Grading in a Flipped Classroom: Learners Improve Through Feedback, Not Grades for Completion

Grading in a Flipped Classroom: Learners Improve Through Feedback, Not Grades for Completion

What is this Research About?

In a flipped classroom, students study independently with guidance, and use class time to practice and engage with what they have learned. To encourage students to complete preparatory work outside of class, instructors may use completion rewards – grades assigned based on the amount or quality of work attempted. Instructors may also use formative assessment, where students receive feedback on their responses, but not grades. This study examined whether completion rewards were related to improved student learning in flipped learning online classes.

What did the Researchers Do?

The researcher conducted two experiments to examine the effects of completion rewards on student performance. All students completed formative online quizzes and received immediate feedback on their responses. In the completion reward condition, students’ scores on the formative quizzes were immediately recorded in the online gradebook that was visible to students. In the control condition, students completed the same quizzes, but their scores were not visible in the gradebook. The researchers examined whether completion rewards increased students’ engagement with the formative online quizzes and their scores on the final test/exam.

What did the Researchers Find?

The researcher found that students’ engagement with the formative online quizzes increased when they received a grade (i.e., a completion reward) for attempting the questions. However, completion rewards were not associated with increased grades on the final exam. Marks for completion/participation increased the quantity of engagement but lowered the quality of learning and assessment.

→ How to Implement this Research in Your Classroom

Instructors should engage learners with assignments that will provide immediate feedback and resources to achieve learning outcomes in real time. Students will have a shorter learning curve when they can adjust their responses immediately, without fear of lost marks. Instructors should not provide grades for participation in or completion of out-of-class preparatory assignments. Completion rewards were shown to increase engagement quantity but decrease the quality of learning of graded testing.

→  Citation

Schmitz, K. (2019). Quality or quantity: Completion rewards and formative assessments in flipped instruction classes. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 13(3).

→  Keywords

  • Completion rewards
  • Formative assessments
  • Flipped instruction
  • Student motivation
  • Increased performance

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Snapshot Writer: Eric McCutcheon

Snapshot Publication Date: 2020