Proposal Abstract

It is not uncommon for students with high potential to underperform in the classroom. With many activities competing for a student's time, success comes with commitment. This project studied the effect of individualized, voluntary learning contracts on student commitment and academic performance. Scores on the first exam were compared with scores on the final exam to determine any change in academic performance. Additionally, feedback forms were collected to determine self-reported student commitment. Students in the experimental group who performed poorly on the first exam were counselled one-on-one and offered the chance to sign a learning contract. When comparing those who signed learning contracts and the control group, data suggest academic improvement. Furthermore, those who signed learning contracts indicated they were more likely to prioritize time for course-related tasks like reading, homework, and extra instruction than the control group. Solidifying the commitment on paper may have been the difference between good intentions and action. The results show that learning contracts are a low cost, low effort tool that can increase student commitment and boost academic performance.

Location

Atrium/Concourse

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

 
Mar 8th, 4:00 PM Mar 8th, 5:45 PM

Exploring the Impact of Learning Contracts on Student Commitment and Academic Performance

Atrium/Concourse

It is not uncommon for students with high potential to underperform in the classroom. With many activities competing for a student's time, success comes with commitment. This project studied the effect of individualized, voluntary learning contracts on student commitment and academic performance. Scores on the first exam were compared with scores on the final exam to determine any change in academic performance. Additionally, feedback forms were collected to determine self-reported student commitment. Students in the experimental group who performed poorly on the first exam were counselled one-on-one and offered the chance to sign a learning contract. When comparing those who signed learning contracts and the control group, data suggest academic improvement. Furthermore, those who signed learning contracts indicated they were more likely to prioritize time for course-related tasks like reading, homework, and extra instruction than the control group. Solidifying the commitment on paper may have been the difference between good intentions and action. The results show that learning contracts are a low cost, low effort tool that can increase student commitment and boost academic performance.