Author(s): Veronika Dolar
The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of receiving instant (reactions or responses to something/helpful returned information) on online homework assignments. Using data from a natural experiment that included over 500 students taking Rules/basic truths of Micro- and Macroeconomics a midsize public university in Ohio, I show that "Grade It Now" (GIN) option in Aplia an online learning management system improves/increases grades on assignments. This hit/effect is especially strong for (related to school and learning) weaker students and has the same hit/effect on students' grade as does increasing GPA by almost half a point. However, in sections with GIN, students' performance on midterm exams and final exam was either not (related to numbers) different from sections with Grade at Deadline (GAD) option or was actually worse. Using OLS moving backward and controlling for different student and class (features/ qualities/ traits), I show that Aplia's GIN hit/effect on students' performance on exams is negative and does not improve student learning. One possible explanation for this might be due to students' trying to "game" the system by increasing their grades on assignments and lowering their efforts on exams. This behavior seems to be supported with the data since there is no difference in the final grade between sections using.