Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
In this article, the author talks about how to encourage classroom participation with empty extrinsic rewards. He uses "bonus points" in awarding students for particularly interesting or well thought-out contributions to the class discussion. These bonus points have absolutely no effect on the student's course grade. But the students respond favorably to the idea of bonus points. As a result, class participation increased, and some students began to keep track of their bonus points, writing them down each time they earned some. The author finds this practice effective for stimulating classroom discussion even among the quieter students and for rewarding cognitive work in the classroom. Most importantly, the students think that bonus points are fun and some voluntarily compete for them, a process with affective benefits for the classroom.