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Extra Credit Assignment Ideas that Support Student Learning

Classroom Management , Project-Based Learning , Writing

Close to the end of the semester, you likely get requests from students to complete extra credit assignments. You might be looking for extra credit assignment ideas , or maybe you’re wondering if extra credit should be allowed in the first place. Maybe you find last-minute requests annoying – grading extra credit projects can be frustrating and confusing! In this blog post, I’ll share some reasons to consider extra credit in your classroom. It can be an enriching learning opportunity for your students. You’ll also receive some examples of extra credit assignments , along with some strategies to stay organized with extra credit assignments.

Is Extra Credit a Good Thing?

Not everyone agrees that students deserve extra credit. Many teachers believe in only assigning “regular” credit. Sometimes the top performers in our class request the opportunity to boost their grades. Oftentimes, students who have unfinished assignments or lower grades request extra credit too. Teachers who do not assign extra credit often decline these requests to emphasize the importance of turning in regular assignments on time .

Meanwhile, some teachers do not assign extra credit because their schools do not allow it. School-wide policies may not permit extra credit in order to promote equitable grading practices. Before you decide whether or not you will offer extra credit, be sure to check your school’s policy.

Assigning extra credit in English Language Arts

Equitable Extra Credit Policies

Another place to consult before assigning extra credit is with any staff that teaches the same course as you. If either one of you approaches extra credit differently, your students may interpret this as inequitable . One of the main reasons that teachers believe students do not deserve extra credit is that it is unethical. There are ways to ensure that extra credit is equitable, but you will need to ensure that your colleagues are in agreement .

Students deserve extra credit when it is an opportunity offered to everyone . To ensure that your policies are ethical and equitable, do not assign extra credit on a case-by-case basis. This does not mean that everyone needs to complete an extra credit assignment. This also does not mean that every extra credit assignment needs to be the same. Equity is about access . Case-by-case simply implies that you should not approve extra credit for one student and deny it for another – unless there is a valid reason to do so.

Whether you believe students deserve extra credit or not, be sure to include your policy in your syllabus . If you allow extra credit, you may also wish to note your requirements. These can include when and how to request extra credit opportunities. Mondays Made Easy includes an Extra Credit Application with our Editable Full Course Syllabus Template .

Why Should Teachers Give Extra Credit?

Teachers should give extra credit if they support differentiation for students. When implemented properly, extra credit assignments can be a fantastic way to differentiate for different learner profiles. Many teachers hold the belief that a student’s grade in a course should reflect their understanding of the curriculum. In an equitable setting, there should be several opportunities to demonstrate that understanding.

There are multiple reasons why a student may perform poorly on an assessment. There are also multiple factors that may prevent students from being present in class or turning in work on time. Extra credit assignments, when assigned to correlate with your curriculum requirements and course expectations, provide students with another opportunity to meet course standards .

This is especially true if the extra credit is able to assess learning goals while catering to different learning styles . I saw a great example the other day of a student who baked a literal cake of symbolic elements from The Great Gatsby. Their write-up described the literary elements in the novel in relation to the cake: from rum-flavored icing to pearl necklace piping, this culinary creation fused course requirements with the student’s passion!

How to manage extra credit assignment in High School ELA

Tips for Assigning Extra Credit

One reason why teachers hate extra credit is that it can be a real headache! Keeping track of extra credit assignments and due dates requires additional effort on our part. On top of that, grading additional assignments around report card time is stressful. Thankfully, these hardships are minimized with a simple system in place.

Mondays Made Easy’s FREE Extra Credit Application is a great tool to help you keep track of extra credit assignments and requests. Students typically ask for extra credit in person; an application provides a paper trail for these conversations. Additionally, an application provides space to note assignment instructions and due dates – if your students are anything like mine, they might need a reminder about these details.

Extra credit applications can also double as a metacognitive reflection tool . I often have students explain why they need the extra credit in the first place. This provides them the opportunity to reflect on their performance and participation in the course. If the same student repeatedly asks for extra credit in your class, it can also be useful to have a record of each request . This can provide you both with documentation to discuss the student’s habits and performance.

A final reason why I love using extra credit applications is that they encourage students to be proactive . I introduce my extra credit application with my syllabus at the start of the course. I notify students that I require extra credit applications to be submitted three weeks before report cards. This sets the expectation that extra credit requests should not be made last minute. I also schedule assignments to be turned in before grades are finalized. This eliminates any last-minute grading .

Extra Credit Assignment Ideas for English Class

To simplify extra credit assignment ideas, you can adopt the popular approach of offering an assignment re-do to students. This is the easiest way to avoid additional grading while accommodating extra credit requests.

Another approach to extra credit that requires very little assessment is to implement a pass system . At the start of the semester, you can provide each student with a number of passes. For example, each student might receive three hallway passes and one late pass. In order to receive extra credit, students must have all of their passes remaining at the end of the semester. If your school policy allows, you can give students bonus points for simply showing up to class on time and avoiding hallway distractions.

For novel studies , you can offer students the opportunity to create a movie trailer. This example for an extra credit assignment idea requires a bit of effort, but it is a great alternative assessment for older students . A movie trailer will prompt students to avoid simple plot summaries and establish characterization and theme. To facilitate this assignment, Mondays Made Easy offers a Movie Trailer Project Outline and Rubric .

If your students have written research essays , you can offer them the opportunity to turn their work into a “ real-world resource .” A “real-world resource” is any type of media or document that delivers students’ research to the general public. This example of an extra credit assignment is a great opportunity for differentiation because it allows students to be creative and select any medium they like. Mondays Made Easy also offers a Real-World Resource Assignment Outline and Rubric .

High School ELA extra credit assignment ideas

Aligning Extra Credit Assignment Ideas with Your Curriculum

When it comes to selecting an extra credit assignment idea, the most important consideration should be how the assignment aligns with your curriculum. If you’re not sure what to assign for extra credit, one option could be to review the student’s performance . If they scored low on a particular assessment, it would make sense to opt for an assignment that covers similar curriculum strands .

For example, the Common Core State Standards require students to “write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence” ( English Language Arts Standards – Writing – Grade 9-10 ). If your student requesting extra credit scored lowest on an assessment for this strand, it would not be best practice to assess an argumentative writing assignment.

Mondays Made Easy’s Extra Credit Application prompts students to reflect on their performance in your course. It also offers them the opportunity to suggest extra credit assignment ideas . Oftentimes, students are able to recommend an assignment idea that evaluates similar skills to those that were evaluated poorly on a previous assessment. If their recommendation doesn’t align, you can facilitate a conversation to guide them in the right direction. This is a great way to implement differentiation and student choice . It also enables you to incorporate your students’ examples of extra credit assignments into your curriculum. Students have great ideas, and I’ve benefitted from reusing their suggestions with future classes!

Assigning extra credit in English language arts

Extra Credit Assignment Ideas: Important Takeaways

Assigning extra credit remains a matter of personal preference. You know what works best for your students, and your professional discretion will best determine whether or not extra credit is an opportunity that they need. As mentioned, it is best to check if your approach aligns with your school policy and your colleagues’ practices. If you do decide to offer your students extra credit assignments , I hope that the suggestions and ideas in this blog post support you in your efforts!

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Five Extra Credit Activities That Promote Engaged Learning

5 Extra Credit Activities That Promote Engaged Learning

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The end of the semester is approaching quickly. Only two more weeks of coursework before finals week arrives. At this point of the semester, it’s not uncommon to receive requests for extra credit opportunities. I’ve never received an extra credit request from a student, though, because I build in multiple opportunities into the semester. There’s a lot of debate over whether extra credit should be an option in the classroom. Personally, I believe that if students are willing to put in extra effort to complete additional work, then they should have that opportunity. I’m more than willing to allow students to increase their project grades by a few points by completing additional activities that require students to deepen their understanding and abilities to apply what they’ve learned. Here are five forms of extra credit activities I offer in my various courses. [ A video version of this information is included at the end of this post, too!]

Responses to Classmates’ Work

In my literature courses , my students are required to complete 3-5 literary analysis discussion posts throughout the semester. They post them using our LMS forums tool. The forums are set to not allow students to read earlier posts in a specific forum until they themselves have submitted a post. At that point, the rest of the posts are revealed and they are free to reply to them. Once the deadline for a post passes, I change the setting so that all students can see the posts even if they did not complete one. Students have at least double the number of possible forums to post to than required of them, so they can pick which required texts they are most interested in analyzing before they are discussed in class.

As this is a digital assignment that all students easily have access to via our course website, I always include an extra credit opportunity at the end of the assignment sheet. Students were required to complete 3 posts in this semester’s ENG170 . The assignment equates to 15% of the student’s course grade. With this grade dynamic in mind, my students could receive up to 10 points extra credit on individual posts by completing the activity below. The language that follows is copied directly from my assignment sheet:

Extra Credit: Up to 10 points total

  • Additional quote(s) and analysis that support their points
  • Additional analysis of the quote(s) they used that further support their points
  • Quote(s) and analysis that can counter their points
  • Additional analysis of the quote(s) they used that counter their points
  • A discussion of why their points/arguments are significant
  • There is no word requirement for these comments. The detail you put into them and/or the points you make in them will equate to the amount of points you receive for each comment. Once you receive 10 points total, you will not be able to receive more of this extra credit, though additional comments can help with your participation grade in a manner similar to the Discussion Addition forums.

Very few students tend to take advantage of this extra credit opportunity, but I offer it every time I use this assignment. The students aren’t required to reply to classmates who submitted a post to the same forums they did. So, while a student might not have written a post about El Deafo , this extra credit activity gives them the chance to earn points by thinking further on a text that they originally passed on analyzing in written form. If they do respond to a post from a forum they chose earlier in the semester, then they’ve chosen to approach a text they’ve analyzed from an angle they might not have thought about on their own. In either case, students gain more literary analysis writing skills and work on rhetorically responding to someone else’s analysis rather than just always writing their own without any concern to the complications of collaborative writing.

Creative Project

This extra credit activity is posted during Week 1, but it’s not due until the last day of class. In contrast to the activity above, this project is not attached to any one assignment. For my children’s literature courses, this activity takes on the form of creating a picture book or first chapter of a graphic novel. In my YA literature course , they have the option of writing a piece of fanfiction based on one of our required texts. Here’s the assignment from my ENG170 course:

Step 1: Create a picture book or graphic novel chapter

You can work with one partner or by yourself. The picture book should be at least 14 pages long; the graphic novel at least 8 pages in length. The picture book can be a narrative or concept book. Your intended audience should be children, though you can pick any age group. It should be designed to look like a picture book or graphic novel (front cover to back cover, not just the story). 

Step 2: Write a Reflection

Write a short reflection (400 words or more). In it, discuss topics like how you came up with the idea for your book, why you decided to create this idea, why you designed the book the way you did (colors, shape, materials, etc.), what message(s) you want (or don’t want) your reader to get from the book, etc. Submit this reflection into the “Extra Credit Project” assignment link. If you work with a partner, each of you must write a reflection.

This project is much more popular with my students. Most complete the project without a partner, but I’ve seen some amazing writer and illustrator pairs. Most tend to create a narrative picture book. Graphic novel chapters are very rare. Students can earn up to 5 points extra credit on an exam by completing this activity, depending on the detail of their reflection and effort in creating their children’s text. We spend so much time analyzing the content and design of visual texts. This activity allows students to learn first hand just how hard creating these texts can be. Putting in the effort to experience this creative process and reflect on it is worth adding a few points to an exam that they might have struggled with because of how much information is included in this prerequisite course.

Digital Project

A new extra credit activity I offered this semester is the “class blog” project. Our LMS has a blog tool that allows students to construct a collaborative blog on our class website (so there is no need to grapple with creating their own blog or posting to the online public). So far, no student has posted to the blog. But, they have three more weeks to post. Here’s the assignment description I created for my students:

You can blog about anything related to children’s literature/media and culture. There is no word requirement for these blog posts. You can post as many as you want and include as much detail as you want. The more detail/depth you include in the posts, the more points you will earn. Just make sure it’s your own writing, and if you cite someone else in your posts, make sure to credit them. Once you receive the 5 points available for this extra credit, additional posts can function similarly to the discussion addition forum posts in regard to improving your participation grade. Here are some ideas for what you can blog about, though you might come up with other ideas:

  • Children’s literature book reviews
  • Children’s movie reviews
  • Children’s app reviews
  • Your thoughts/opinions about something going on in the media that connects to children’s texts or children in general
  • Your experiences reading to children at a library or at home
  • Your childhood memories of reading/watching one of the texts we’re reading for class
  • Your ideas for how you’d teach a children’s text in your future classrooms

You can also reply to others’ blog posts. It’ll likely be harder to earn the same amount of points in comparison to creating your own, but replying is an option for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable creating their own posts. If your post inspires a lot of comments, this community response can also increase the amount of points you earn for that post.

Like the creative project, students can earn up to five points extra credit on an exam by completing this activity. In adding this activity, my hope was to inspire students to connect our class to the world outside the classroom. I consider what I teach to be incredibly relevant to my students’ lives outside the classroom. Getting students to have that same belief can be difficult, so I created this extra credit opportunity so that students would have reason to put in extra effort to make these connections. I’m curious to see if any student will do so in the coming weeks.

Event Attendance and “Takeaways” Response

ISU’s English department hosts the Lois Lenski Lecture every spring semester. We invite a children’s and/or young adult literature scholar to speak at our campus and host a Q&A session after their talk. I’ve learned so much from these presentations, and always mention them to my children’s and ya literature students. I also offer extra credit if they attend the event and write up a “takeaways response” to it that night. They submit them digitally by midnight, or just turn it in physically at the lecture.

This semester, my students have the option of exploring a children’s literature display at our university library. A special collections display was created by students in a graduate course. If my students explore it and write up a response to it, they can receive a few extra credit points were they most need it (up to 3, depending on the detail in their response). They had two weeks to complete this activity. Fewer than a handful did so. This activity and other events are great for helping students see how others outside the classroom study and use children’s and YA literature. Note: The takeaways can’t just be regurgitated facts. Students have to reflect and metacognitively respond to what they’ve heard/seen during the event.

Aesthetic Additions

I include this option when students complete a highly visual project. For the picture book festival activity I’ve used in past ENG170 sections, students could increase their poster grade by up to five points depending on the effort they put into designing their posters. All students were automatically eligible for earning these points. Students could earn a high grade as long as they included all the required material on their poster. But, if their posters’ design aesthetic was well thought out, extra credit points could be earned. Some students focused on emphasizing the content of their text (crafting a tree on a The Giving Tree poster), while others focused on the medium (designing their poster as a TV screen when analyzing Gilmore Girls ). Most students tend to receive only a point or two for this extra credit opportunity, but I’ve been amazed by the thought and effort put into a few poster designs over the years. It livens up my grading experience at the end of the semester too, which is always welcome.

Final Thoughts

Of the five activities listed above, four were options in this semester’s ENG 170 course. Giving my students the chance to earn up to 23 extra credit points likely seems excessive to some of you reading this post. Here are a few points I’d like for you to keep in mind, especially if you’re considering what extra credit activities you might want to offer next semester: 1. In a 30 student course, usually less than half the students will attempt even one of the extra credit options. 2. Less than a third will attempt more than one option, and they are often the ones that don’t even need extra credit. 3. It’s rare for a student to earn the max number of points for any of the activities because of how much extra effort and work I expect from them in order to gain these points. 4. The only activity that creates the opportunity to gain 10 points is the forum posts extra credit. These points are added to individual posts rather than to the activity grade as a whole. In this specific case, one post equates to just 5% of their overall course grade. 5. If students are willing to put in the extra time and effort, and the activities actually require them to learn something, why not offer them the opportunity for engaging in additional ways with the course material?

I’ve never regretted including extra credit options in my courses. Few students take me up on my offers, and a bump up in their overall grade definitely isn’t guaranteed. But, by having these activities in my course design, I’m making clear to my students that hard work will be rewarded and that doing poorly on one assignment doesn’t mean they’ve done irrevocable damage to their course grade > GPA > financial aid/grad applications. Even one offer of extra credit can demonstrate to students that we as instructors understand that sometimes they need an extra chance to show their willingness to put in the effort to learn and grow. Why not give them that chance?

>>If you’d like to download a PDF that lists the various extra credit activities described above (and a few other activity ideas!), just subscribe to my blog. You’ll receive access to all my blog-related PDFs and will receive an email every time a new blog post goes up!<<

Do you include extra credit opportunities in your courses? If so, share what activities you offer in the comments section below!

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February 18, 2020 at 4:15 PM

Awesome suggestions!

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February 20, 2020 at 2:20 PM

I’m glad you like them!

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2019 Extra Credit Ideas

extra credit assignment english

You’ve officially made it past the halfway point of the school year! As we near the summer months and the end of the current grade level for your students, you’re likely to start hearing requests for extra credit assignments. Students tend to get into panic mode around March and April and start stressing about their final grades. While some teachers don’t offer extra credit, it can be a great bonus for some students who are extra hard-working or who might need a little extra help at the end of the year. No matter what reason you have for offering extra credit ideas this year, take a look at some of our top ideas to implement in your classroom this spring.

Current Events Report

This is great for a social studies class especially but can be used in any subject. Have your students research a current event and write a report on it. It’s up to you if you allow them to use sensitive or political subjects, but be sure to lay out the guidelines for them on what you require. You may have them utilize various sources to research it, such as an oral news report, a written news report, an interview, and so on. This could be something that goes along with a unit you’re doing in class, or it can simply be a way to get your students involved in real-world events.

Business Letter

Especially great for language arts classes, having your students write a business letter is a great extra credit assignment. Have them pick a real business and write a letter to them about anything they choose. They can write to a candy company requesting samples for the class, they can write to a corporation about an issue they see with the company, or they can write to a sports organization asking about how they run their company. Ensure they are given appropriate guidelines on how to write a business letter and have them send the letter once it’s graded to see if they get a response.

Children’s Book

Writing a children’s book may sound easy, and students often enjoy it, but it tends to be more difficult than many of them realize. Whether you’re an English teacher or not, your students will gain a lot from writing a children’s book as an extra credit assignment. If you teach science or social studies, have them write about a particular concept they learned in class and explain it as thoroughly to a young audience as they can. It’s up to you whether you allow them to use digital images or if you require them to illustrate the book themselves.

Science Fair Project

Some schools require students to participate in the science fair, but if yours isn’t one of them, you can offer extra credit to your science students when they do a science fair project. Make sure they have the guidelines and requirements before they begin, and make sure their project idea and science experiment is approved before they start the process. It should be graded as an extra credit assignment in the same way that it’s graded as a science fair project, including all the requirements of the scientific method, pictures, and a completed display board.

Off-Campus Lecture

Encourage students to attend a lecture, performance, or conference off-campus to learn about something they’re studying in class. You can have them bring you a ticket stub and have them write up a review of the event and tell you what they learned. You can search your local area for academic events with college professors, authors, and more. Better yet, have your students research some local events that would be beneficial to them and get approval for a particular event.

Test Corrections

This is a common extra credit assignment. It’s easy for you to grade, and it is extremely beneficial for students. Let them take their old tests and go back through and rework the questions they got wrong. If you can manage it, it’s best to have them do this in class, where they can’t just borrow a friend’s test and copy the answers. Even better, have them explain what they did wrong (if applicable) and have them do another similar problem to prove that they’ve mastered the concept and skill that they originally got incorrect.

School Event Attendance

This isn’t so much of an academic assignment as it is a school spirit activity. Your school likely has a number of events going on, including concerts, plays, sporting events, and more. Have your students pick one to attend, bring you the ticket from it, and write about the event. This not only encourages school spirit and camaraderie amongst students, but it might also help students get involved in a club or activity they wouldn’t have otherwise known about.

Movie Review

You might need to set strict guidelines for this one, but this can be a fascinating extra-credit assignment, especially for social studies students. Have students pick a movie based on a true story—the easiest thing to do is have them find one about a historical event. Then they watch the movie and compare the events in the movie to the true events that occurred in history. Some examples might be Titanic, Pearl Harbor, Schindler’s List, Troy, and Gettysburg. Make sure the movies are age-appropriate for your students and that your students have parental permission to see them.

Social Media Profile

Another great idea for social studies classes is to have your students set up a social media profile for a historical figure. Have them create a biography for the individual, including an “About” page that lists the individual’s experiences, favorite things, family, etc. Be sure they include job information, hometown, and more.

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  • Spotlight on Extra Credit

A Sample of Extra Credit Assignments

  • By Maryellen Weimer
  • October 12, 2020

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Using Extra Credit Effectively

Should instructors offer extra credit? Some believe it makes students lazy and more likely to want to make up material only after they have missed it. While extra credit can certainly have this effect on students, well-designed extra credit assignments can have a range of benefits instead. I always use extra credit in my courses rather than scaling grades, dropping the lowest grade, or assigning ad hoc assignments at the end of the semester to boost students’ grades. I apply several strategies when creating extra credit to make it a meaningful and enriching part of students’ experience in my courses.

Well-designed extra credit assignments have the following benefits for students and the instructor.

  • Students engage with the material beyond the assigned coursework, which helps reinforce their understanding of concepts taught in class.
  • Students have more agency in working toward the final grade they want to achieve. Rather than taking action myself to boost student grades, I give students the opportunity to improve their course performance if they wish.
  • Assigning extra credit enables me to avoid the dreaded question, "Can I do anything to improve my final grade?" The few times I am asked for more lenience, I have a fair answer: "All students had the same opportunities for extra credit during the course. There is no 'extra' extra credit." The ball is in the students' court; I am just the recordkeeper.

I use the following strategies to create effective extra credit assignments.

  • All students are given the same opportunities for extra credit so that everyone has an equal chance to improve their grade. This is stressed on the syllabus and throughout the course.
  • Extra credit point values can be flexible. Mine are based on the nature of the assignment and the amount of extra credit the class needs as a whole.
  • I assign extra credit regularly during the semester rather than waiting until the end of the semester. Students have an opportunity to submit extra credit at predictable intervals, which helps them keep their interest in the course and avoid anxiety about their final grade.

Types of Extra Credit

A wide range of work can be assigned as extra credit – it's really up to the instructor's imagination! My extra credit assignments fall into two categories:

  • additional problems – I assign these in my linguistics courses to give students more practice with difficult concepts and methods of analysis.
  • engaging applications – I create fun assignments that apply ideas covered in class. Basically anything goes as long as it’s relevant for the course! I have assigned Moodle surveys , interviews of individuals in the student’s social circle, discussion forums with thought-provoking questions, reflections about online videos or articles, and educational activities on websites that tie into course themes. (Consider using H5P in Moodle to create some of your extra credit activities. e-LIS has H5P help documents to assist you, or contact the e-LIS ID team for a one-on-one consultation .)

Viewing extra credit as a positive component to include in your course opens up a useful additional avenue to increase student learning. Methodically and creatively designing extra credit that fits with course themes is an excellent way to give students supplementary practice with course material and further opportunities to see applications of course material in the real world. Extra credit assignments might even take more effort than regular homework, but if they are well-designed, students will be happy to do them!

Save and adapt a Google Doc version of this teaching tip.

About the Author

Helena Riha teaches Linguistics and International Studies. She has taught over 3,300 students at OU in 16 different courses and is currently developing a new online General Education course. Helena is the 2016 winner of the OU Excellence in Teaching Award. This is her thirteenth teaching tip. Outside of the classroom, Helena enjoys watching her sixth grader design his own Lego creations.

Edited and designed by Christina Moore, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Oakland University. Others may share and adapt under Creative Commons License CC BY-NC .  View all CETL Weekly Teaching Tips . 

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Extra Credit Assignments: An Innovative Approach

  • February 3, 2010
  • Tena Long Golding, PhD

My students are always asking for opportunities to earn bonus points. I offer a variety of assignments during the semester, but they still want bonus points, which they seem to think are easier to obtain than the required points. Generally, I’m opposed to bonus options because I feel that if students are struggling with the current assignments, they do not need an “extra” assignment for extra credit. In addition, the word “bonus” seems to suggest something for nothing. I want my students to realize that grades are earned, not given. However, I recently tried a bonus activity that benefited my students and also met my expectations for a substantive learning experience.

The end of the spring semester correlates with increased absences and assignment apathy. The weather is beautiful, my classes are in the afternoon, and student attendance drops. In addition, students in my classes are preservice teachers who must do a minimum number of field observations in area schools before the end of the semester. Those who have procrastinated start feeling the crunch and begin to miss class in order to complete the required number of hours. Those attending class often arrive unprepared. Clearly, this is not the easiest time of the year for teaching.

In a mathematics class for prospective elementary teachers, we had been working on a particular section for several class sessions, so students had more time than usual to complete the homework assignment. On the day this homework was to be discussed, I decided to offer a bonus activity. I created a sheet with 11 problems that applied many of the concepts we had covered in previous class sessions.

Students could earn one point for each problem solved correctly. The problems had to be worked out during the allotted class time, and students could not begin working until a trade had occurred—the bonus sheet in exchange for completed homework. This trade made the students accountable for previously assigned work and removed my fear of giving them something for nothing. Students who had not completed the assignment had less time for the bonus opportunity because they had homework to finish up first.

An interesting classroom dynamic occurred after I explained how this bonus opportunity worked. Many of the students with their homework done began helping students who had not been able to work through all the homework problems. Students who had not even started the homework began to work diligently in order to have even a little bonus time. As I walked around the room, I heard not only the buzz of mathematics but also comments like “I told Julie she shouldn’t miss class” and “I knew I should’ve done my homework!”

I want students to be successful in and out of the classroom. This means learning the mathematics we’re covering in the course. But I also want students to realize they are ultimately responsible for their own learning and accountable for their actions. The bonus problems reviewed concepts that the students needed to know and understand. By design, the activity reinforced the responsibility of students to complete assigned homework. Since the only students who received few or no points were the students who missed class or had not completed the homework assignment, the lack of bonus points earned was not the fault of the teacher (e.g., test too hard, too long) but rather the consequence of a personal decision.

The bonus activity was a success and is a practice I’ll repeat. My students were delighted with the opportunity, and I was guilt-free. The activity let students know that I am sensitive to their needs and ideas, but it also showed how a missed class is a missed opportunity—and that doing your homework pays off!

Tena Long Golding, is an associate professor of mathematics at Southeastern Louisiana University.

Excerpted from Bonuses of a Bonus Assignment! The Teaching Professor, June-July 2008.

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Extra Credit: To Give or Not to Give – That is the Question

By Michelle Read, Ph.D.; Katherine Fugate, Ph.D.

Snapshot: This article discusses the pros and cons of utilizing extra credit with your students. Both authors have utilized extra credit in the courses they teach. Moreover, the article presents various ways to add extra credit points in the Canvas LMS.

There are a variety of reasons why one might want to assign extra credit for students. However, the use of extra credit in higher education has been a topic of debate for decades.

InsideHigherEd.com ran two articles on this topic, each expressing opposing views on the matter.

Interestingly, the sociology professor used to feel the same way as the English professor until she designed an extra credit assignment that not only complemented the course goals, but, as she said, “enriched” student learning with very current, relevant events which required not only attendance but also reflection in order to earn the optional extra points. These types of extra credit options do not serve to replace an assignment or assignments, instead they allow for additional learning opportunities. While the English professor acknowledges the reality of students’ lives, he does not, however, allow these realities to impact his instructional practices. It is important to recognize and address that in this past year of COVID, educators have hopefully learned how valuable and necessary flexibility in due dates can be. Opportunities for students to maintain their typical average-to-above-average grades via extra credit assignments can be vital to student success and overall morale during turbulent times, such as a pandemic or personal tragedy in the individual’s life. Often times, flexibility in due dates also provide benefit to instructors. Just because one is an instructor, this title does not preclude them from contending with these same realities of life. Sometimes the need for extra credit is not to pass the course due to missed assignments, but augment low scores on the assignments. It is also important to note, that students may simply be trying to boost their totals to the next grade level to improve their GPA or to meet their major’s program requirements. The option to take advantage of extra credit opportunities is the student’s; the job of the instructor is to make any extra credit opportunities relevant, meaningful, and aligned to course goals and objectives.

In 1993, Norcross et al., conducted a study interviewing instructors to determine why they would or would not offer extra credit. Reasons for offering extra credit included the following:

  • Reduces student anxiety and builds confidence.
  • Extra credit can be a second opportunity to learn the content.
  • Some need a second time to learn and engage with the content in order to master the material.
  • Capitalize on the student’s current degree of motivation. In doing the extra credit, they will learn.

There were also valid reasons noted for not providing opportunities to earn extra credit:

  • Reinforces tendencies to not work hard if students know extra credit is an option.
  • Time spent on extra credit means less time spent on regular assignments.
  • If too easy to complete, extra credit reduces course academic standards and rigor.
  • It’s unfair to those who did the assignments and did well.
  • More work on the instructors’ part to create and/or grade extra credit assignments.

It is easy to see that the arguments from each of these professors correlate with what faculty have been debating for years. The sociology professor expands on these benefits by making her extra credit possibilities available for everyone and designs them to be specifically relevant to the content as an optional extension of, as opposed to a substitute to, what is already provided to students for understanding the content.

What constitutes a “good” extra credit assignment?

As with whether or not to  allow extra credit is considered good practice, the opinions on what types of extra credit are valuable is also debatable. The following list are some suggestions gathered from various resources, my own experiences, and from my work with faculty in designing their online/hybrid courses:

  • Add opportunities to earn “professional” points when replying to peers’ initial discussion responses. Often, we do not give students any direction in how to do that. Guidance is helpful and will get you more than “Atta boy” from peers. You can ask repliers to make connections that require higher order thinking skills by asking questions or analyzing the content and critiquing it, while also making it necessary to provide additional resources that support or refute their claims, etc. As an instructor, I provide professional points for extra replies, extra resources, going back and answering questions posed to the original posters by their peers, etc. I try to promote ongoing discussions, furthering the goal of having enriching and meaningful learning opportunities.
  • Adding extensions to assignments may come across as more work, and it is, but it is meaningful, relevant work and provides the opportunities to make up for points lost from their original submission.
  • Provide additional, optional creative assignments. For example, I offer my students an extra credit assignment in which they create a video that offers advice to students who come after them. My students are often in their graduating semester, so the advice is for the next group of graduating seniors and advises them on various aspects of life after graduation.
  • Optional blog assignments. Have students reflect and write about topics from your class.
  • Suggest students attend events related to the course content. For example, when I was an undergrad (here at Texas State), my music theory professor had us attend a symphony to earn extra credit. I don’t recall him having us write a reflection, as the sociology teacher above did, but it would’ve been a good idea. “Did you like the symphony, why or why not?” would be a great starting point. You can add specific questions to prompt their reflection that tie into your course objectives.
  • Extra creativity points. Allow for extra credit points on any creative assignment. Often students will do the bare minimum to make their project look good, but they’ll likely do more if they know you’re looking to provide points for extra appeal, wow factor, etc.
  • Revise and explain. When a student does poorly on an assignment or exam, give them the opportunity to revise or correct and then explain their change in answers. If they were provided answers on the test, have them prepare a presentation and/or video that teaches the concept to earn back points.
  • Video-record a science experiment. If you teach science or other subjects with demonstrations and don’t normally have students record themselves doing an experiment or demonstrating an activity, consider having them record themselves doing one for extra credit. They could do this by screen-recording if it is an activity completed on the computer or use their phones or use other recording devices.
  • Book reports. An oldy, but a goody, often used in K-12, can work in higher education as well. You could also give the students options such as doing one as a paper, as a presentation/video, etc.
  • Service work. Allow students to volunteer. The volunteer work should be something that would apply concepts learned in class or at least the opportunity to observe the concept’s application.
  • To ensure rigor particularly for upper division or graduate courses, have students take the concepts and topics and explain/teach them for a layperson, someone who has not studied the discipline. This could be done via presentations, and/or videos. You could even tie in the points to how well received the project was by recipients via a satisfaction poll or have them create quiz questions. The latter of course, would require that someone volunteer to be the audience.
  • In addition, for upper division or graduate students, have students do a case study analyzing a provided case that is relevant to their profession. For example, have an education student in a class management course analyze a video-based case study looking for specific events, such as poor behavior, not noticed by the teacher.

You may have noticed that any one of these examples, would actually serve as really great assignments too. Does it require extra work on your part as well? Probably. Grading is always going to take your time. Only you as the instructor can decide if doing so is worth your time and is providing meaningful learning experiences for your student(s) who need that extra support.

Ways to add extra credit using the Canvas LMS system

For specific instructions on how to add extra credit points in Canvas, please see the instructions here , which can also be downloaded.

Cohan, D. (2018). Extra, extra, read all about it: To offer extra credit or not to offer extra credit?. Inside Higher Ed . Retrieved from: https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2018/01/16/professor-explains-why-she-offers-extra-credit-her-classes-opinion

Norcross, J.C. , Dooley, H.S. and Stevenson, J.F. (1993). Faculty use and justification of extra credit: No middle ground? Teaching of Psychology , Vol. 20, No. 4: 240-242.

Stauffer, W. (2019). Extra credit is not really extra. Inside Higher Ed . Retrieved from: https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2019/01/16/professor-explains-why-he-doesnt-offer-extra-credit-his-students-opinion

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The Big List of Funny Extra Credit Questions

When you want to make your students smile.

The Big List of Funny Extra Credit Questions

Looking for a few of the best extra credit questions ever? Want to make your students laugh—and love you? Our list of printable extra credit questions to the rescue!

You may or may not decide to give students points on assignments for clever answers to these questions; that’s up to you. All we know is that you’re building up some serious street cred by including a silly extra credit question on your next assessment.

Promise. Bookmark this post, and you’ll thank us for it. 

Of course, use your discretion and adapt these ideas to best fit your students’ level and ability. 

Get the printable big list of extra credit questions here.

Printable Extra Credit Questions for Your Final Exams - WeAreTeachers


Use these extra credit questions and get a serious laugh from your students.

  • What do people learn at school?
  • Why was six afraid of seven? [Because seven eight nine = seven ‘ate’ nine]
  • Explain the relationship between Mario and Luigi. [They are brothers.]
  • Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?
  • What does the fox say?
  • How many colors are there in a rainbow? Name the colors. [There are seven colors: red, orange, yellow, green blue, indigo, violet.]
  • Name two songs that have the same tune as the “Alphabet Song”. [“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep”]
  • What’s black and white and red all over? [A newspaper, an embarrassed zebra, a penguin with a rash, a chocolate sundae with ketchup on top. . . ]
  • How do you “floss”? [Either a description of the dance or what you do with your teeth!]
  • What is the official motto of the United States of America? [E Pluribus Unum]
  • Why is the sky blue? [Blue light is scattered in all directions by the tiny molecules of air in Earth’s atmosphere. Blue is scattered more than other colors because it travels as shorter, smaller waves. This is why we see a blue sky most of the time.
  • What is the silliest question you’ve ever asked?
  • Draw a picture of your teacher on vacation. 
  • Would you rather have a pet dinosaur or a pet dragon? Explain.
  • How do you make a hot dog?
  • What is the first product to ever have a barcode? [A pack of Rigley gum]
  • Finish this sentence: Here’s the story, of a lovely lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls. . . [. . . all of them had hair of gold, like their mother. The youngest one in curls.]
  • Name 5 of the greatest all-boy bands. [The Backstreet Boys, Jackson 5, Beatles, One Direction, NSYNC, New Edition, The Monkees, New Kids on the Block]
  • What was the first video ever uploaded to YouTube? [Me at the Zoo, by Jawed Karem]
  • When was the first video uploaded to YouTube? [April 23, 2005]
  • Who is the highest-paid NFL quarterback of all time? [Peyton Manning, $248 million]
  • Write the first stanza of the song sung in the 7th inning at baseball games. [Take Take me out to the ball game, Take me out with the crowd; Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don’t care if I never get back. Let me root, root, root for the home team, If they don’t win, it’s a shame. For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out, At the old ball game.]
  • What do we wear on Wednesdays? [pink]
  • What is the full name of Mike Wazowski’s best friend in Monsters, Inc.”? [James P. Sullivan]
  • In Star Wars, where does Luke find Yoda? [Degobah]
  • How many stitches does a Major League baseball have? [108]
  • Name the movie this line is from: “I’m king of the world!!” [ Titanic ]
  • Who’s never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you? [Rick Astley]
  • Name all of Snow White’s 7 dwarfs. [Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, Sneezy, Doc, Happy, and Bashful]
  • What are the four types of human blood? [A, B, AB, & O]
  • Name the type of footwear invented in 1815 that allowed people to move quickly over hard, smooth ground. [Roller skates]
  • Which former president had a toy named after him? What was the toy? [Theodore Roosevelt, teddy bear]
  • How many sides does a dodecagon have? [12]
  • What was Mozart’s full baptismal name? [Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart]
  • What are three things you know about the Dewey Decimal System? [It’s a system for categorizing books. It was created by Melville Dewey in 1876. It has a number for all subjects, and each number has two parts: a class number (from the Dewey system) and a book number.]

What extra credit questions do you use? We’d love to hear! Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.  

Plus, sample report card comments. 

The Big List of Funny Extra Credit Questions

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Romeo and Juliet - Extra Credit Assignments

Choose one assignment to complete. Your assignment must fulfill all the criteria, be neat, legible, and demonstrate considerable effort in order to earn full credit. You have until 6/3 to submit your extra credit assignment. This assignment will count as one 100 quiz grade in your average.

OPTION 1:   Choose a character from the play and write a full one (1) page letter to another character. The content of your letter does not have to match the plot of the play exactly, but the characterization should be accurate (do not make a character say something that is not “them”).  You will be graded on:  accuracy of characterization, creativity (letterheads, addresses, content, artwork, etc.), and effort. 

 Write a modern correspondence between Romeo and Juliet. Make the format e-mail, IM chat, blog, text message, or social networking. You must have at least three (3) messages for each character (back and forth, six total). Get as creative as you want but keep it CLEAN!! You will be graded on: accuracy of characterization, creativity (artwork, content, etc.), and effort. 

OPTION 3: Choose a scene from Romeo and Juliet and create a comic version. Use Shakespeare’s words or paraphrase it into your own. Your comic must have at least 6 panels. Please be sure to include which Act and Scene you are recreating. You will be graded on: accuracy of summarization and characterization, creativity (artwork, content, etc.) and effort.

  OPTION 4: Submit a portfolio of poetry inspired by Romeo and Juliet. Your portfolio must include at least 4 poems and a half page reflection, explaining the connections between your work and the play. You will be graded on creativity, how well your poems connect to themes, characters, plot, etc, creativity (presentation of portfolio, neatness, etc), 

extra credit assignment english

Extra Credit Ideas for Middle School Teachers

Laney Lee

“What can I do for extra credit?!”  ​I’m pretty sure there isn’t a middle or high school teacher that hasn’t heard these exact words coming from a student’s mouth. Students are HUGE fans of the concept, and honestly, who can blame them? Another way to boost their grades? Most students will leap at the opportunity (especially if their grades are suffering.) But what do teachers think about the use of extra credit? Truthfully, it’s mixed. In this article, I’m going to take a (brief) stab at explaining the pro’s and con’s of offering additional points to your middle school science students, as well as offer a few extra credit ideas for middle school teachers. 

Let’s dive in, shall we?  

Reasons to offer extra credit:.

Offering extra credit isn’t just about boosting bad grades or humoring your students’ last-minute requests for a better grade. Fans of extra credit assignments typically view extra credit opportunities as a way to provide students with extra enrichment in addition to their regular assignments. Here are a few reasons you should consider offering extra credit in your classroom: 

  • Extra assignments (even those given for extra credit) are a great way to give greater exposure to the course material. 
  • These opportunities give struggling students the chance to keep trying. 
  • Extra credit work can be a fun way to explore different concepts related to your curriculum that you might not otherwise cover. (Ex: Current events) 
  • Extra credit assignments are a great way to boost student engagement. 


Not every teacher is a fan of extra credit (and with good reason.) Personally, I believe that extra credit assignments can be a helpful tool within the classroom, but like all things, it can be misused and abused. Here are a few extra credit pitfalls to avoid: 

  • Offering bonus points for attendance. In my opinion, just “showing up” is not enough to earn extra points. Students should earn extra credit when they go the extra mile. 
  • Giving too many extra points. Extra credit can be nice to boost the grade of an individual assignment, but it shouldn’t radically change a student’s overall course grade. In this case, their class grade is no longer a true refection of their learning, content understanding, and effort.  (Ex: A student earning a D receives a B after factoring in extra credit points.) 
  • ​Offering extra credit for every assignment or assessment. This may decrease students’ motivation to give a good effort the first time they complete an assignment. After all, why try if you know you’ll essentially be given a “do-over.” Instead, I recommend offering extra credit sporadically and for different types of assignments. 


​Alright, so you’ve decided you DO want to offer extra credit opportunities in your classroom, but you need some extra credit assignment ideas to get you started. Well, my friend, I’ve got you covered. Here are a few of my favorite extra credit ideas for middle school teachers: 


Periodically, you may consider offering bonus points to students who complete their study guides. Not only will this encourage students to finish this important classwork, it’s also a great way to ensure that your students have everything they need to prepare for tests and quizzes. The following items are a few of the study guides I’ve used with my science classes. You might offer bonus points for the entire study guide or just for a specific section. 

Astronomy Study Guide


Test (and other assignment) corrections can be a powerful exercise for students. It teaches the valuable life skill of being able to reflect on mistakes and learn from them. When having students make test corrections, I HIGHLY recommend that you ask for more than a list of correct answers. (Let’s face it…any middle schooler can look up or copy down the correct answers without learning a darn thing.) Instead, I’d recommend having your middle school students give a written explanation for why their original answer was incorrect and what the correct answer should have been. Yes, it’s extra work…but this process helps facilitate true learning. 

It might look something like this:

#1. I answered ____________________. This is incorrect because _______________. The correct answer is _______________ because ____________________. 

INFOGRAPHICS <sh>  Science is a discipline that lends itself well to the creation of infographics! Have your students create an infographic, chart, or diagram that illustrates an important concept within your unit. Having to synthesize the information in their notes and create a visual representation of this information is a great way for students to deepen their understanding of important concepts (and in my opinion, is well worth a few bonus points.) 

For example… <SH4> 

If you are teaching the  states of matter,  you may ask your students to create their own visual diagram or infographic representing how one substance might move between the different states of matter.


Who doesn’t love a good biographical assignment? I like to offer famous scientist summaries as an extra credit assignment students can tackle for homework or free time assignments. Personally, I think it’s a good idea to let students choose their own famous scientist to research. This encourages creativity and ownership over the project. 


If you’re looking for an easy way to offer bonus points, having students complete a science “question of the day” can be a great way to do just that! These extra credit questions could be used a bell ringers or a simple addition to a homework assignment. 


​Incorporating current events and news articles into our class discussion is one of my favorite extra credit ideas for middle school teachers. Having students read and summarize news articles is an interesting way for them to see the “real world connection” of our science curriculum. 

What are YOUR favorite ways to use extra credit in your classroom? 

Let’s Stay Connected!

Continue the discussion in my Facebook Group for Middle School Science Teachers or my Classroom Management Facebook Group .

Or get free science resources delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for my newsletter! I promise to never be spammy. I’m just a regular teacher who likes helping teachers teach and students learn.


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Extra Credit

In this course you have unlimited opportunities for extra credit.  As we work throughout the curriculum to prepare you for the SAT and the required English work for the junior year you will encounter challenges with assessments that you may choose to improve through extra credit opportunities.

In English there are essentially four areas of instruction:  reading , writing , vocabulary and grammar .  You can improve your performance in any of these areas in a variety of ways.  Listed below are suggestions for extra credit work.  The instructional goal is that the more time you invest in an area of concentration the better you will learn the concept.  Rarely there is time set aside during class to work on extra credit, thus you will have to make time outside of class to work on the extra credit assignments.

Reading:  A number of extra initiatives are available from drawing scenes with captions indicating important events in a story, developing a Freytag’s Pyramid story summary, a Keynote slideshow or an Imovie depicting  the plot.  You may also choose to focus on a literary concept such as symbolism and design, using one of the mediums indicated, a project expressing that concept relative to the assigned reading.  Still, you may design your own project, approved by the instructor.  Whatever extra credit opportunity that you select must be related to the assigned reading expressed on the class syllabus.  The value of your work will be based on the assessment of the instructor according to the quality of your submission.

Writing:  Extra credit writing opportunities will prove more restrictive.  In short, any writing that you compose related to an English assignment is acceptable.  Your writing may be either expository or creative.  Again, the quality of your work as well as the volume will influence the extra credit that you will ultimately earn.

Vocabulary:  Using the vocabulary words assigned on the syllabus or words that you locate in the assigned reading you can earn extra credit by writing a story using the words in the story, creating a test using the words with answers, illustrations of the words with their definitions or other related activities which will assist you in learning the words.

Grammar:  With each grammar concept there are required on-line practices located on the class website.  You will earn extra credit towards the grammar concept by completing practices beyond the required standard expressed on the syllabus.  You may also locate other practices using internet sites or by visiting the learning lab.

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The Extra Credit Case Files


Getting assigned an extra credit assignment is often seen as both a chore and a saving grace. Extra credit assignments are not required but can give a slight grade boost to those willing to complete them. A student might be required to write an essay or do a little extra studying, but either way, a little hard work is necessary to succeed. Sometimes extra credit can be confusing, and this article will describe what is required for extra credit, how much it is worth, and whether or not it exists at all.

Extra credit in the English Department is usually based around exploring literature outside the classroom. Examples include attending the many plays performed at Westminster, and then writing a personal reflection on the material. This is often best implemented for plays by William Shakespeare or other historical literary giants.

“I usually give a 5-point assignment for going to a play […] that they have to write about,” said Heidi Thies, the English Department Co-Chair. “I also, for every paper, allow them to use vocab words for extra credit points.” 

It is not difficult to earn extra points in English class, but sometimes the demand for a grade boost can get out of hand.

“I think it’s fair for students to ask for [extra credit], but usually they ask for it at the end of a quarter […] and that’s not always when I offer it,” said Thies.

“I think the expectation that if [they] didn’t do the work, [they get extra credit], means it’s not fair to offer too much extra credit. But I also think that there’s some subjectivity to all of our grading, so there should be some kind of wiggle room,” said Thies. If a student messes up an assignment or makes a small mistake, they can rest assured knowing an opportunity to reclaim those points is possible.

“My grading is an assessment, a communication, of where you are in this subject and your understanding and abilities, but I care for you to go beyond a little and apply it in other little ways,” said Thies. Extra credit is meant to be an enrichment opportunity where students can apply what they’ve learned in a different environment. Utilizing vocab words in a paper or using composition skills to write a reflection are two examples.

Extra Credit in the Science Department often takes a more complex approach. Occasionally, an extra credit question will make its way to the end of a test, allowing well-studied students to gain a slight grade boost. However, once per quarter, there is an opportunity for a larger grade boost in the form of a written reflection, often reviewing a science seminar or STEM speaker hosted by Westminster.

“There’s two kinds of extra credit: […] there’s the extra credit problem on a test, but then there’s also the big extra credit that you would factor in at the end of the quarter, like a special project or presentation,” said Andrew Shaw, the Science Department Co-Chair.

“We do offer extra credit that would be tacked on at the end of the quarter,” said Shaw. Similar to the English Department, the Science Department allows for a chance to reclaim points after a slight mistake or rough week.

Shaw described how extra credit functioned in the past and gave valuable insight into how times have changed. “You used to be able to say, ‘well if you write a short paper on this special topic that you happen to be interested in, or if you write a special paper on this video or this lecture or something. Because of ChatBots, it’s way too easy for a student to not really do any work at all, and just have the AI write it for them,” said Shaw, voicing his concerns about AI influencing extra credit.

“We recently had this special lecture by Micheal Behe […] and the student had to attend and then the student wrote a personal response […] that’s not something a Chatbot could easily write […] ChatBot wouldn’t know what Micheal Behe said in the Zoom [call],” said Shaw. This is a great way to deter potential cheating, while also requiring students to attend an enriching event and pay attention.

Extra Credit in the History Department is on a much more case-by-case basis, with each teacher having their own policy and integration of extra credit. Often there is next to no extra credit offered, which may seem frightening to some students, but is backed up by some of the more powerful figures in the history department.

“I have on rare occasions [given extra credit] but as a rule, no,” said Jeff Gall, the History Department Chair.

He gave his thoughts on why extra credit was unhelpful. “I just think that the students have plenty of opportunities to do well in class, and I’d rather them focus on doing the best they can on what’s assigned and not worry about catching up later through extra credit,” said Gall.

He described his ideal version of extra credit. “I think extra credit can be valuable if it’s indeed an enriching activity […] Some faculty give extra credit to go to a Westminster performance, and I think if it’s relevant to the class, that’s probably a good thing. One thing I struggle with is that: […] some kids can’t go to the play, so they didn’t have an opportunity to earn that when other students did,” said Gall. He wishes extra credit was available to everyone willing to enrich their personal learning.

“I like extra credit if it’s truly about enrichment, and not catching up one’s grade,” said Gall.

Extra Credit in the Math Department is rare, as it is difficult to provide outside enrichment in a math class. Because extra credit is dependent on students learning more about a subject, a class where students must learn a specific topic in a specific order is less suited for extra credit.

He raised concerns about incentivising some aspects of a subject over others. “If you start adding points to an assignment, does that inflate that assignment too much?” said JD Perona, the Math Department Chair.

He believes that other departments can have extra credit, but for math class, it simply cannot work. “If other people can justify it and feel like it’s good for the student learning, I think that’s fine,” said Perona.

He found that in his classes: “Students don’t do what they were supposed to do originally, and then they hope to make it up by doing extra credit […] They don’t actually do the work they should,” said Perona.

Extra Credit is a controversial topic, with some teachers in favor, while others deem it unhelpful. Of course, there are other ways to pass a class. “I think, in my classes, the students who work hard are going to do very well, so I don’t see the need for extra credit,” said Gall. 

School is supposed to be about preparing students for adult life, and all the consequences involved. However, extra credit is not often applicable in the real world. “In the real world you don’t get to bail yourself out at the very end by doing something special,” said Shaw. He described how if an employee spent a month arriving late and not performing their job properly, but then arrived early on one day in an attempt to get employee of the month, that employee would be fired.

While it is a helpful grade boost, extra credit is hard to implement, and occasionally harmful to the learning environment that school fosters. When used properly, it allows students to enrich their learning experience, but when used improperly, removes the consequence associated with failing to pay attention in class. Perhaps extra credit should remain as it is, low value assignments that pop up a few times a semester. Perhaps one day, extra credit will evolve enough to properly imitate a real-world concept.

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15.3: Should teachers allow extra credit?

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  • Page ID 87660

  • Jennfer Kidd, Jamie Kaufman, Peter Baker, Patrick O'Shea, Dwight Allen, & Old Dominion U students
  • Old Dominion University

By: Lindsey Layne

"I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.-Socrates

Learning Objectives

  • The reader should be able to understand reasons why teachers allow extra credit -The reader should be able to understand different types of extra credit


In today’s schools teachers are skeptic about whether or not to provide extra credit opportunities to their students. It is at the teachers discretion to implement this practice in their classroom. Some teachers oppose giving their students the chance to increase their grade with this option while others believe it is necessary.

What is extra Credit and how is it used?

Extra credit is an optional assignment of some sort that a student can do to boost his/her grade. Teachers can present an extra credit assignment in many ways. It could be a presentation, a paper, a book report, a visual aid and so much more. It serves more than one purpose when also used as a review for a test or lesson. Sometimes the points earned will only be added to a test or other assignment and other times teachers choose to put it towards a final grade. Usually these assignments are worth no more than 20 points, except for in rare cases. An example of an extra credit assignment could be related to a test. The teacher may not take up homework for an entire lesson on Rational equations. Completing the homework will be at the students discretion and on the day of test they can turn it in for 5 extra credit points on the test.

Optimistic view of Extra Credit

Teachers choose the route of extra credit assignments for many different reasons. Everyone has unpredictable things happen within their lives and sometimes it can impact sleep, time to study, or even being able to attend school. Extra credit can ease this stress and fill the gap.Usually teachers who believe this option is a positive thing, do it because they believe it allows for less stress on the students. If a student was just having a bad day and did not get the grade they hoped for on a test, they know that they can complete the extra credit assignment to boost their grade a little. Another reason may be for the simple experience of what the assignment entails. For example, if the option is to create a video or a power point presentation on the civil war, it would give the students some personal interaction with the subject matter. This knowledge could be beneficial when completing other assignments that involve the civil war. Lastly, a teacher may implement extra credit opportunity to benefit themselves. Some teachers believe that the grades the students receive is a direct reflection of how the teacher is doing their job. If most of a class bombs a test, the extra credit will hopefully relieve some of the worries that their teacher may have.

Pessimistic view of extra credit

On the opposing side of the extra credit issue, teachers can view this educational option as a negative thing. “Some teachers have a policy of no extra credit work. They feel that every student has the opportunity to do what's necessary and if they don't, they should experience the consequences.” (The English Teacher) They may think it gives the students an excuse not to do their best on a test or assignment. "The existence, or the hope of extra credit may induce students to prepare less carefully for exams and papers with the expectation that additional points can be earned on future assignments," (Wilson 2002.) If not all of the students choose to take advantage of the extra credit, the grade outcome can contain too much of a gap. The grading of additional assignments that only few students completed can also get very confusing and cause issues for the teacher. The “no extra credit” route can teach students the responsibility of planning for their test without hesitation. (The English Teacher.)

Closing the gap

When a teacher feels skeptic not to allow extra credit but still wanting their students to do well, they may try to result to something different to make it seem fair. Teachers may not like to allow extra credit to boost any grades but they could have a rule where if more than 70 percent of a class fails or receives below a 65 on an test, the teacher will implement a curve. This could be only for tests so that way students will not count on extra credit points and still do their best. The curve could be added in any way to try to make the class average within the passing zone.

Exercise \(\PageIndex{1}\)

1. What is the term for an optional assignment that can boost a student’s grade?

b. Extra credit

c. Homework

2. If a teacher wants to implement a different route other than extra credit to boost their students grades on a test, that has stipulations and the students would be unaware until after they took the test, what would the teacher do?

a. Allow a presentation to earn 5 points

b. Throw out the test and put a 100 in grade book

c. Implement a curve to put class average above passing

d. Allow for a retake to only few students

3. According to the article which example best describes a situation that could cause a student stress

a. Parents divorce

b. at the hospital all night

c. not enough sleep

d. all of the above

4. According to article which option best describes a reason for a teacher opposing extra credit?

a. teacher doesnt feel like grading extra assignments

b. students should learn that planning ahead and studying is very important without hope of extra credit

c. the test was easy enough without offering extra credit

  • (Danielson, L The English Teacher. Retrieved March 19, 2009, from Teaching Strategies Web site: http://teacher2b.com/strategies/excredit.htm
  • Wilson, Mark (2002). Evidence that Extra Credit Assignments Induce Moral Hazard, Atlantic Economic Journal, Retrieved March 19, 2009, from



Van Dijk’s extra-time header wins English League Cup for Liverpool over Chelsea

The Associated Press

February 25, 2024, 3:13 PM

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LONDON (AP) — Virgil van Dijk came up with a crucial header to secure Liverpool a record-extending 10th English League Cup trophy on Sunday.

The center back’s goal in the 28th minute of extra time sealed a 1-0 win against Chelsea at Wembley after the game had ended 0-0 in regulation.

It clinched an eighth piece of silverware for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and ensured he will not end his final year at the club empty-handed.

“You should always savor the good moments, this is definitely one of them,” Van Dijk said. “I’m so proud, proud to be part of this club and especially proud of the boys.”

Klopp will step down at the end of the season, but victory in the League Cup has kept his team on course for an improbable quadruple of trophies.

Liverpool currently leads the Premier League table and is still in contention for the FA Cup and Europa League.

Victory was particularly satisfying for Klopp, given he had to call upon a host of the club’s emerging talent in the absence of injured stars like Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

He used seven players who were aged 21 or under.

“What happened here was absolutely insane, these things are not possible. The team, a squad, an academy full of character. I am so proud I could be part of that tonight,” he said. “The craziest thing is we deserved it. We had lucky moments, they had lucky moments. The boys showed up, it was really cool.”

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino was hoping to win his first major trophy in England after previous spells with Southampton and Tottenham.

He will have to wait.

“They (the players) are professional. They need to feel the pain. We played for a trophy we didn’t get. They need to feel the pain like us,” Pochettino said. “The players feel the disappointment because we were so close to winning the game after 90 minutes.”

Liverpool and Chelsea had met in both domestic finals in 2022 and on each occasion Liverpool came out on top to lift the League Cup and FA Cup on penalties after two goalless draws.

This was another close match that saw both teams have goals ruled out for offside and the woodwork hit on three occasions.

Chelsea could have gone ahead early on when Cole Palmer’s effort was saved by Caoimhin Kelleher from close range.

Later Raheem Sterling thought he had put Chelsea in front after sliding home Nicolas Jackson’s cross, but the goal was ruled out for offside in the buildup.

Cody Gakpo’s header then left Chelsea goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic standing shortly before halftime, but his effort came back off the foot of the post.

Van Dijk sent Liverpool fans wild in the second half with a powerful header to beat Petrovic, but it was Chelsea’s supporters who were left cheering when after a lengthy review it was also disallowed for offside.

Conor Gallagher hit the post in the 76th after flicking Palmer’s cross beyond Kelleher and later denied when one-on-one with the keeper.

Liverpool had the better chances in extra time but when Harvey Elliott struck the post with a header it looked like it would go down to penalties again.

That was until Van Dijk came up with the decisive moment and perhaps the start of a trophy-laden end to Klopp’s reign.

James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson

AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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