Part two in the standards-based grading "how-to" crowdsourcing project.  Today, we're talking about extra credit.

I'm especially struggling with the "common pitfalls to avoid."  Your critiques and suggestions are welcome in the comments!
Grading Guideline:  

“Extra credit will not be given at anytime.”

What it means....
  • Individual students will not be given extra assignments to be completed that will artificially improve their final grade.  
  • Students will not be awarded points towards the final grade that are based on providing classroom supplies.
  • Grades should improve when students learn at higher levels rather than when they complete additional work.

What it doesn’t mean...
  • No longer providing students with extra practice or extension opportunities.  

Briefs from the literature:
“Sadly, this emphasis on earning points in order to procure the grade commodity diminishes the value of learning”  (Guskey and Bailey, 2001, p. 20)

“A low grade simply communicates a learning gap; the way to raise the grade is to learn more” (Winger, 2005, p. 64)

Putting it into practice:
What works?
What are the common pitfalls to avoid?

  • Asking students who want to raise their grade which standards they have not yet demonstrated understanding and then focusing on these standards.
  • Eliminating all extra credit opportunities.
  • Encouraging students who already understand a standard to teach it to their peers.
  • Using Bloom’s (revised) Taxonomy or Webb’s Depth of Knowledge framework  to audit assessments for academic rigor.  

I am committed to posting the "final" versions of these grading guideline documents here in August for anyone to use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial -ShareAlike 3.0 license. Thanks in advance for your contributions to this project.
Past posts:

  1. Entries in the grade book that count towards the final grade will be limited to course or grade level standards.**  
  2. Extra credit will not be given at any time.
  3. Students will be allowed multiple opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of classroom standards in various ways.  Retakes and revisions will be allowed.  
  4. Teachers will determine grade book entries by considering multiple points of data emphasizing the most recent data and provide evidence to support their determination.
  5. Students will be provided multiple opportunities to practice standards independently through homework or other class work.  Practice assignments and activities will be consistent with classroom standards for the purpose  of providing feedback.  Practice assignments, including homework, will not be included as part of the final grade.  
**Exceptions will be made for midterm and/or final summative assessments.  These assessments, limited to no more than one per nine-week period may be reported as a whole in the grade book.