Exploration of Classroom Participation in the Presence of a Token Economy

By Nelson, Karl G. | Journal of Instructional Psychology, March 2010 | Go to article overview

Exploration of Classroom Participation in the Presence of a Token Economy


Nelson, Karl G., Journal of Instructional Psychology


Past research has emphasized the importance of active classroom participation in student learning. However, relatively little research has addressed what variables relate to such participation, especially in the presence of a token economy. This study addressed these concerns. Students received bonus points for classroom participation by asking questions. More than 78% of students participated in the token economy. Non-traditional students, students higher in Extraversion, and students with a Performance Approach or Mastery Approach to school participated more. Contrary to past research, women, people with higher Openness Scores, and students with higher Conscientiousness scores did not evidence higher levels of participation. Surprisingly, higher levels of classroom participation only related to better class performance in Statistics and Applied Behavior Analysis classes. However, students endorsed class participation as important to learning and students may have learned from listening questions asked by other students.

**********

Class participation can help students to perform better in school (e.g., Jalongo, Twiest,Gerlack, & Skoner, 1998). However, assessing class participation as a portion of a gradehas proven amixedblessing. Reported concerns about graded class participation have included difficulty in establishing objective criteria for grading, increased workload on instructors, and students feeling coerced to participate (Armstrong & Boud, 1983; Junn, 1994). On the other hand, reported benefits have included better class preparation (Armstrong & Boud; Dunaway, 2005) and greater mastery of course materials (Beekes, 2006). Given the reported benefits of active classroom participation by students, rates of actual participation have appeared quite low. Jalongo et al. (1998) indicated that approximately 10% of students voluntarily participate in class discussions.

Examination of variables related to classroom participation has suggested that several variables external to the classroom setting may relate to classroom participation. Women and older, nontraditional students participated more in class discussions (Fritschner, 2000; Howard & Henny, 1998). Research using an undergraduate sample suggested that students who reported higher levels of classroom participation also tended to score slightly higher on personality traits of Openness and Conscientiousness (Scepansky & Bjornsen, 2003). Students who participated more reported a higher Learning Orientation toward school and lower levels of Grade Orientation (Scepansky & Bjornsen, 2003).

A token economy can help overcome some of the difficulties associated with assessing classroom participation (Junn, 1994). Boniecki and Moore (2003) reported that the use of a token economy with rewards for correctly answering questions had multiple benefits. In addition to increasing the number of students attempting to answer questions correctly, students also participated more in class discussion and posed their own questions even though these activities earned no reinforcement tokens.

Junn (1994) took a different approach to the token economy by reinforcing classroom participation in the form of asking questions or of contributing to ongoing class discussion. This intervention required students to participate in the classroom discussion at least 20 times over the course of the semester. Student reports indicated that they enjoyed the exercise, it increased their level of classroom participation, and that it helped students to increase participation in classes without the token economy.

Although past research suggested that active classroom participation increased learning, most published research has not directly examined relationships between classroom participation and indices of learning, such as graded course materials. One team learning intervention reported that participation in classroom discussions increased as a result of the intervention, but that this yielded no measurable improvement in learning (Dunaway, 2005). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Exploration of Classroom Participation in the Presence of a Token Economy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.