How does extra credit work in Gradebook?

The extra credit (EC) feature in Gradebook can be enabled (1) at the item level or (2) at the category level.  For more information on adding items/categories to the Gradebook see How do I set up my Gradebook? or How do I add items to the Gradebook?.

When you designate an item or a category as EC, those items are not added to the total "out of" value for points possible. If students earn points for extra credit items, those points are added on top of the total grade. However, no points will be deducted for students who do not receive a score for extra credit. EC indicates "bonus" items, or optional credit.

Note: It is important that you DO NOT make individual items extra credit within an extra credit category. Those items will be considered optional within the category and therefore would have no effect on the overall grade outside of the category.

Select Gradebook.

Select Gradebook from your site's tool menu

In the target Sakai site, select the Gradebook tool from the Tool Menu.

Setting EC at the Item Level

Select the down arrow and Edit Item Details
  1. Select the down arrow in a Gradebook item's column header row.
  2. Select Edit Item Details.

Check the box next to Extra Credit and select Save Changes.

Check the Extra Credit box, then select Save Changes
  1. Check the box labeled Extra Credit.
  2. Then, select the Save Changes button.

Tip: The extra credit option may also be set when adding a new Gradebook item.

Extra Credit Item

Individual extra credit items can be added to any category, or to a Gradebook that contains no categories.

Example: EC Item in Gradebook with no categories

EC item in a Gradebook without categories

An extra credit item will display a plus (+) icon in the column header to indicate that it is an extra credit item.

Example scenario: In a Gradebook that contains three items worth 10 points each, where two of the  items are for credit and one is for extra credit, the total points possible for all items is 20 (i.e., two items worth 10 points each).

A student who scores 10/10 points on all three items will earn a course grade of 30/20 points, or 150%: 10 points for the extra credit item are added on top of the total points of the other items.

A student who scores 10/10 points on only two of the items (i.e., skipping any one of the items) will earn an overall grade of 20/20, or 100%.

An extra credit item can make up for a missed item when the extra credit item is worth the same point value as the missed item.

Example: EC Items within Weighted Categories

EC item in a Gradebook with weighted categories

In a weighted category, extra credit items are averaged together with the other items before the category average is weighted.

Example scenario:  In an Assignments category worth 50% of the course grade, there are two regular assignments and one extra credit assignment, each worth 10 points.

The points for all three items are added together (e.g., 30 points), then divided by the total points possible minus the extra credit assignment (e.g., 20).  If a student receives perfect scores on every assignment, his or her category average would be 150%.

The category average is weighted as 50% of the course grade, so the weighted category average is 50% of the course grade.

Note: EC Gradebook items are designated by a + icon to the left of the item's title (highlighted in yellow in the above screenshot for emphasis).

Setting EC at the Category Level

Now, let's say that you want to create an extra category rather than an extra credit item. This can be useful if your Gradebook includes weighting, or if you have several EC items that you want to group together into a category.

Select Settings.

Select settings

Select Settings.

Select Categories & Weighting.

Select categories & weighting

Select Categories & Weighting to expand the section.

Check the box next to Extra Credit and select Save Changes.

Check the box for extra credit, add a percentage value if your gradebook uses weighted categories, and then select Save Changes

Note: To add an EC category, your Gradebook must use Categories only or Categories & weighting.

  1. Check the Extra Credit box for the category that you would like to designate as Extra Credit.
  2. If your Gradebook uses Categories & weighting, type a percentage in the % column to designate what percent the Extra Credit Category is worth. (Optional)
  3. Select the Save Changes button.

Example: EC Category Only

EC category only

Sample extra credit category scenario: The Gradebook is configured with Categories only (no weighting). One category is designated as extra credit. One item worth 10 points is assigned to the category.  

In this scenario, a student who earned a 9/10 for the item in the extra credit category will receive 129/130 points possible, or 99.23%.

Example: EC with Weighted Categories

EC with weighted categories

Sample extra credit weighted category scenario: When you set Categories and weighting in a gradebook, the total relative weight of all categories must be 100%. However, if one category is designated as extra credit, you can have a combined category sum greater than 100%.

In this example, two regular categories are used and weighted as follows: Assignments (50%) + Tests (50%) = 100% of the course grade. An extra credit category is worth 5% of the course grade. A student who completes all work in the extra credit category could potentially earn 105% for their course grade.