How to get extra credit

Extra credits are becoming welcome by many high school students. These credits allow students to graduate early or take off extra classes as a senior, freeing up hours that students can use for college courses, a job or other personal interests. Having extra credits allows students more freedom in high school, especially in their final year.

Take online high school classes. Online high school classes allow students to take classes that their schools might not offer or take classes faster than the traditional high schools. Any online accredited high school course will be accepted as transfer credits to most high schools around the country.

Take extra classes offered through the school. Some high schools offer extra classes, such as classes after school or before school, which can add to credit hours required to graduate. Even an early morning choir class can boost credits and allow students to attain goals of early graduation or similar goals.

Join any high school programs for accelerated learning. Though accelerated learning courses are not offered at every school around the country, any school that has these courses available offers students the opportunity to take extra credits in a shorter amount of time, leading to early graduation.

Sign up for any programs available through the school that are not specifically classes. Some schools offer programs, such as job training programs or college classes through local community colleges that can earn students extra credits in high school outside of the normal high school class hours, giving extra credits in the amount of one class or more.

The question arises why does a student need extra credit. Does the student need it because he or she had fallen behind. In that case it is always best to keep up.

In case the student is doing all their homework and still not able to make up work then the student should go ahead and take the help of the teacher on the part they don’t understand.

If it does not work there are a few steps students can follow to get extra credit which are stated below:

• Every teacher does not give extra credit, but still you can ask for it as it is worth asking! In case the student feels that the teacher may get resistant, then finish up the list of projects which they think they can complete. This will show that the student is serious.

• Try keeping various ideas in mind if suppose the teacher does not agree to it. When you are planning the ideas make sure to focus on the ideas which emphasize your strength.

• In case the student has missed few points along the way and now wants a few extra credits, to do so wait and listen. Some teachers announce definite opportunities to get those credits. Just keep in mind the opportunities and go for it.

• Try finishing your projects and hand them in on time. Keep your aim to be accurate and complete.

• Learning things from the project will support you to get extra credits, as it will also help for the test which improves the grades of the student.

• Try attending the classes regularly. The probability to grant the request of extra credit increases when the teacher finds the student showing up for class regularly.

• Studying for your tests properly also helps because at the end of every test, teachers usually give two or three extra credit questions. It is the best way to achieve extra credits.

• Participation of the student in class discussions is important. The teachers usually use it as a measure when the grade floats between two different grades. When you are participating regularly it will bring your grade up.

• The student should go the extra mile while completing reports and writing papers. It will make the teachers give extra credit for the effort made by the student.

• Completing the projects and assignments which have extra credits fast and on time and with the best effort gives you the opportunity for extra credit again and again.

Extra credit is currently not a default option in Canvas. However, you can give students extra credit using a variety of options.

  • If you are weighing your assignment groups, please pay attention to how weighted groups can affect the Gradebook if assignments are worth zero points.
  • If you have drop rules set in an assignment group, adding extra points may affect your students’ scores.

Create New Assignment with Zero Point Value

How to get extra credit

Create a new assignment with zero points possible [1] and select any submission type [2]. Assignments set to the No Submission type work well for classroom activities, such as in-class discussions or presentations.

After students complete an online submission or complete and submit work offline, you can add and adjust points in the Gradebook.

Note: For a zero-point assignment to factor into a student’s grade, you must add a positive point value to at least one additional assignment in any assignment group.

Add Extra Points to an Existing Assignment

How to get extra credit

Add extra points to an Assignment you’ve already created. Manually enter the extra points in the Gradebook.

For example, this assignment is worth 40 points. Adding 5 extra points will bring the assignment total for this student to 45 points. The added points will increase total points calculated in the Gradebook’s final grade.

Add Fudge Points to a Quiz

How to get extra credit

You can use Fudge points within SpeedGrader to add points to a quiz. Fudge points allow you to manually adjust an overall quiz score.

Create Extra Credit within a Rubric

How to get extra credit

Add an additional Criterion to a Rubric for extra credit. Make sure you make the rubric worth more than the assignment and you can give students extra points or not without affecting the actual assignment points.

Add Extra Points using a Rubric in SpeedGrader

How to get extra credit

You can add extra credit using a rubric in SpeedGrader. Enter a point value that is greater than the points possible for a criterion [1]. The Total Points calculation will reflect any extra points awarded for each Criterion [2].

Note: For SpeedGrader to automatically update the rubric point value for grading, select the Use this rubric for assignment grading checkbox when adding the Rubric to an assignment. Otherwise, you can update the grade field manually.

Add Extra Points using SpeedGrader

You can manually add extra points by editing the grade shown in the Grade field in SpeedGrader.

Create Extra Credit with Assignment Groups

Assignments must be housed within an assignment group. Assignment groups can be unweighted or weighted, depending on how you wish to grade students within your course.

  • Assignments in the extra credit assignment group should be graded at the end of the course, after all other course assignments are graded.
  • All other assignment groups in the course should have at least one graded assignment in order for the extra credit assignment group calculation to correctly affect student grades.

Create Extra Credit using Unweighted Assignment Groups

When assignment groups are not weighted , you can create extra credit assignments in their own assignment group if you wish. You may want to create a separate group to help distinguish between the different types of assignments. In this example, this entire assignment group has no points possible [1].

When the student completes the work required for the extra credit assignments, you can manually add points to the Gradebook.

Create Extra Credit using Weighted Assignment Groups

How to get extra credit

When assignment groups are weighted , Canvas will not calculate grades for an entire group that has no points possible. Therefore, for extra credit assignments to calculate correctly in weighted groups, they must be housed within an existing assignment group that has at least one assignment worth more than zero points.

In this example, the extra credit assignment is housed within the Extra Credit assignment group with multiple assignments worth more than zero points [1]. Notice that the assignment groups weights total 110% [2]. Any assignment placed within the Extra Credit assignment group will have either a positive or neutral effect on your students’ overall grade. Additionally, if a student does not submit the extra credit assignment, their grade will not be negatively impacted.

When the student completes the work required for the extra credit assignments, you can manually add points to the Gradebook.

Errors with Weighted Assignment Group

How to get extra credit

If you create your extra credit assignments with zero points within their own assignment group, but you decide to weigh your assignment groups, your extra credit assignments will not calculate correctly within Canvas. Canvas cannot calculate assignment groups where there are no points possible. For example, if the student has 12 points of 0 points possible, Canvas can’t determine the impact to the overall grade because 12 cannot be divided by 0.

An error will appear in the total grade column. In this example, the two extra credit assignments (both with zero possible points) have been placed in an assignment group called Extra Credit. However, the assignment group has been weighted. The warning notification indicates that the score does not include Extra Credit (as an assignment group) because the entire group has no points possible. In this situation, the assignments will have to be moved to another assignment group, or you will need to include an assignment within the Extra Credit assignment group that has at least one point possible.

Using the bonus option allows students to earn extra credit. It is important to note that a bonus grade item does not add points to the total number of points possible in a course. It is designed to give credit to students who complete an assignment without negatively affecting the Final Grades of students who do not complete the assignment.

You can also set a grade item to worth more than the maximum points to allows students to earn extra credit. The can exceed grade item will add points to the total number of points possible in a course and affect the Final Grades, unless the bonus grade option is also selected.

  • Who is this for: Online Instructors
  • What is required: A grade item for which you would like to award extra credit

Step 1a: Designate the grade item as a bonus item

If you would like to allow the students to earn more points but do not want the grade to be added to the Final Grades. That way, if the students earn more than 100% for the category, the additional points will not count toward their overall grade.

  1. Go to the Grades area.
  2. Click on Manage Grades at the top of the page.
  3. Click on the grade item for which you would like to award extra credit.
  4. Under the Grading section, check the box marked Bonus.
  5. Click Save and Close at the bottom of the page.
  6. Click Yes on the confirmation window to confirm your changes.
  7. Verify that there is a star icon next to the name of the grade item, indicating that it is now a bonus grade item.

Step 1b: Designate the grade item as a can exceed item

If you would like to allow the students to earn more than the total points for a category, you will need to allow the category to exceed the total possible points. That way, if the students earn more than 100% for the category, the additional points will count toward their overall grade.

  1. Go to the Grades area.
  2. Click on Manage Grades at the top of the page.
  3. Click on the grade item for which you would like to award extra credit.
  4. Under the Grading section, check the box marked Can Exceed.
  5. Click Save and Close at the bottom of the page.
  6. Click Yes on the confirmation window to confirm your changes.
  7. Verify that there is a star icon next to the name of the grade item, indicating that it is now a bonus grade item.

Step 2 (optional): Allow the category to exceed the total

  1. Click on the name of the grade category.
  2. Under the Grading section, check the box marked Can Exceed.
  3. Click Save and Close at the bottom of the page.

Step 3: Allow the Final Grade to exceed the total

If you followed Step 1b to allow the grade item as a can exceed item, you will need to also follow Step 3 so that the Final Grade item can be calculated correctly.

Why You Should Not Ask for Extra Credit in Your Math Courses

It is an all-too-common experience for a student to be failing a course and then (often in the last weeks of the semester) come to the professor to ask if they can have an opportunity for “extra credit” to improve their grade. Some students will even have the audacity to ask if they can re-take exams or re-do homework to try for a higher score.

You should never do this!

It is highly unprofessional for you to ask for special treatment by requesting “extra credit” that is available only to you. All too often "extra credit" is just a euphemism for "remedial credit"; some sort of escape route for either having not done the required work in a satisfactory manner or trying to improve a letter grade. This is not how college (or the real world) works. If you mess up or you don’t do the work, you don’t get another chance when you finally realize you are going to have to pay a price for your performance.

You may think that asking for extra credit is a last ditch effort, and if you’re failing the class anyway it can’t hurt to ask. You’re wrong. If you fail a class it simply means you didn’t know the material or do the work. If you ask for an unfair way to earn more points or raise your grade, it implies something about your character.

    All students have to be graded by the same standards. You can’t base one student’s final grade on homework and exams, and then base another student’s final grade on an “extra credit” project. It is simply not fair.

No matter how far they stray from the standards of common-core curriculum, educators often find themselves wanting to add to their lesson plans halfway through a semester. Extra credit opportunities can often ease the circumstances of these situations, allowing students a chance to further enrich their schooling. However, educators have different opinions about the effectiveness of such a practice. Some may argue that earning additional points on their own terms may motivate students. Others argue that the opportunity discourages students’ motivation in their required assignments. By any means, extra credit has had a history of catalyzing learning in some classrooms, and highlighting inequalities of opportunity in others. Before enabling it into their classes, teachers should weigh the effectiveness of such a practice, and find fair methods of creating such opportunities for their students.

With the offering of extra credit being such a routine, yet polarizing practice, the internet is swarmed with articles and activities surrounding the topic. Utilizing the following resources could assist teachers in deciding whether to or how to blend these credits into their classroom structure.

Lesson Plans

    : This page from TeachTCI lists 10 ideas for extra credit assignments. The activities allow for students opportunities to complete activities that strengthen their academics, as well as ones that get them more involved with their local communities. Some of the activities involve attending school activities or listening to speakers, experiences that the students might not normally gravitate towards. These ideas are meant to limit exploitation of inequalities among students and to give all a fair chance at extra points. : In this post, schoolteacher Erika Romero begins by reflecting on her implementation of extra credit as a means of getting students to go above and beyond in applying what they’ve learned. She gives five examples of ways in which she has incorporated opportunities for extra credit into her classes. She delineates the activities and the students responses thoroughly in the hopes that teachers can gain ideas for creating similar assignments. She describes plans in a variety of formats, including reflection papers, peer responses, event attending, and digital projects. Teachers can look up to class formatting should they choose to allow chances for bonus points. : This resource from ProTeacher Collection lists 10 examples of extra credits that one teacher offered for her sixth, seventh, and eight grade classes. This page could be helpful for educators teaching within that grade range who may need some ideas. Most of the assignments can be completed by students on their own schedules throughout the year, limiting the chance that a student will be too swamped to accept such opportunities.
    : This op-ed piece from Small Pond Science illustrates why one teacher strongly refuses to offer extra credit in their classroom. The teachers claims that most forms of extra credit and pay little respect to a students’ time. The writer lists six common reasons that teachers will engage in the practice, and attempts to refute each one. The article goes on to say that when students become accustomed to the practice, they tend to strive less on required assignments throughout the year. When students study less for their required assignments, the quality of their education ultimately depreciates. In turn, the constant availability of the custom implements unhealthy behaviors and as a result should not be encouraged by educators. : In this article from Inside Higher Ed, Professor Deborah Cohen from the University of South Carolina at Beaufort, explains her shift in teaching style and decision to offer opportunities for extra credit in her classes. In the opportunities that she offers, she pushes her students to engage deeply with required materials and campus culture. She holds her students accountable by basing her grading system on the effort that students put into the assignment. She requires a two-page paper with every event that students attend for extra credit, but she finds that many students attend the event out of their own curiosity and choose not to submit a paper. : This chapter from the book Charting a Course to Standards-Based Grading , by Tim R. Westerberg explores the use of extra credit, eventually ruling against certain forms of the practice. The section criticizes the practice of bringing in classroom supplies in exchange for a grade boost. It suggests that rather than call it “extra credit,” teachers should call the act what it is: one of “citizenship.” As such, those actions should not be met with a reward that would in turn marginalize students less capable of affording these supplies. The author then goes on to defend his stance forms of extra credit, but still for the standard of giving students second chances. This chapter touches upon some very insightful points in warning against some of the most prevalent yet most depreciating teaching practices.

Informational Sites

    : This page from the Chronicle of Higher Education analyzes the different perspectives on whether or not to include extra credit, listing reasons why teachers would or would not want to include it. The article also lists eight strategies for teachers in incorporating extra credit assignments. Overall, the article gives plenty of great information for both sides of the question, and even lists advice for those considering incorporating the practice into their classrooms.
  1. The Laws of Extra Credit : This TeachHub article lists the unwritten “laws” of giving extra credit. For teachers who would like to offer extra credit in their classes, this article presents advice and guidelines for setting boundaries. Teachers often need to be careful with how they give extra credit in order to optimise the students’ learning. This article gives instructions for best improving the classroom’s efficiency through extra credit. : This transcript of an online seminar, by Maryellen Weimer, Ph.D attempts to teach educators how to offer extra credit more fairly and most effectively. The speaker aims to keep these opportunities reinforcing “procrastination or other irresponsible behaviors.”

Within the seminar, four different educators share their experiences with extra credit in their classrooms, with feedback from Weimer. The lecture acknowledges that even college students are not fully matured and still make mistakes. Therefore, another chance at succeeding should be appreciated, but only in the circumstances that encourage the right types of habits from the students. Weimer lists a plethora of options for teachers who decide to incorporate the practice into their classrooms.

Teachers oftentimes find that many of their students choose not to take advantage of most opportunities for extra credit. Simply having the opportunity available has the potential to highlight the students that care the most about their learning. Or perhaps it highlights just the ones that care mostly about their grades. Either way, the different methods of implementing extra credit opportunities into the classroom can have a major impact on student absorption of class materials. Teachers should decide carefully and be willing to back up their decisions when organizing these tasks into their gradebooks.

The extra credit (EC) feature in Gradebook can be enabled (1) at the item level or (2) at the category level. For more information on adding items/categories to the Gradebook see How do I set up my Gradebook? or How do I add items to the Gradebook?

When you designate an item or a category as EC, those items are not added to the total “out of” value for points possible. If students earn points for extra credit items, those points are added on top of the total grade. However, no points will be deducted for students who do not receive a score for extra credit. EC indicates “bonus” items, or optional credit.

Note: It is important that you DO NOT make individual items extra credit within an extra credit category. Those items will be considered optional within the category and therefore would have no effect on the overall grade outside of the category.

Go to Gradebook.

Select the Gradebook tool from the Tool Menu of your site.

Setting EC at the Item Level

How to get extra credit

  1. Select an item’s drop-down menu.
  2. Select Edit Item Details.

Check the box next to Extra Credit and click Save Changes.

How to get extra credit

Tip: The extra credit option may also be set when adding a new Gradebook item.

Extra Credit Item

Individual extra credit items can be added to any category, or to a gradebook that contains no categories.

Example: EC Item in Gradebook with No Categories

An extra credit item will display a plus (+) icon in the column header to indicate that it is an extra credit item.

Example scenario: In a gradebook that contains three quizzes worth 10 points each, where two of the quizzes are for credit and one quiz is for extra credit, the total points possible for all quizzes is 20 (i.e., two quizzes worth 10 points each).

A student who scores 10/10 points on all three quizzes will earn a course grade of 30/20 points, or 150%: 10 points for the extra credit quiz are added on top of the total points of the other items.

A student who scores 10/10 points on only two of the quizzes (i.e., skipping any one of the quiz items) will earn an overall grade of 20/20, or 100%.

An extra credit quiz can make up for a missed quiz when the extra credit item is worth the same point value.

Example: EC Items within Weighted Categories

In a weighted category, extra credit items are averaged together with the other items before the category average is weighted.

Example scenario: In an Assignments category worth 40% of the course grade, there are three regular assignments and one extra credit assignment, each worth 10 points.

The points for all four items are added together (e.g., 40 points), then divided by the total points possible (30). If a student receives perfect scores on every assignment, his or her category average would be 133.33%.

The category average is weighted as 40% of the course grade, so the weighted category average is 53.3% of the course grade.

Setting EC at the Category Level

Click Settings.

Check the box next to Extra Credit and click Save Changes.

How to get extra credit

In Gradebook Settings, add a category and the check the box in the Extra Credit column next to the category. Then click Save Changes.

Extra Credit Category

Now, let’s say that you want to create an extra category rather than an extra credit item. This can be useful if your Gradebook includes weighting, or if you have several EC items that you want to group together into a category.

Example: EC Category Only

Sample extra credit category scenario: The Gradebook is configured with Categories only (no weighting). One category is designated as extra credit. Three items worth 10 points each are assigned to the category.

In this scenario, a student who earns a perfect score for all Gradebook items, including 10/10 points for all three items in the extra credit category, will receive 130/100 points possible, or 130%.

Example: EC with Weighted Categories

Sample extra credit weighted category scenario: When you set Categories and weighting in a gradebook, the total relative weight of all categories must be 100%. However, if one category is designated as extra credit, you can have a combined category sum greater than 100%.

In this example, three regular categories are used and weighted as follows: Assignments (40%) + Discussions (10%) + Quizzes (50%) = 100% of the course grade. An extra credit category is worth 5% of the course grade. A student who completes all work in the extra credit category could potentially earn 105% for his or her course grade.

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In the Grade Center, you can provide extra credit to students in three ways:

  • Extra credit for the total column
  • Extra credit when weighting grades—added to a category
  • Extra credit for a weighted total column

Extra credit for the total column

You can create an extra credit column in the Grade Center with a maximum score of 0 that is included in the default Total column computation. Then, you can assign extra credit points as needed.

This method works for only one individual extra credit column where grades aren’t weighted.

Example : Columns in the Grade Center

Grade Center columns with points possible

Column Points Possible
Assign 1 10
Assign 2 10
Essay 50
Test 30
Extra Credit 0
Total 100

If you assign 0 as the points possible, any grading schema that uses a percentage, such as Percentage or Letter, is represented in the Full Grade Center as a score. These grading schemas are based on the percentage of the score compared to the points possible. When the points possible are 0, a percentage can’t be calculated.

Create an extra credit column

  1. In the Grade Center, select Create Column .
  2. On the Create Grade Column page, provide the appropriate information.
  3. Select Score from the Primary Display menu.
  4. Select Percentage from the Secondary Display menu.
  5. For Points Possible , type 0.
  6. Select Yes for Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations .
  7. Select Submit .

The extra credit column appears in the Grade Center. After you add points in an extra credit column, a student’s total points can equal more than 100 percent. If a student receives full credit for all gradable items (100 points) and also receives 6 extra credit points, the result is 106 out or 100 or 106%.

How to get extra credit

Create extra credit when weighting grades

The weighted total column generates a grade based on the result of selected columns and categories, and their respective percentages. When you create a weighted column, you can include other calculated columns and other weighted columns. Your options are to add extra credit points to a category or to the overall grade.

Add extra credit points to a category

You want to add 5 points extra credit to tests. In the Grade Center, create an extra credit column worth 0 points. After adding the 5 points for each student to the extra credit column, create another column to calculate the combined test grades total. The “Tests Total” column includes any columns that include test grades and the extra credit column. When you create the weighted total column, instead of adding the category “Tests” worth 20%, add the “Tests Total” column for 20%.

  1. In the Grade Center, select Create Column .
  2. On the Create Grade Column page, provide the appropriate information for a tests extra credit column.
  3. Select Score from the Primary Display menu.
  4. For Points Possible , type 0.
  5. Select Yes for Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations .
  6. Select Submit .

Create another column to calculate the total of the tests columns and the tests extra credit column.

  1. Select Create Calculated Column to access the menu and select Total Column .
  2. Provide the appropriate information and a name such as “Tests Total.”
  3. Include the test columns and the tests extra credit column.
  4. Select Percentage from the Primary Display menu.
  5. Select Submit .

How to get extra credit

For your weighted total column, check that the “Tests Total” is the column that’s being weighted and not the category “Tests.”

When you combine an extra credit column with a weighted total column, both calculate as points instead of percentages. Read more about the math logic used by weighted total columns.

Add extra credit points to the overall grade

  1. In the Grade Center, select Create Column .
  2. On the Create Grade Column page, provide the appropriate information for an extra credit column.
  3. Select Score from the Primary Display menu.
  4. For Points Possible , type 0.
  5. Select Yes for Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations .
  6. Select Submit .

Create a “Final Total” column that includes the “Weighted Total” and the “Extra Credit” columns.