Effectiveness of the Mystery Motivator intervention in improving math homework completion and accuracy percentages

Date of Completion

January 2000


Education, Mathematics|Education, Elementary|Education, Educational Psychology




This study investigated the effectiveness of the Mystery Motivator intervention as a means to remediate math homework accuracy and completion problems in five fifth-grade students. A single-case ABAB withdrawal design with multiple baselines across classrooms was used. The Mystery Motivator intervention was selected because it has been discussed in professional publications and has been employed successfully in conjunction with other interventions, but it has not been rigorously and adequately studied. It is a relatively simple intervention requiring limited time and is therefore an enticing choice for classroom use. ^ The literature has shown that homework completion and accuracy are important because of their close association with achievement. Additionally, problems with homework-related skills have been shown to be associated with referrals for special education. It is thus logically deduced that the remediation of homework accuracy and completion problems could enhance achievement and alleviate special education referrals. Therefore, interventions such as this one that attempt to increase homework completion and accuracy percentages are important to the field of education. ^ The results of this study showed that the Mystery Motivator intervention was effective on the presenting problem for four of the five students. The fifth student's results were confounded by her participation in an after-school homework club. The intervention was effective across both classrooms and on both dependent variables. Additionally, the students and teachers both rated the intervention positively. ^