ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

This study examined whether offering extra credit for research participation was effective at meeting educational goals (e.g., enabling all students to learn about the research process) and providing a representative sample of college students for researchers. Results revealed that less than half (38%) of 193 undergraduate students in an introductory course participated in research. Those who did participate scored higher on measures of academic performance than those who did not participate. Offering extra credit for research participation might not meet educational goals and possibly limits the generalizability of research findings.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Extra Credit As Incentive for Voluntary Research
Participation
Laura M. Padilla-Walker Byron. L. Zamboanga
University of Nebraska–Lincoln Smith College
Ross A. Thompson Larissa A. Schmersal
University of California, Davis University of Nebraska–Lincoln
This study examined whether offering extra credit for research par
-
ticipation was effective at meeting educational goals (e.g., enabling
all students to learn about the research process) and providing a
representative sample of college students for researchers. Results
revealed that less than half (38%) of 193 undergraduate students
in an introductory course participated in research. Those who did
participate scored higher on measures of academic performance
than those who did not participate. Offering extra credit for re
-
search participation might not meet educational goals and possibly
limits the generalizability of research findings.
University instructors often use extra credit to encourage
student participation and provide additional avenues by
which students can learn course material. Previous studies
have examined instructors’ use of extra credit to increase stu-
dent attendance (Thorne, 2000), motivate students to read
journal articles (Carkenord, 1994), and promote participa-
tion in the classroom (Boniecki & Moore, 2003). Another
option for providing extra credit that has received less empir-
ical attention is allowing students to earn extra credit by par-
ticipating in scientific research as part of a research
participant pool (traditionally called a subject pool).
When researchers first organized participant pools, they
typically targeted large classes of first- and second-year stu
-
dents who participated as a course requirement. Researchers
have raiseda number of concerns about the coerciveness of re
-
quiring participation for academic credit (Sieber, 1999; Sieber
& Saks, 1989), prompting an increase in the number of in
-
structors offering extra credit for research participation. For
example, Landrum and Chastain (1999) reported that almost
25% of a sample of more than 500 undergraduate institutions
offered participation in research as an option for extra credit.
Given the relatively recentpractice of offering participation in
research for extra credit, it has yet to be determined if this op
-
tion fulfills the educational and research goals of university in
-
structors and academic departments. This study examined
whether offering extra credit for research participation fulfills
educational goals set forth by instructors and students and re
-
search goals endorsed by academic departments.
Educational Goals
Studies have found that the most commonly used extra
credit options are those that instructors perceive as offering
the greatest educational value to students (e.g., Hill,
Palladino, & Eison, 1993). Those who argue against the use
of extra credit often note that extra credit should be available
for all students, suggesting that instructors are not in favor of
extra credit that benefits only a select few (Norcross, Dooley,
& Stevenson, 1993). Because the educational value of re
-
search participation (e.g., learning about the research pro
-
cess) is essential to satisfying the ethical requirements of
student research participation (Sieber, 1999), a number of
studies have examined the potential educational benefits of
participating in research, and the results have been mixed.
For example, after measuring research experiences at several
universities, Miller (1981) stated that there was little evi-
dence of pedagogic value in research participation. Alterna-
tively, others have found that participation in research helps
students to better understand psychology (Landrum &
Chastain, 1995). There has been much less empirical atten-
tion to the argument proposed by critics of extra credit: The
majority of students do not participate in extra credit oppor-
tunities. Thus, our study examined whether students en-
rolled in a large introductory psychology course would take
advantage of the opportunity to voluntarily participate in re
-
search for extra credit.
Research Goals
It is commonpractice forinstructors and departmentsto of
-
ferresearchparticipationasextracredittoprovideaneasilyac
-
cessible college student population to researchers using
participant pools. Beyond fulfillingan educationalresponsibil
-
ity to student participants, a research participant pool must
alsoprovideresearcherswithastudentsamplethatisrepresen
-
tative of the broaderundergraduate population. Itremains un
-
clear how offering participation in research for extra credit
affects the generalizability of research conducted using re
-
search participant pool samples. Critics attest that using any
university sample may limit the generalizabilty of research
findings to the broader population (Sears, 1986). Thus, it is
possible that offering voluntary research for extra credit exac
-
erbates existing differences between university samples and
the broader population. Indeed, research suggests that there
are demographic and psychological differences between indi
-
viduals who voluntarily participate in an activity and those
whodo not (Rosenthal & Rosnow,1975).Therefore,ourstudy
150 Teaching of Psychology
Do Not Copy
also examined whether students who voluntarily participated
in research for extra credit differed in academic achievement
and motivation from those who chose not to participate.
In summary, this study had two goals that we examined us
-
ing instructor records from a large introductory psychology
course. First, we sought to determine whether the majority of
students would participate in research when given the option
as extra credit. Second, we examined whether there were dif
-
ferences on measures of academic achievement between stu
-
dents who participated in research for extra credit and
students who did not.
Method
Participants
Participants were 193 college students enrolled in an in
-
troductory psychology course at a Midwestern state univer
-
sity (34% men; 70% first-year students). This course was a
fairly conventional large-enrollment introductory course.
Students met twice a week for lecture (75 min) in a large au
-
ditorium and once a week in a small-enrollment seminar sec
-
tion (50 min) led by a graduate teaching assistant. The
lecture section encompassed the presentation of new infor
-
mation through the use of visual software, discussions, and
videos. The seminar section focused on demonstrations, in-
formal experiments, discussions, and preparation for exams.
The total number of students with complete data was 152.
Analyses excluding those with missing data did not differ
from analyses including those with missing data, so for com-
pleteness the analyses included the entire sample. We did not
ask participants questions regarding student ethnicity, but
most students were state residents and thus reflected the
state’s predominantly White middle-income population.
Procedure
We used instructor records (i.e., records of seminar and
lecture attendance, homework scores, paper scores, and
exam scores) for this study. Prior to taking the final (i.e.,
fourth) exam, students completed a brief paper-and-pencil
questionnaire that assessed student motivation and other
course-specific information. Because we gathered research
materials as part of our effort to improve students’ academic
performance (i.e., our primary goals related to educational
practice) and relied primarily on educational records, we did
not obtain informed consent, but the instructor told students
they could decline to complete any self-report measures with
-
out penalty. Because we obtained the outcome measure (i.e.,
research participation) through the end of the semester, we
did not provide a formal debriefing. The institutional review
board at the university where we conducted this study ap
-
proved these procedures as described.
Achievement Measures
Extra credit. The instructor gave students the opportu
-
nity to receive extra credit points through research participa
-
tion or involvement in an experiential activity (e.g., attending
a conference or talk related to psychology). To encourage stu
-
dent research participation, the instructor reminded students
throughout the semester (after each unit exam and before the
final) that the opportunity to participate in research was
available. Periodically, research assistants announced oppor
-
tunities to participate in a study and profiled their research
projects shortly before lecture ended. Each research credit
hour was worth 2 points, which the instructor added to stu
-
dents’ course grade. Students could receive a maximum of 10
points of total extra credit (5 hr of research participation).
The instructor required those who elected the experiential
option to submit a short reflection and integration paper of
the activity (2 points for the activity; 1 point for paper). Only
11 out of 193 (6%) students chose to do the alternative expe
-
riential activity.
Student background. Student background measures in
-
cluded self-reported ACT scores and first-semester college
grade point average (GPA).
Exam performance. We computed exam scores as the
average of students’ scores on four 50-point (noncumulative)
multiple-choice exams. The alpha coefficients for Exams I
through IV were .80, .87, .83, and .85, respectively, with a
mean alpha coefficient of .84 across all four exams.
Paper performance. We computed paper scores as the
average of students’ scores on two 25-point papers. Paper
scores were significantly correlated with each other, r(192) =
.48, p < .01.
Seminar performance. We computed seminar perfor-
mance scores by summing the number of seminar classes at-
tended, the seminar homework scores, and scores on the sem-
inar exam for each student.
Lecture attendance. The instructor assessed lecture at
-
tendance at 13 random points during the semester. We com
-
puted lecture attendance by summing the students’ lecture
attendance derived from these periodic assessments.
Overall course performance. We computed overall
course performance by summing each student’s exam scores,
paper scores, seminar performance, and lecture attendance.
When computing overall course performance, we did not in
-
clude extra credit points and did not weight the scores.
Academic motivation. We measured academic motiva
-
tion using four questions to assess students’ attitudes about
class performance (α = .70). Students rated on a 4-point
scale, ranging from 1 (does not describe me at all)to4(describes
me extremely well), how motivated they were to attend class
and pay attention in lecture, read and keep up with daily as
-
signments, achieve a grade of B or better, and put in just
enough effort in class so they could pass (a grade of C). We re
-
versed students’ response ratings on the last question and av
-
eraged all four scores to create an overall academic motiva
-
tion score.
Vol. 32, No. 3, 2005 151
Do Not Copy
Results
Thisstudy examined the percentage ofstudents who partic
-
ipated in research and the academic characteristics of those
who participated. In addition, we examined whether students
who voluntarily participated in research for extra credit dif
-
fered on demographic characteristics, academic performance,
and academic motivation from those who did not voluntarily
participate. Prior to analysis, we examined variables for
univariate outliers. We deleted four cases with extremely low
scoreson overall course grade, leaving189casesforanalysis.
Demographic Statistics
We conducted a number of univariate ANOVAs to deter
-
mine if there were differences in the frequency of participa
-
tion in research as a function of year in school or gender.
Although no significant differences emerged as a function of
year in school, results showed that women (M = 3.94, SD =
1.75) voluntarily participated in more research studies than
men (M = 2.91, SD = 1.86), F(1, 66) = 5.23, p < .05, partial
η
2
= .06. Partial η
2
values are an estimate of the proportion of
variance in the dependent variable associated with the inde
-
pendent variable (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2001). An effect size
of .06 is considered low (Cohen & Cohen, 1975), which sug
-
gests that the difference between participation rates of
women and men may not be meaningful.
Research Participation and General Academic
Performance
We conducted a number of chi-square analyses to deter-
mine if those who participated in research differed in gender
or year in school from those who did not participate. Results
showed no statistically significant group differences. We also
conducted a number of chi-square analyses to determine if
there were differences in participation as a function of aca
-
demic performance. We categorized performance by assess
-
ing overall course grades, with performance earning a letter
grade of A categorized as excellent, performance earning a B
categorized as good, performance earning a C categorized as
average, and performance earning below a C categorized as
below average. Performance scores did not include extra
credit points. Chi-square analyses revealed that when given
the option to participate in research, significantly more stu
-
dents who earned below average, χ
2
(1, N = 34) = 27.15, p <
.001, and average, χ
2
(1, N = 59) = 6.12, p < .01, letter
grades elected not to participate. There were no statistically
significant differences in the number of students choosing
whether to participate among good and average groups. In
addition, the proportion of students participating from each
category differed, with 63% of students earning excellent
grades, 43% of students earning good grades, 34% of students
earning average grades, and 5% of students earning below av
-
erage grades volunteering to participate in research. Further
-
more, of the 72 students (38% of sample) who participated in
research, 3% earned below average grades, 28% earned aver
-
age grades, 32% earned good grades, and 38% earned excel
-
lent grades.
Differences in Academic Performance and Motivation
We conducted a number of univariate ANOVAs to deter
-
mine if there were differences in academic performance and
motivation between students who participated in research
and those who did not. Significant mean differences in exam
performance, paper performance, seminar performance, lec
-
ture attendance, overall course performance, and motivation
emerged between the two groups, with those who partici
-
pated in research having higher scores compared to those
who did not participate (see Table 1). Group differences on
ACT scores and GPA were not statistically significant.
Discussion
This study examined the use of extra credit as a voluntary
option for research participation and the effectiveness of this
procedure in meetingeducational goals set forth byinstructors
and students as well as departmental and professional goals of
providing a representative sample of college-aged students for
researchers. Overall, the findings suggest that the educational
goal of encouraging all students to profit from the educational
benefits of scientific research was not met in this study, with
less than half of students (38%) opting to participate in re
-
search for extra credit. Of those who did participate, the ma
-
jority (70%) were students who earned excellent or good
grades, with considerably fewer students (3%) who earned be-
low average grades electing to participate. Furthermore, those
who volunteered for research participant pools differed on ac-
ademic performance variables and academic motivation from
those who did not voluntarily participate.
The primary goal of this study was to better understand the
educational value of using research participation as an option
for extra credit. It is likely that one purpose of this practice for
instructors is to provide educational opportunities for stu-
dents, whereas students might also value the chance to raise
their course grades (Bender,1986). Instructorsmight alsopre-
ferthatthemajority of students take advantage of theopportu
-
nity to learn about scientific research (Norcross et al., 1993).
Although good students commonly obtained extra credit
(some of whom might want to raise their grade from a B to an
A), the greatest percentage of students who participated in re
-
search for extra credit were those who already had an A in the
class. It is possible that these individuals participated in re
-
search merely as a means to secure a high grade in the class or
for the educational benefit and opportunity of participation.
Either way, it is clear that the majority of students did not take
advantage of this educational opportunity, which raises ques
-
tions regarding the educational utility of such practices. In
-
deed, students who wouldseemingly benefitthe mostfrom this
opportunity (i.e., students with below average grades) were
the least likely to voluntarily participate.
The secondary goal of this study was to determine if the
departmental goal of providing a participant pool that is rep
-
resentative of the university population was affected by offer
-
ing research participation as an option for extra credit.
Differences emerged in all measures of class performance and
academic motivation, which suggests that students who were
motivated to do well in class were also motivated to complete
extra credit by participating in research. This finding builds
152 Teaching of Psychology
Do Not Copy
on prior research documenting differences in background
variables (e.g., personality differences; Rosenthal & Rosnow,
1975) between those who volunteer and those who do not.
These differences have potential implications for the
generalizability of research studies conducted using research
participant pools, especially research that explores academic
achievement characteristics of college student populations.
Taken together, these findings invite further exploration
into the practice of offering extra credit for participation in
research to determine whether students perceive the experi-
ence as educational or merely as a way to secure higher
course grades. In addition, if research does have educational
value, these findings suggest that a large proportion of stu-
dents at large universities are not taking advantage of this ed-
ucational opportunity when it is offered as extra credit, which
might suggest value in requiring participation in research in
an effort for students to more clearly understand the scien-
tific process inherent in psychology. Requiring research par-
ticipation would necessitate that departments assume the
responsibility of enhancing the educational benefits of re
-
search participation through creative and interesting debrief
-
ing procedures and follow-up evaluations to systematically
assess whether students are obtaining educational benefits
from participating in research (Sieber, 1999).
References
Bender, T. A. (1986, April). Introductory psychology grades and volun
-
teers for extra credit. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the
American Educational Research Association, San Francisco.
Boniecki, K. A., & Moore, S. (2003). Breaking the silence: Using a
token economy to reinforce classroom participation. Teaching of
Psychology, 30, 224–227.
Carkenord, D. M. (1994). Motivating students to read journal arti
-
cles. Teaching of Psychology, 21, 162–164.
Cohen, J., & Cohen, P. (1975). Applied multiple regression/correlation
analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
Associates, Inc.
Hill, G. W., IV, Palladino, J. J., & Eison, J. A. (1993). Blood, sweat,
and trivia: Faculty ratings of extra-credit opportunities. Teaching
of Psychology, 20, 209–213.
Landrum, R. E., & Chastain, G. (1995). Experiment spot-checks: A
method for assessing the educational value of undergraduate par
-
ticipation in research. IRB: A Review of Human Subjects Research,
17(4), 4–6.
Landrum, R. E., & Chastain, G. (1999). Subject pool policies in un
-
dergraduate-only departments: Results from a nationwide survey.
In G. Chastain & R. E. Landrum (Eds.), Protecting human subjects:
Departmental subject pools and institutional review boards (pp.
25–42). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Miller, A. (1981). A survey of introductory psychology subject pool
practices among leading universities. Teaching of Psychology, 8,
211–213.
Norcross, J. C., Dooley, H. S., & Stevenson, J. F. (1993). Faculty use
and justification of extra credit: No middle ground? Teaching of
Psychology, 20, 240–242.
Rosenthal, R., & Rosnow, R. L. (1975). The volunteer subject. New
York: Wiley.
Sears, D. O. (1986). College sophomores in the laboratory: Influ
-
ences of a narrow data base on social psychology’s view of human
nature. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 515–530.
Sieber, J. E. (1999). What makes a subject pool (un)ethical? In G.
Chastain & R. E. Landrum (Eds.), Protecting human subjects: De
-
partmental subject pools and institutional review boards (pp. 43–64).
Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Sieber, J. E., & Saks, M. J. (1989). A census of subject pool character
-
istics and policies. American Psychologist, 44, 1053–1061.
Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2001). Using multivariate statistics
(4th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Thorne, B. M. (2000). Extra credit exercise: A painless pop quiz.
Teaching of Psychology, 27, 204–205.
Notes
1. We thank Eric Owens and Sherill Pineda for their assistance with
this project.
2. Send correspondence to Laura M. Padilla-Walker, Department of
Marriage, Family, and Human Developmnet, Brigham Young Univer
-
sity, 2097 JFSB, Provo, UT 84602; e-mail: laura_walker@byu.edu.
Vol. 32, No. 3, 2005 153
Table 1. Mean Academic Performance and Motivation Scores for Research Participants
and Nonparticipants
Voluntary Research Participation
Participated
a
Did Not Participate
b
Performance Measures
M SD M SD F
Value
ACT score 24.49 3.53 24.63 3.78
F
(1, 127) = 0.04
College GPA 3.11 0.63 3.07 0.53
F
(1, 139) = 0.17
Exam performance 37.43 4.90 34.38 6.05
F
(1, 181) = 12.90**
Paper performance 43.09 5.01 35.54 13.08
F
(1, 187) = 20.15**
Seminar performance 94.93 14.75 82.60 19.60
F
(1, 182) = 20.89**
Lecture attendance 11.50 1.97 9.92 2.45
F
(1, 189) = 26.80**
Overall course performance 299.26 31.33 267.95 42.97
F
(1, 182) = 28.47**
Motivation 12.25 2.41 11.39 2.68
F
(1, 150) = 4.21*
Note.
GPA = grade point average.
a
n
= 72.
b
n
= 117.
*
p
< .05. **
p
< .001.
Do Not Copy
... There are expectations that women negotiators should be passive, cooperative, and relationship-oriented. In contrast, men are expected to be assertive, rational, and competitive (Kray and Thompson, 2005;Walters et al., 1998;Watson, 1994). As documented by Kray et al. (2001), such assertive male expectations are consistent with the image of the stereotypical effective negotiator while the nurturing female expectations are inconsistent with the stereotypical, effective negotiator. ...
... Grijalva, Koford, and Parkurst (2018) measured students' grades at the time they turned in extra credit assignments and found that higher grades increased the probability of turning in an extra credit assignment, and that high-performers discounted the delayed rewards from extra credit less than lowperformers did. Hardy (2002), Harrison, Meister andLeFevre (2011), andPadilla-Walker, Zamboanga, Thompson, &Schmersal (2005) all found a significant positive relationship between pre-extra credit grade and the submission of extra credit assignments. None of those studies was designed in such a way as to determine a cause for the relationship. ...
... Grijalva, Koford, and Parkurst (2018) measured students' grades at the time they turned in extra credit assignments and found that higher grades increased the probability of turning in an extra credit assignment, and that high-performers discounted the delayed rewards from extra credit less than lowperformers did. Hardy (2002), Harrison, Meister andLeFevre (2011), andPadilla-Walker, Zamboanga, Thompson, &Schmersal (2005) all found a significant positive relationship between pre-extra credit grade and the submission of extra credit assignments. None of those studies was designed in such a way as to determine a cause for the relationship. ...
Article
Full-text available
One of the fastest growing franchises today is the coffee industry. As entrepreneurs decide to start a small business, franchising remains a valid option. Franchising is one of the fastest-growing market-entry strategies. According to Kerin and Hartley (2018), “more than 75,000 franchises of the U.S. firms are located in countries throughout the world” (p. 161). A franchise is an extension of an already existing brand or business that wants to expand. When a franchise is purchased, fees are paid for (1) the right to operate a business, (2) participate in a standard operating system, and (3) use the brand name and proprietary information of the franchise. According to Dittfurth, Gerhardt, and Joiner (2019), one reason small business owners decide to franchise is because this model allows individuals to function as if they were operating a much larger enterprise or corporation. In this paper, we analyze franchise fees, royalty fees, advertising fees, purchase prices, expected monthly revenues, and potential bottom line profits in the coffee industry. Dunkin, PJ’s Coffee, and Biggby Coffee represent three of the top coffee franchises. Key words: franchise, entrepreneur, small business
... There are expectations that women negotiators should be passive, cooperative, and relationship-oriented. In contrast, men are expected to be assertive, rational, and competitive (Kray and Thompson, 2005;Walters et al., 1998;Watson, 1994). As documented by Kray et al. (2001), such assertive male expectations are consistent with the image of the stereotypical effective negotiator while the nurturing female expectations are inconsistent with the stereotypical, effective negotiator. ...
... Grijalva, Koford, and Parkurst (2018) measured students' grades at the time they turned in extra credit assignments and found that higher grades increased the probability of turning in an extra credit assignment, and that high-performers discounted the delayed rewards from extra credit less than lowperformers did. Hardy (2002), Harrison, Meister andLeFevre (2011), andPadilla-Walker, Zamboanga, Thompson, &Schmersal (2005) all found a significant positive relationship between pre-extra credit grade and the submission of extra credit assignments. None of those studies was designed in such a way as to determine a cause for the relationship. ...
... Grijalva, Koford, and Parkurst (2018) measured students' grades at the time they turned in extra credit assignments and found that higher grades increased the probability of turning in an extra credit assignment, and that high-performers discounted the delayed rewards from extra credit less than lowperformers did. Hardy (2002), Harrison, Meister andLeFevre (2011), andPadilla-Walker, Zamboanga, Thompson, &Schmersal (2005) all found a significant positive relationship between pre-extra credit grade and the submission of extra credit assignments. None of those studies was designed in such a way as to determine a cause for the relationship. ...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the impact of extra credit availability on students’ perceived stress. The study looks at two areas. First, what type of extra credit students prefer be made available. Second, how student academic stress is impacted by the availability of extra credit. Results show that undergraduate business students at a private university prefer merit based extra credit and that perceived academic stress is higher for students when extra credit is available. Stress is particularly high for higher-performing students.
... To achieve higher response rates and reduce bias in sampling, the instructors offered extra credit points to complete the survey. This methodology may limit the generalizability of the research findings (Padilla-Walker et al., 2005) and doesn't determine the reliability of the study. Sixty-one (N = 61) students (51%) completed the survey. ...
Article
Full-text available
The use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in course settings provides a solution to reduce the textbook barrier. Several published studies have concluded that high textbook costs may influence students' educational choices. However, there are other student characteristics that may be relevant to OER. In this work, we study various factors that may influence students' educational choices regarding OER and their impact on a student’s perspectives on OER use and quality. More specifically, we investigate whether there are significant differences in the frequency of use and perceived quality of the OER textbook based on gender, prior academic achievements, income, seniority, sentiment about online format, and motivation to learn. Our study involved students enrolled in the “Data Structures” course at Columbus State University (N=61) and analyzed students’ feedback before and during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide insights that can inform the decision of adopting OER in higher education settings. The results indicate that there is no significant difference between most of the students’ characteristics and the perception of the quality and use of the OER textbook. However, two student characteristics presented significant differences. Students who used the OER textbook more frequently were more likely to have a less positive attitude towards the online format of the textbook. Also, students with higher motivation to learn perceived it as a better resource than the traditional textbook compared to students with lower motivation to learn.
... This pattern makes it difficult to know for certain whether higher course performance among the opt-in group was due to the IVR intervention. However, the pattern itself is not surprising; prior research on extra credit offerings in university courses has typically found the same predisposition among higher-achieving students to taking advantage of such opportunities (Harrison et al., 2011;Padilla-Walker et al., 2005). As some researchers have pointed out, there is an ironic effect such that students who are most likely to need extra credit (both to strengthen learning and enhance their grades) are the least likely to complete it (Harrison et al., 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid advances in the quality and accessibility of immersive virtual reality (IVR) have brought about intense interest in applications of the technology within higher education, including STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) teaching and learning. However, evidence is mixed on the effectiveness of IVR for STEM teaching and learning, and there are currently few models of how best to incorporate these activities into typical STEM courses. We created a sequence of IVR activities for teaching concepts in organic chemistry and carried out an experimental investigation on the impacts of these on student performance, with special focus on student characteristics including first-generation college student status, gender, and ethnicity. Two sections of Organic Chemistry were compared; in one randomly assigned section, students had the option of completing these IVR activities, and in the other, they did not. Results showed a trend towards improved course grades and final exam scores in the section offered IVR activities, particularly for first-generation college students. These findings suggest that IVR can be a practical and effective way to reinforce learning and student success in realistic university STEM settings, especially for certain demographic subgroups.
... Expressing this rationale seemed to be effective for participation rates. While others have found that participation is low when extra credit is offered as an incentive (38%, Padilla-Walker et al., 2005), we found participation rates for the pre-and posttests to be high; 97.4% of students completed the pretest and 85.9% of students completed the posttest. ...
Article
Students' study sessions outside class are important learning opportunities in college courses. However, we often depend on students to study effectively without explicit instruction. In this study, we described students' self-reported study habits and related those habits to their performance on exams. Notably, in these analyses, we controlled for potential confounds, such as academic preparation, self-reported class absences, and self-reported total study time. First, we found that, on average, students used approximately four active strategies to study and that they spent about half of their study time using active strategies. In addition, both the number of active strategies and the proportion of their study time using active strategies positively predicted exam performance. Second, on average, students started studying 6 days before an exam, but how early a student started studying was not related to performance on in-term (immediate) or cumulative (delayed) exams. Third, on average, students reported being distracted about 20% of their study time, and distraction while studying negatively predicted exam performance. These results add nuance to lab findings and help instructors prioritize study habits to target for change.
... ▪ Previous studies have linked the use of random extra credit quizzes to increases in daily attendance and average exam scores (Wilder et al., 2001;Padilla-Walker et al., 2005). ...
Article
Background:Race-talk reduces racial prejudice, presents correct information regarding race, improves racial literacy, and encourages positive race relations. Purpose: This research demonstrates how experiential learning in the form of a game measures Race and Ethnicity course curriculum effectiveness. Methodology/Approach: We used a live version of the game Guess Who (Hasbro) at the beginning and end of the semester and assessed students’ reflections of the game to measure changes in race-talk. Findings/Conclusions: The results indicate courses focusing on institutional racism for 16 weeks may produce a change in race-talk. Implications: Students benefit from this activity by growing in their racial literacy, and instructors benefit by using the game to assess their curriculum's effectiveness.
Article
Academic entitlement formation will have adverse effects on both students and instructors, influence the teaching effectiveness and the learning experience, and threaten academic integrity and quality. Thus, it is crucial to know not only what factors may facilitate the development of academic entitlement, but also what strategies can be used to manage it. Academic entitlement shows itself primarily in students’ prioritizing of grades over learning, and thus, this paper focuses on extra credit as a relatively common pedagogical approach that affects students’ final grades. This paper presents the central ideas of the social and temporal comparison theories and the way they can explain entitlement, and then applies these theories’ tenets to explain the long-term effects of extra credit on academic entitlement. The second half of the paper provides recommendations for all instructors, both proponents and opponents of extra credit, on how to control academic entitlement and improve desirable students’ outcomes with regard to extra credit.
Article
Full-text available
A common approach to attract students in the United States to the geosciences is to emphasize outdoor experiences in the natural world. However, it is unclear how successful this strategy is. Specifically, the geosciences have been less successful than other sciences at recruiting a diverse workforce that reflects different perspectives and life experiences. Here we present a survey of students enrolled in College Algebra at a Hispanic-serving institution in the southwestern United States where, of 1550 students surveyed, 55.3% identified as an underrepresented minority (URM). We find that surveyed students care little about working outdoors. Instead, they rate altruistic factors, such as helping people or the environment, as most important. Female respondents rate these factors higher than male respondents. We also find that many respondents know little about what a career in geoscience entails. We argue that better informing students about the altruistic potential of geoscience careers would be an effective strategy to broaden recruitment. The prospect of working outdoors, which has commonly been emphasized in geoscience recruitment, is less attractive to students than altruistic factors when considering future career paths, according to a survey of students in a diverse southwestern US college.
Purpose This paper aims to describe the development, promotion and evaluation of sustainability learning experience database (SLED), a university-curated database of sustainability experiences to augment formal student learning. Its purpose was to encourage students to participate in experiential learning, to facilitate students’ critical appraisal of programs ostensibly designed to create sustainability and to, thus, develop students’ sustainability self-efficacy and employability. Design/methodology/approach In total, 55 sustainability experiences were curated and placed into the SLED database, which was promoted to students in nine subjects. Supporting materials designed to assist critical evaluation, reflection on experiences and to build student employability were also developed. A comprehensive mixed-methods evaluation of the program was conducted. Findings The quantitative evaluation revealed some changes in environmental behaviors, depth of critical sustainability thinking and graduate attributes. The qualitative evaluation revealed that students see the value of a university-curated database of experiences and provided ideas for improvements to the database. It also revealed examples of higher-order learning facilitated by SLED. Research limitations/implications Recruitment and attrition of research subjects, common challenges in pedagogical research, were experienced. “Opt-out” is one response to this but it comes with ethical challenges. Originality/value This exploratory study demonstrates the potential of SLED to build students’ sustainability efficacy and suggests ways in which it and similar programs can be developed for improved student and sustainability outcomes. Namely, the use of an online platform closely associated with existing learning management systems, higher-level institutional stewardship, closer curriculum integration and close partnering with credentialing programs.
Article
The extra credit exercise (ECE)—a nonpunitive pop quiz—is a useful adjunct to the traditional lecture-style course. The ECE potentially encourages class attendance, fosters preclass preparation, gives students (and instructors) feedback on their learning (and teaching) of the course material, provides students with test-type questions, perhaps reduces test anxiety, and gives students extra credit toward their final point totals. In addition, students often find ECEs a desirable feature of the course, something that is almost never true of the traditional pop quiz.
Article
This book is really three-books-in-one, dealing with the topic of artifacts in behavioral research. It is about the problems of experimenter effects which have not been solved. Experimenters still differ in the ways in which they see, interpret, and manipulate their data. Experimenters still obtain different responses from research participants (human or infrahuman) as a function of experimenters' states and traits of biosocial, psychosocial, and situational origins. Experimenters' expectations still serve too often as self-fulfilling prophecies, a problem that biomedical researchers have acknowledged and guarded against better than have behavioral researchers; e.g., many biomedical studies would be considered of unpublishable quality had their experimenters not been blind to experimental condition. Problems of participant or subject effects have also not been solved. Researchers usually still draw research samples from a population of volunteers that differ along many dimensions from those not finding their way into our research. Research participants are still often suspicious of experimenters' intent, try to figure out what experimenters are after, and are concerned about what the experimenter thinks of them. That portion of the complexity of human behavior that can be attributed to the social nature of behavioral research can be conceptualized as a set of artifacts to be isolated, measured, considered, and, sometimes, eliminated. This book examines the methodological and substantive implications of sources of artifacts in behavioral research and strategies for improving this situation.
Article
Department practice in administering the subject pool has been changing, but the educational value is still in doubt.
Article
The motivation of students to volunteer to participate in research studies was explored in two studies. The first study explored the motivation of 300 introductory psychology students at a large midwestern university to volunteer for research participation when one exam point was offered for each hour of participation. Study two, which was conducted at a different university, also offered extra credit for participating and elicited students' reasons for volunteering and information on their grade point average and expected grade in introductory psychology. Students who participated did not appear to differ in demographic variables from nonparticipants, but there were differences in grades attained by participants and nonparticipants. Volunteers in the extra credit incentive system appeared to be mostly the top students and students who are motivated by grades that are perceived as being low. More students who did not need the credit to attain a high grade participated in research anyway. Since students with high motivation to achieve may participate in research more than students with low achievement motivation, the generalizability of research findings may be limited. It is noted that extra credit for research participation may also be a source of grade inflation. (SW)
Article
The extra credit exercise (ECE) - a nonpunitive pop quiz - is a useful adjunct to the traditional lecture-style course. The ECE potentially encourages class attendance, fosters preclass preparation, gives students (and instructors) feedback on their learning (and teaching) of the course material, provides students with test-type questions, perhaps reduces test anxiety, and gives students extra credit toward their final point totals. In addition, students often find ECEs a desirable feature of the course, something that is almost never true of the traditional pop quiz.
Article
A technique is described that motivates students to complete assigned readings of journal articles. The technique requires students to write a summary and critique of each article on an 8 x 5 in. index card. Students completing the readings receive two types of tangible benefits: extra course credit and use of their notecards during subsequent tests. Objective assessment of the technique in two classes indicated that students turned in notecards for 73.7% of the readings, and only one student failed to submit any notecards. Students responded positively to the technique on an end-of-term survey.