Can grading systems influence the motivation of students in further eductaion

It is hard therefore to determine the extent of the effect of the grades on the student’s motivation. Grades are positive reinforcers that could increase the probability of the behaviour that produced the consequence of reoccurring.
He sees grades as powerful judges of students’ success or failure. But he also suggests that grades have limitations as motivators. He discusses research that suggests that grades can interfere with the learning process and the quality of learning when students are only working to get the grade and therefore decrease intrinsic motivation. He even cited research that showed that “good” grades could also create unmotivated students.
Since grades have variable effects on student motivations, Docan suggests that the way the grades are offered may determine the effect on student motivation. The common systems used include competency-based or criterion based grading where students are graded on achieving a certain competency in skills, and the point systems where students earn points for completing work. He cites Bressette (2002) who found that the use of a plus/minus system serves as an “excellent motivator for students to continue strong efforts on all assignments and examinations right up to the last day of classes”. It was also reported that fear of moving to a lower grade from lack of effort might also motivate the student.
The debate of whether grades and any grading system can act as motivators for students continues with Chulkov (2006) who posits that the design of the grading system is not important in motivating the student. Part of his argument is connected to intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. He believes that though grades may provide some extrinsic motivation, they have no power over students who are intrinsically motivated. In this study where grades were used to motivate students to complete coursework, it was found that

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