Extra Credit in Schools

This task force asks students to imagine they are members of a committee deciding on an extra credit policy for students at your school.

Task Force: Extra Credit in Schools


You have been asked to join the school committee and assigned with your very first task. Students have recently been asking teachers to provide them with extra credit opportunities to account for missed assignments, low gpas, and more. You and the committee have to take a stance on whether or not extra credit should be allowed at your school.

Why Are We Doing This?

At the end of the semester, teachers and professors are often asked about the opportunity for extra credit assignments to make-up for various circumstances that hurt students’ gpas. There is an ongoing debate about whether or not extra credit should be allowed or required as well as when it is appropriate to offer students the option to opt into an extra credit assignment. Here, we ask you to try and brainstorm ideas for this issue and create a plan for whether or not your school will implement extra credit and how it will go about doing so. 


  1. Before you begin, research information about extra credit in schools. What kinds of extra credit opportunities have been offered? What circumstances have pushed teachers to consider offering it?
  2. Then, try to come up with a plan for when you believe students should be offered extra credit. 
    1. Should students be offered extra credit? Why or why not?
    2. Should elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and universities offer extra credit? Should only one or a couple of those offer it? Why?
    3. When should teachers offer extra credit? Should a student present some level of consistency in their grades to be considered for the option?
    4. What circumstances make extra credit an appropriate option to offer?
    5. How often should extra credit be offered (i.e. once a semester, twice a semester, etc)?
    6. When is it not acceptable to offer extra credit?
    7. How will you justify your decisions?
  3. Think through the possible objections about your decisions that someone might have.
  4. Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your ideas for extra credit at your school will best ensure the success of your students.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  •  You do not have to come up with an exhaustive list of guidelines for your plan. Choose a few that you are prepared to defend.