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Guest Post: Student Assessment with a Twist At Texas Tech…EIP (Effort Impact Points)

July 11, 2012

Our Guest Post today comes from Phillip Flamm, who teaches OM in the ISQS Department in the  Rawls College  of Business at Texas Tech University. This is his 7th Guest Post. Phillip can be reached at

I’ve often wondered exactly how learning and effort are connected. I know that good student effort usually leads to better grades, but up to this point I have only utilized personal response system “clickers” in my Operations Management class as a reward for effort. During the first summer session of 2012 I attempted to expand the boundaries of effort measurement by combining several factors as a reward system that would be based on student effort. Those factors are:

  1. Total number of lectures attended (measured by PRS responses)
  2. % improvement from Exam 1 to Exam 2
  3. Number of focus groups attended (a student led collaborative learning session held the day of each lecture)
  4. Seeking writing help from the campus Writing Center for the written version of the team project.

With the help of Jason Triche, a PhD student who is team teaching with me, we developed a 5 tiered reward scale based on an accumulation of effort points (EIP) earned for each activity. The reward system looks like this (800 total points for the course):

  • Tier 1: Range – 15 to 20 (EIP) receives a 3% addition to semester total (24 points)
  • Tier 2: Range – 12 to 14 (EIP) receives a 2%  ……………(16 points)
  • Tier 3: Range – 9 to 11 (EIP) receives a 1% ………………(8 points)
  • Tier 4: Range – 5 to 8 (EIP) receives a .50% …………… (4 points)
  • Tier 5: Range – 0 to 4 (EIP) receives 0%.

We have just begun to analyze the data but it appears that approximately 20% of the students receiving EIP actually moved up a letter grade as a result. So, it appears that their effort was rewarded with extra credit and higher exam scores.

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