June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1618.1 - 22.1618.6
Carrot or Stick? Using Final Exams as an Incentive to Increase Student Motivation Toward HomeworkAbstractA study is presented to determine whether student motivation to do homework in a coursecan be significantly increased using the final exam as an incentive. Traditionally,students are encouraged by an instructor to do homework problems in a course as ameans to enhance mastery of course topics. Homework assignments are a commonmethod used to help students prepare for course exams. Instructors typically prepareexams to adequately assess how well students understand course topics. These examproblems may be similar to homework problems, but are typically varied sufficiently totest for conceptual understanding rather than simply recitation of solutions. In this study,all of the course mid-term exams are prepared using the traditional methodology. Thefinal exams, however, consist of multiple choice questions which are taken directly fromthe assigned homework problems with only the numerical values changed.Two introductory mechanical engineering courses, dynamics and thermodynamics wereselected for this study, which involved classes at a large public university and a smallprivate university. During one semester, a control group was established for each course,followed by a study group the next semester. Differences in the incoming grade pointaverages of the two groups were not statistically significant. Students were assignedhomework problems and encouraged to work them in preparation for all of the courseexams. The control group was unaware that the final exam problems would be drawnfrom the assigned homework problems. However, students in the study group wereinformed during the first week of the semester that exam problems would be drawn fromthe homework problems. The final exams administered to both groups were identical.The performance of students on the final exam in the control group and study group werecompared. Differences in the performances of the two groups will be discussed alongwith implications of the differences.
Marchetta, J. G., & Perry, E. H., & Stephens, C. (2011, June), Using Final Exams as an Incentive to Increase Student Motivation Toward Homework Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18846
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