Title: Designing grading policy to motivate student participation in online discussion forum

Authors: Zuopeng Zhang

Addresses: School of Business and Economics, State University of New York at Plattsburgh, Redcay 154, Plattsburgh, NY 12901, USA

Abstract: Online discussion forum has become an important instrument for instructors to create an effective learning environment. However, there lacks the consensus on how to specify grading policies so that students will voluntarily contribute. In this research, we study the effective designs of grading policies and how to appropriately utilise them as incentives to motivate students to participate in online discussion forums. Applying an analytical framework, we model and investigate the performance of different types of grading polices and their effects on student participation in online discussion forums. Our research provides practical guidelines for instructors to offer quality instructions.

Keywords: grading policies; grades; incentives; online discussion forums; virtual forums; world wide web; internet; policy design; student participation; motivation; instructors; learning environments; innovation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2011.037189

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2011 Vol.9 No.1, pp.1 - 20

Published online: 30 Nov 2010 *

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