Ethics and “Extra Credit”
Department of Philosophy & Religion
Grades on assignments and tests are reliable, yet imperfect, indicators of students’ knowledge and understanding of a subject matter. Overall course grades are also often influenced by students’ complying with class procedures: e.g., if attendance and participation are required, then students who rarely attend class may get poor grades, even if they understand the course content and have done well on the assignments and tests.
A variety of extra credit opportunities are often given as a way to raise grades on assignments and tests and overall course grades. But there are reasons why instructors should not offer extra credit, that doing so is unjustified and unfair. Extra credit is common but is surprisingly controversial.
Nobis, Nathan, "Ethics and “Extra Credit”" (2018). Morehouse Faculty Publications. 25.
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