Extra credit was often necessary for the traditional percentage grading system. Since the scaled grading system is structured to be more equitable and fair, it may not be necessary to provide extra credit. If you would still like to consider providing extra credit with scaled grading, you can do so, but not necessarily in the same way, you applied for extra credit within the traditional percentage grading system. This document covers the various ways extra credit may be applied when using scaled grading.
What Doesn’t Work
A common way of applying extra credit is to create an assignment with a maximum value of 0 points. With scaled grading, a score of 10/0 will not have any effect on a student’s grade because such a score cannot be converted to a letter grade (A - F), which is the first step in calculating a scaled score.
What Does Work
There are methods for awarding extra credit, but it can be difficult to calculate the impact on a student’s grade. With the traditional points-based grading method and no weighting, the calculation is easy: if there are 1,000 points possible in a term and a student is awarded 100 points in extra credit, their percentage grade increases by 10%. Here are some methods for awarding extra credit when using scaled grading.
Method 1: Add Points To An Existing Assignment
Boosting a student’s score on an assignment can increase their overall grade, but not in all cases. The first step in calculating a scaled score is to convert the score earned for an assignment to a point value (0 - 5). For example, 70/100 = C = 3. Adding 5 points of extra credit, in this case, doesn’t help -- 75/100 is still a C and worth the same 3 points. Only when the extra credit bumps the student’s score to the next highest letter grade will it have an effect on their scaled score.
Method 2: Extra Credit Assignments With A Non-Zero Maximum
This variation of an extra credit assignment worth zero maximum points will impact a student’s scaled score but do keep the following in mind. The impact depends on both the maximum value and the score awarded. Earning 100/100 will have a far greater impact than earning 5/5 on an extra credit assignment. Such extra credit assignments can lower a student’s grade. For example, a score of 60/100 (D) on an extra credit assignment will hurt a student who is earning a grade of C or better. Also, keep in mind that scores above 90 all have the same impact. In other words, 20/10 helps no more than 9/10 -- both have a value of A or 5 points.
Method 3: Using An Extra Credit Category
When using weighted grading with School Loop’s gradebook, it’s possible to create an optional extra credit category and to choose the maximum boost a student may receive from earning extra credit. This method will work with scaled grading in all cases but is very different from the other methods described above. The most important distinction is that students have to keep earning extra credit points if they wish to receive the maximum benefit. The following example illustrates how this method works.
A teacher created a category called “Extra Credit” and set the maximum boost to 5%. The maximum boost means a student’s scaled score will be lifted by as much as 5% of 5.0, which equals an increase of 0.25 in the scaled score (e.g. 3.8 increases to 4.05). All extra credit work must be assigned in the “Extra Credit” category and must have a maximum point value greater than 0.
Over the course of a term, this teacher assigns several extra credit assignments worth a total of 100 points. A student who earns all 100 points of extra credit will receive the full boost of 5% or 0.25. However, a student who earned only 50 points will receive a boost of 2.5% or 0.125. A student who earns none of the extra credit points will not benefit from any boost in their grade.