Incentivizing with Bonus in a College Statistics Course

Victoria Ingalls


Many studies have argued the negative effects of external rewards on internal motivation while others assert that external motivation does not necessarily undermine intrinsic motivation. At a private university, students were given the option to earn bonus points for achieving mastery in the online homework systems associated with Statistics and Pre-Calculus courses. The results showed a significant difference in online homework grades and final exam scores, dependent upon when the incentive was given. The findings of this research suggest that college students thrive when incentivized. When compared to the students who were not incentivized, the incentivized group had a statistically significantly higher mean for both online homework scores and final exam scores. Many of the incentivized students chose to take the opportunity to earn the bonus points to increase the final semester grade, which apparently also helped to increase the content knowledge necessary for the final exam.

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REDIMAT - Journal of Research in Mathematics Education | ISSN: 2014-3621

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