Bonus Points; Extra Credit

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Quote from: larryc on December 07, 2012,  2:00:18 am

Quote from: road537 on December 06, 2012, 11:00:47 pm

I do not like giving students extra credit because it distracts from the regular work in the semester. Also, I find that the ones who pursue it can include those grubbing to get an A and I don't like the idea of giving an 'extra-credit' A.

This used to be me. But after a few years of teaching at an open admissions state university, I realized a few things:
students who will not study for the final will crawl over broken glass for ten points of extra creditour campus and community was constantly hosting worthwhile events--lectures, plays, art displays, etc.--that were starving for an audiencemy students would benefit from these eventspeople in my college and community really appreciated me steering students to their eventsallowing extra credit almost never changed anyone's grade, because only A students did the extra creditextra credit was an opportunity to get students to write moreI could set things up so it was easy to grade--a single form for every event
So each semester I would have a list of extra credit options. Some were evergreen--visit X museum or Y historic site. The others were things I picked up from the campus bulletins and local paper. I encouraged students to keep an eye our for events I could add to the list.

To get XC, students filled out a form with the 5Ws, attached some proof they were there (ticket stub, program, etc.) and write a 250 word reaction paper, also attached. They had 48 hours to submit.

Students loved the opportunity, and some of them learned and experienced things they would would not have otherwise. It rarely changed anyone's grade. Why not?

This is pretty much what I do (I'm also at an open enrollment CC, for what it's worth). It benefits the students and the community, it's no trouble to grade, and it only counts for a tiny percentage of a grade that is 15-20% of the grade for the course. I keep a folder marked "Extra Credit" on my desk and just shove the work into it during the semester, then just add the points as I calculate the course grades. Students are happy, I'm not put out... it's all good.

I teach composition, so I give my students extra credit if they go to the writing center for a tutoring session. Sadly, the ones who go are the ones who don't really need it, but the offer is there for everyone.

Quote from: petunia621 on December 07, 2012,  8:48:38 am

I teach composition, so I give my students extra credit if they go to the writing center for a tutoring session. Sadly, the ones who go are the ones who don't really need it, but the offer is there for everyone.

Well, I teach computer classes (MS Office) and the students who did not get the extra credit would have gotten an F.  An F messes up their financial aid, and it helps the student a lot, but I can't take the toll of human relations working in groups.  I had several groups that fell apart, and people were looking to me to rectify the issue.  Once they picked their partner, I was out of it.

I used a rubrics for the first time and that was really a good thing, because not everybody got the full points just for presenting like they did in the past.

I'm trying to decide should I give the class THREE exams vs. the TWO I give now?  to makeup for the missing bonus points?

Quote from: chicago_48 on December 07, 2012,  9:03:25 am

Well, I teach computer classes (MS Office)....

How does one flunk a class in MS Office?  Except for slacking off? 

If a person can't pass a class on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, without extra credit, I can't imagine how they could succeed in real college classes.  (Real = college level content.)

I don't think you are doing these students any favors by letting them pass. 

Well, I agree.  And like I wrote, the human relations took its toll.  The students are grouped in two's and I cannot tell you how easy it sounds, but it caused all types of problems this semester.  And I was refereeing more than I wanted to.  So I think next semester I'm giving three exams instead of the two I usually do.  I don't want to "over" exam some of my colleagues do.


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