To Give Extra Credit or Not… That is the Question

A faculty member posed a question about extra credit – what is known about effectiveness, etc… so I started a search and found a few interesting morsels for us to chew on.

1) Faculty Focus article – gives the pros/cons

2) We are just starting our Early Progress Reports on struggling students – a good time perhaps to check out this article on a project using extra credit to empower the marginal student with a skills-based extra credit assignment. They had success with it!

3)I found an interesting relatively recent one from a PSU Harrisburg professor (which is a good example of an SoTL-type study!) This project pretty much supported the findings from previous studies in that:

* Females more likely than males to do extra credit
* Students in large classes more likely than those in small classes
* Students with  existing higher grades more likely than those with lower grades to do it

Important in general – make sure that extra credit assignments are educationally meaningful and relevant to content..

Reference articles
Harrison, M. A., Meister, D. G., LeFevre, A. J., (Sept. 2011). Which students complete extra credit work? College Student Journal; Vol. 45, No. 3: 550-555. ProQuest Social Sciences Premium Collection.

Junn, E. N. (Oct 1995). Empowering the marginal student: A skills-based extra credit assignment. Teaching of Psychology, Vol. 22, No. 3: 189-192.

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.

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