I officially discourage extra credit. The reason I discourage it is because I think that being too generous with extra credit gives students the impression that they don’t have to take the assigned coursework seriously—they always figure they can “catch up” through extra credit.
At the same time, and in the spirit of always giving students a chance to redeem themselves, I unofficially allow students to earn extra credit. However, it should be noted that I’m pretty stingy with the points a student can earn through extra credit—a maximum of five percentage points on top of a student’s earned course grade at the end of the term.
What this means is that the kind of student who benefits most from extra credit in my classes are those who have been conscientious in applying themselves to the assigned coursework throughout the term, and who want to insure that they earn the highest grade possible. The kind of student who benefits the least from extra credit in my classes are those who have not taken the class seriously and slacked off all term. No amount of extra credit will save this kind of student.
In either case, considering the weight I give to a student’s writing (20-30% of the course grade or more), any student would probably be better off putting their efforts into the term paper, as opposed to scrounging points by doing extra credit.
All this being said, students still interested in extra credit should print out this form, read it carefully, and bring two copies to me.
© D. R. Koukal