It’s called extrinsic motivation—being motivated to read, or do anything, based on outside factors such as money or rewards. Extrinsic motivation is evoked when students are incentivized to read more and this is a hot topic in the education world. Many people who are against using a reward system or incentives have two main issues with the technique.
The fact is kids have to start reading regularly first before they find topics and books they truly impassion them,” said Raphael Menko, co-founder of Learn2Earn, an online platform that allows students to earn wisdom points and decorate their Owlvatar for reading.
Many of my 4th graders are reading below grade level and hate to read. I started using this website a week ago and I am shocked with the improvement of their independent reading. I used to get 5 or 6 paper logs returned each week, now I have 20 out of 25 students reading and logging,” said Corinne G.
Incentives can be a cost-effective strategy to raise achievement among even the poorest minority students in the lowest performing schools if the incentives are given for certain inputs to the educational production function. Paying students to read books yields large and statistically significant increases in reading comprehension.
Incentives vs. What’s Being Incentivized
My reluctant readers are actually begging me for more time reading and responding. They love earning coins for their work and designing their page and avatars,” said Cheryl R.
In our experiments, input incentives were more effective than output incentives, suggesting that students do not know how to increase their test scores. If students only have a vague idea of how to increase their test scores, then when provided with incentives for performance, they may not be motivated to increase effort,” said Freyer and Allan.
Using This Data in Class
A system starts with a firm idea of what your classroom should look like when all students are actively engaged in the learning process. Then you develop a system that will help you and the students reach that goal. If the system is something that is going to take a huge amount of time and effort to keep track of, it probably won’t work. If instead it is used as a catalyst to appropriate behavior, that works much better,” said high school teacher Tory Klemensten to Education World.
- Free-time for using computers or playing games
- Front of the line privileges for a day
- Sit with the teacher at lunch
- Get a homework pass
- Sit at the teacher’s desk for a period of time
- Fake money to be redeemed in class for small (inexpensive) rewards
- Be the teacher’s helper for a day
- Be the chalkboard writer for a day