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"Making it count": Evidence from a Field Experiment on Assessment Rules, Study Incentives and Student Performance

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  • Luehrmann, Melanie
  • Chevalier, Arnaud
  • Dolton, Peter

Abstract

This paper examines field experiment in which we encourage the use of computer-based tests (quizzes) through a set of non-financial incentives and test their effect on effort and performance of students. Our identification strategy exploits cross-cohort experimental variation in assessment rules and within course variation in incentives to determine their impact on the performance in exams. We find these incentives to result in an increase in grades of 2.4 marks or about 4%. The performance effects are concentrated in the lower quartile of the grade distribution and can be attributed to increase quiz participation. Our results suggest that use of computerised assessment methods is not only a relatively low cost method of fostering continuous learning but also an effective tool in increasing student effort and performance. --

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order with number 79795.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79795

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Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/
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  1. Ghazala Azmat & Nagore Iriberri, 2009. "The importance of relative performance feedback information: Evidence from a natural experiment using high school students," Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra 1148, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2010.
  2. Bishop, John, 2006. "Drinking from the Fountain of Knowledge: Student Incentive to Study and Learn - Externalities, Information Problems and Peer Pressure," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, Elsevier.
  3. Camerer, Colin F & Hogarth, Robin M, 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 7-42, December.
  4. Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek & Bas van der Klaauw, 2006. "The effect of financial rewards on students' achievement: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Artefactual Field Experiments, The Field Experiments Website 00078, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. Angrist, Joshua & Lang, Daniel W. & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Incentives and Services for College Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 3134, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2009. "The Effects of High Stakes High School Achievement Awards: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1384-1414, September.
  7. Wayne A. Grove & Tim Wasserman, 2006. "Incentives and Student Learning: A Natural Experiment with Economics Problem Sets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 447-452, May.
  8. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  9. Sheryl B. Ball & Catherine Eckel & Christian Rojas, 2006. "Technology Improves Learning in Large Principles of Economics Classes: Using Our WITS," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 442-446, May.
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