Beyond Grades: Using Incentives to Motivate Students

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 Last revised: 31 May 2016

See all articles by Kim Holder

Kim Holder

University of West Georgia

Mateer Dirk

University of Arizona

Matthew C Rousu

Susquehanna University - Economics

James Tierney

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 11, 2016

Abstract

Economists study how incentives motivate human behavior. However, besides grades, professors do not frequently employ incentives to motivate students in the classroom. Possibly because expenses associated with classroom incentives often remain unreimbursed or because other implementation costs are high. In this paper, we demonstrate methods educators can use to motivate student behavior while minimizing costs. We identify a range of options that include: incentives appropriate for large sections, an effective monetary incentive system suitable for smaller classes, tips for using an assortment of non-monetary incentives, and methods for leveraging social capital to motivate student learning and engagement.

Keywords: economics education, student behavior, classroom management, incentives, teaching resources for economists

JEL Classification: A10, A20

Suggested Citation

Holder, Kim and Dirk, Mateer and Rousu, Matthew C and Tierney, James, Beyond Grades: Using Incentives to Motivate Students (February 11, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2731051

Kim Holder (Contact Author)

University of West Georgia ( email )

1601 Maple Street
Carrollton, GA 30118
United States
678-839-5423 (Phone)

Mateer Dirk

University of Arizona ( email )

Department of History
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

Matthew C Rousu

Susquehanna University - Economics ( email )

Selinsgrove, PA 17870
United States
570 372-4186 (Phone)

James Tierney

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Economics ( email )

319 Kern Building
University park, PA 16802
United States
814-865-7383 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.jamestierney.com/teaching

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