The motivational and performance effects of extra credit

Extra credit is very common in marketing education today, as it is in disciplines across campus. In fact, a great majority of faculty report using it at one time or another (Hill et al. 1993). Faculty may offer extra credit for a variety of purposes. For instance, extra credit points may serve as a reward to encourage students to put in extra effort or to learn a topic in greater depth. They are also commonly used as an incentive for obtaining student subjects to participate in research (Leak 1981). Extra credit comes in other forms and is offered outside of the classroom curriculum as well. Business schools will many times offer marketing honors courses to students who want the extra challenge. There are also consulting projects with real clients as well as internships that may be parts of culminating projects, all of which can be thought of as a form of 'extra credit' for students if they are not a mandatory part of the curriculum. For such a common part of the marketing educational curriculum, we know surprisingly little about its impact on students.