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A simple extra-credit assignment explicitly rewarded marginal or failing students for improving their learning and study strategies. The instructor approached individual students who were at risk for failing the course following the midterm exam and gave them the option of earning extra-credit points for regularly documenting a variety of effective learning and study skills. In contrast to control groups of matched marginal students and of nonfailing students, those attempting the extra-credit assignment improved their test performance from midterm to final exam. They were more likely to earn at least a grade of C and less likely to drop out of the course than the matched control group. They also evaluated the experience quite positively.


Ellen Junn is now Provost at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Copyright © 1995 SAGE Publications. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of an article published in Teaching of Psychology, which has been published in final form at