychotic in one way or another. Steiner, for example, genuinely believed in fairies and gnomes (and teaching about them to young children is an integral part of the curriculum. Waldorf teachers are expected to study his doctrine as a religion). He also preached that children who learn to read before the age of 7 will be darker skinned in their next life. If the worst thing montessori did was give her son up because it was the only thing she could do to have the career she had, it pales in comparison to the shit other “education experts” did and preached.