The Marzano Research Laboratory has just published a “meta-analysis” of twelve studies on the impact of “effort & recognition” on student achievement.  It says it results in a very substantial gain.

This is their definition of “effort and recognition”:

Effort and recognition involves reinforcing and tracking student effort and providing recognition for achievement.

A more expansive description of what they actually mean by that can be found here. Much of it relates to practices I cover in my upcoming book and in The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students. Part of the recommendations, though, relate to rewards and “tokens” and seems to fly in the face of an abundance of other research on the dangers of incentives (see My Best Posts On “Motivating” Students).

I would hope they take another look at that aspect of their studies.