The Student Incentive Module, which is sometimes referred to as the Merits/Demerits Module, is one of the newest additions within CAASS release 8. The Student Incentive Module is intended to ease in the collection of Merit and Demerit point totals and track the rewarding and distribution of the points.
What is a Merit?
A Merit is given as a positive reward to a student as a result of their action or behavior. Students are rewarded points either as a flat total or somewhere within a point range. Typically points earned can be used in exchange for prizes or special events.
What is a Demerit?
Demerits are negative Merits. So if a student cuts class or is disruptive in class they may be assigned demerits. Demerits, like Merits, can be assigned as a flat total or somewhere within a pre-determined point range. Demerits typically are met with disciplinary actions that penalize the student.
Examples of Merits
- Perfect attendance for the week
- Perfect attendance for the month
- Perfect attendance for the semester
- Volunteering for a class project
- Improved a full letter grade in a course
- Completed homework on time
Examples of Demerits
- Late to school
- Late to class
- Cutting class
- Wandering the halls
- Failure to complete homework
- Uniform violation
Point Distribution Setup
When Merits and Demerits are first configured for the site (campus or district) or the school they need to have either a set point total or a point range associated with them. These are the points the students would be assigned as a result of being issued these Merits or Demerits. Because there can be different severity levels of some of the Merits or Demerits you can assign a point range for those and allow the teacher or administrator to assign the point total that best fits the current action or behavior.
Examples of Point Distribution for Merits
One student may have volunteered for the class project but only spent a few hours helping, while another student volunteered 3 weeks of their own time. In this scenario, if the Merit “Volunteering for class project”, has a set point level associated with it of 100 points, then each student would receive 100 Merit points. On the other hand, if “Volunteering for class project” was configured with a point range of 10-500 you are allowed discretion. As a result, in this scenario the student that volunteered a few hours could get like 20 Merit points and the student that gave 3 weeks might get 250 Merit points.
Examples of Point Distribution for Demerits
If we use the same logic from the Merit scenario and we substitute the "Volunteering for class project" Merit with a “Class-Cut” Demerit and look at what would happen if one student cut just one class and compare it to a second student that cut three classes. If the “Class-Cut” Demerit had a set level of -15 points each student would receive the same Demerit point value regardless of severity. If the “Class-Cut” Demerit was configured with a point range of 10-100 and the first student was assigned 10 Demerits and the second student was assigned 30 Demerits then the point assignments are indicitive of their level of the behavior.
How to Assess Merits and Demerits
CAASS offers two methods of assigning Merits or Demerits to students.
1) EDCR: Though the CAASS classroom module, teachers have the ability to assign Merits or Demerits to students. EDCR allows teachers to review past Merits and Demerits they have assigned to students.
2) Triggers: With the feature of Triggers, automatically assign Merits or Demerits to students. Triggers allow the use of thresholds to automate the manual task of assigning Merits and Demerits.
3) CAASS Desktop Client: By way of the CAASS Desktop Client, school faculty members can assign Merits or Demerits to students. Many Merit and Demerit reporting choices are available to users by way of the Client. Examples of reports:
- Individual student Merit/Demerit history
- Merit/Demerit totals by school or grade
- Today’s Merits and Demerits