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The Trading Card Effect
Mustang Journal of Law and Legal Studies (2014)
  • Adam Epstein, Central Michigan University

The purpose of this article is to demonstrate a teaching method that I have used for the last several years and have found to be effective particularly during the challenging final weeks of the semester. I reward students with trading cards for answering questions currently during an unannounced quiz to provide positive reinforcement in an engaging way. Students ultimately form teams and receive a relevant and classic football, baseball, basketball, hockey, or other trading card that they can keep as a souvenir to the class and the course. The intent is to give something to the students directly relevant to the subject matter at hand, at a relatively minimal cost, something easily portable, and hopefully something that could be cherished for years after graduation. While many of today’s students might view sports trading cards as an antiquated hobby by a previous generation, I have found that the majority of the students appreciate the gesture, receiving something that day to think about other than homework. The Trading Card Effect reinforces successful and scientific pedagogical approaches including working in teams among an active-learning environment. This article summarizes my teaching method, observations and formal assessment from a pedagogical perspective. I hope that it could serve as a basis for others to consider ways to engage students during the final push to the end of the term in their own way.

  • Teaching,
  • sports law,
  • trading cards,
  • active learning,
  • pedagogy,
  • best practices,
  • cooperative learning,
  • collaboration,
  • brain-based learning,
  • enhancing learning,
  • assessment,
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB).
Publication Date
April, 2014
Citation Information
Adam Epstein. "The Trading Card Effect" Mustang Journal of Law and Legal Studies Vol. 6 (2014)
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