How does extra credit work in Gradebook?

The Extra credit feature in Gradebook can be enabled for:

When you designate an item or a category as Extra credit, the point value of those items are excluded from the total points possible to be earned in the Gradebook. Instead, extra credit points are added on top of the overall grade. Conversely, overall grades will not affect students who do not earn extra credit points.

Go to Gradebook.

Select the Gradebook tool from the Tool Menu of your site.

Set Extra Credit on a gradebook item.

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

Select Extra Credit and Save Changes.

  1. Enable the Extra credit option.
  2. Select 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: Extra Credit 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: Extra Credit 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.

It is important that you DO NOT add individual items extra credit within an extra credit category. Doing so will render those items as optional within the category. Extra credit items in an extra credit category will have no effect on the overall grade, whether points are given or not.

Set Extra credit at the category level.

An extra credit category can be useful if your gradebook includes weighting, or if you have several extra credit items that you want to group together into a category.

Any items placed into an extra credit category are automatically omitted from the total points possible for the course grade; however, any points earned for items within an extra credit category are included in the course grade calculation.

Select the Settings tab.

Select Extra Credit and Save Changes.

On the Settings tab, select the check the box in the Extra Credit column next to an existing category or add a new category and enable the Extra Credit option for it. Then, click Save Changes.

Note: Categories only or Categories & weighting must be enabled in the gradebook's Settings.

Extra credit category

Example: Extra credit 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: Extra credit 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.

Additional Resources

For more information on adding items and/or categories to the gradebook, see How do I set up my Gradebook? or How do I add items to the Gradebook?