How does extra credit work in Gradebook?

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.

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

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

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., 2 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 3 regular assignments and 1 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, their category average is 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.

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 their course grade.