Abstract

Leaders of higher education value student engagement because of its measured effects on student outcomes such as retention and academic success. To increase engagement, institutions implement measures such as living-learning programs, which combine the residential experience with an academic focus (Arboleda, Wang, Shelley, & Whalen, 2003; Zhao & Kuh, 2004). Institutions also employ residential colleges based on the early structures of Oxford and Cambridge (O’Hara, 2012; Ryan, 2001). To encourage and measure engagement, some residential colleges utilize a variant of a points system, which tracks attendance at community events and other forms of involvement. A points system is (a) a measure of the physical involvement of students (which activities they take part in) and (b) a potentially motivating factor for involvement. There are potential benefits and drawbacks to a points system. It is possible that students who desire to earn rewards or avoid punishments associated with a points system will experience increased extrinsic motivation, leading to psychological engagement as a by-product of their physical participation. However, it is unclear whether such a system can effectively benefit intrinsic motivation in addition to measuring physical participation (Deci & Ryan, 2002).

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-3382
Print ISSN
0897-5264
Pages
pp. 280-284
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-22
Open Access
No
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