Of Barfights and Gadflies: Attitudes and Practices concerning Extra Credit in College Courses
Date of Original Version
Empirical exploration of giving extra credit in the college setting has been negligible, even though the practice is common and controversial. Faculty (n = 145) and students (n = 525) at two northeastern universities were surveyed regarding their use of and views toward extra-credit assignments in undergraduate courses. In our sample, between 12% and 22% of courses provided an opportunity for extra credit in the previous semester, 50% of the students were offered extra-credit opportunities in at least one course. Faculty were much more likely than students to view extra credit negatively; students were far more ready to endorse its routine offering. The most frequently cited disadvantage of extra credit was that it encourages a lax or irresponsible attitude. The advantage most frequently cited by students was that it provides a second chance; the most popular advantage for faculty was that it allows exploration of a topic in greater depth. Underlying views on perceived fairness and student evaluation are linked to these findings. © 1989, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.
Teaching of Psychology
Norcross, John C., Linda J. Horrocks, and John F. Stevenson. "Of Barfights and Gadflies: Attitudes and Practices concerning Extra Credit in College Courses." Teaching of Psychology 16, 4 (1989): 199-203. doi:10.1207/s15328023top1604_7.