This semester, amidst a rather taxing MS Excel lab, my students introduced me to the term “rage quit” as they logged off their computer and left the room.
According to UrbanDictionary.com, the following is the most common definition of the term:
To stop playing a game out of an anger towards an event that transpired within the game.
This also applies to computer programming, geospatial science, image editing, and many other tasks within academia that rely on computers. I have found this semester that while I may tell students to take frequent breaks, eat a snake or take a short walk in between problems, they usually just want to push through, trying to get the assignment done as quickly as possible. No matter how clear the instructions are, there are ultimately glitches and misunderstandings that cause students a great amount of angst.
The most successful technique I have come across so far is modeling the behavior myself. I will lead students through an activity, but take breaks along with them. This gives some people an opportunity to catch up as well. I also encourage that we all stand and stretch, and practice “power poses.” Surprisingly, most follow along as I explain the benefits of the pose. Here’s a video blog explaining the same thing: