Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Markets in Everything: Betting on Grades

Inside Higher Ed -- "Ultrinsic, which is one year old and still in its beta phase, invites college students to make bets on whether they can make or exceed a certain grade in a course. If a student makes the grade, Ultrinsic pays him according to the calculated handicap; if not, the student pays the company."

Chronicle of Higher Education -- "A Web site called Ultrinsic tries to make the rewards of studying more immediate. Students can make a small bet on how well they'll do in a course, with a starting limit of $25 on how much they can earn. The students contribute a chunk of the money, and Ultrinsic puts up the rest. If they make the grade, they win it all. If they don't, the students lose what they put in. And the higher students set their sights for their own academic performance, the bigger the payoff."

See also Marginal Revolution.


At 8/11/2010 10:22 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

From the Ultrinsic site:

"Ultrinsic Defined:
ULTRINSIC is an ULTerior motivation that produces intRINSIC love of knowledge."

Not only does Ultrinsic provide monetary incentives, that produce "love of knowledge", it also provides course and GPA insurance. This might seem like a paradox but it's probably the second side of the same coin!

What coin is that? The reward that comes naturally which almost all of us have -- physic reward to do better independent of monetary compensation. This is a major theme in Daniel Pink's book Drive that I am currently reading. The Ultrinsic guys probably know that the intrinsic component already exists!


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