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Engagement in an online library class: using extra credit activities to encourage student interaction

Kimberly T. Foster (Coastal Carolina University, Kimbel Library, Conway, South Carolina, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 6 May 2021

Issue publication date: 19 July 2021




Student engagement can be a difficult thing to nurture in an online, asynchronous course. This paper aims to try to encourage a student interaction in such a course, one that additionally is not a requirement for any major or general education plan, the author argues that using extra credit activities can increase student interaction and engagement.


Students were given the opportunity to complete extra credit activities of several different types for a small number of extra credit points, the total of which was 5% of the students’ grade in the course. Activities included solo activities, such as playing short online information literacy games and collaborative activities that included posting and responding in a discussion forum.


The results were disappointing; only 2 out of 17 students in the sample completed extra credit activities, and those that did so would have received high grades whether or not they completed extra credit. This may be due to the low number of extra credit points available per activity, lack of motivation and other issues. Further study on this topic could help resolve these issues.


While the results of this study were not what was hoped for, the results and methods may be useful for other instructors of online, for-credit library classes looking for new ways to engage with students.



Foster, K.T. (2021), "Engagement in an online library class: using extra credit activities to encourage student interaction", Reference Services Review, Vol. 49 No. 2, pp. 151-162.



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