Contracts in the Classroom

From ScienceBlog:

While contracts are an indispensable tool in the modern workplace, a new study has found that they may also be very effective in contemporary classrooms. According to a new article published in SAGE Open, courses in which students design their own course based on a contract lead to both higher grades and higher student satisfaction than traditional points-based courses.

The article, “Use of Contract Grading to Improve Grades among College Freshmen in Introductory Psychology,” details this study. Researchers Dana Lindemann and Colin Harbke assigned a total of 40 college freshmen enrolled in one introductory psychology course to a traditional or contract grading system. Those assigned to the contract system signed a contract at the beginning of the semester in which they indicated what grade they were aiming to receive and specified which assignments they would complete to receive that grade. Students who wanted to receive a better grade had to complete more assignments and receive a higher score on exams than those aiming for a lower grade..