Do students respond positively to incentives for completing their classwork? It does help, according to a study conducted among 6,500 Chicago elementary and high school students.
Conducted by Freakonomics, students attending low-performing schools had a tendency to do better on tests when monetary or non-monetary incentives were offered for good scores. During a two year period, researchers conducted random tests throughout three of Chicago area’s low-performing school districts to conclude their findings.
Awards ranging from $10-$20 were most effective for students in higher grades, while those in elementary school responded better to non-monetary awards like ribbons and trophies.
Timing also played a factor – if rewards were promised immediately after the test, the response was greater. Rewards said to be distributed a month after the test showed less motivation among students.
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