Extra Credit as a Spaced-Study Motivator

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International Journal of Studies in Education
A big challenge in academia is motivating students and helping them store information long-term. One known method to help students retain information is spaced learning, which allows for certain time intervals in which concepts are re-tested versus waiting until the end of a block to test a learning objective. One method to motivate students is implementing bonus opportunities that keep students engaged in the material. We combine these methods via a spaced daily versus bulk review program incentivized with bonus points. To investigate this method, we designed and implemented a classroom research experiment during Fall of 2022 at the United States Military Academy in three courses. We found that students who were incentivized to do either daily or bulk review bonus opportunities were primarily those who already were doing well in the class. We also found that those who did not pursue bonus opportunities, regardless of section, indicated that time was their limiting factor. We present our findings including quantitative and qualitative results via course grades, mid-semester and end-of-semester surveys, and anecdotal experiences with our students. We then discuss the merit and potential improvement of the experiment to better understand the relationship between student motivation and long-term information retention.
Motivation, Information Retention
Rocha, Reynolds, and Park, “Extra Credit as a Spaced-Study Motivator.” 2023.