Category Archives: Grading

Will there be extra credit?

We’re entering the last few weeks of classes, when students (and their professors) are more productive and more filled with anxiety than at any other point in the semester. The range of possible grades a student can earn have narrowed by now, and students are wondering what they’ll need to do to edge closer to the top end of that range (or how little they can do and still hit the middle of it). Many students begin to think about how to hedge their investment in the course–so they start asking about extra credit.

Last week, CELT’s Facebook group featured a remarkable discussion of whether, why, and how to make extra credit available to students. The discussion was prompted by a post on the Faculty Focus blog that listed several reasons for and against the use of extra credit. Continue reading


Easing the pain of grading

October is the cruelest month: it’s when students’ mid-semester work comes in to be graded. At least during final-exam season, there’s no class prep or advisement and few committee meetings to eat into grading time. There’s also the prospect of a long break ahead. Not so in October (or March). All there is to do is make one’s way through it all.

As with many difficult and time-consuming tasks, there are ways to work through grading more efficiently. It’s possible to make it to Halloween with most of your sanity intact and with a minimum of red-ink stains on your clothes. Continue reading