Student-Centered Issue

 

Extra Credit Availability

Jeff D. Stahl

 

            In a school of over 1500 students, there is a lot of competition. This competition lies in sporting events, popularity and social status, appearance, and grades. Yes, grades can be an important portion of a student’s life too. As a member of the business department, I observe students signing up for business classes to get an academic edge among the other students in the school. Being aware that all of these business classes are electives, the students have high hopes that an “A” will be easily achieved.

            These grade expectations put a lot of pressure on me, the teacher. I feel as though if I do not grade easily that students will rebel in class or worse, not sign up for business classes the following year and reduce the enrollment. Of course, this consequence has many other that follow: reduction in budget, possible loss of staff; these things all mean more work for the business department. So, to combat these expectations, I have built into my curriculum something that will allow the students to take the responsibility of obtaining that “A” onto them, while allowing me to still challenge them within the curriculum and assessments.

            I love extra credit. The only thing better than giving an extra credit assignment, is having extra credit available to the students all the time. I think in doing this you can really increase the complexity of assignments and separate those students who really want to learn from those who would rather not be there. In my business law class, I have built in a weekly extra credit assignment, available to all. What the students must do is to search for a newspaper article outside of the classroom, cut it out, staple it to a sheet that allows them to provide a brief summary of the article and explain how it relates to the current class topic. This assignment is available to the students at a maximum of once per week for five extra credit points.

            I have two business law classes, once during 2nd period, and once during 5th period. In my second period class I have 16 students and in my 5th period class I have 26 students. These classes both include students from grades 10 through 12. Even though this extra credit assignment is extremely easy, I find that many of the students do not take advantage of what is available to them and, therefore, neglect doing the extra credit assignment. What I will attempt to compare is the average grade of the student, only based on their submission of this extra credit assignment.

            Below, I have grades posted for each business law class, each student in anonymous and can only be uniquely identified by their book number. Each student is sorted in ascending order by a random number identifier. What we are able to see in these charts is if students with the higher class grades tend to participate in the extra credit assignment more often. Are students motivated to participate in available extra credit projects more by receiving good grades or are they motivated to get extra credit when their grades are less than satisfactory?

            Below, I have compiled data that shows frequency of students who handed in a 5-point extra credit assignment each week. I have them separated into periods 2 and 5. I maintain this data using Microsoft Excel, relating to my online grading system used by the school district where I am employed.

 

Business Law

News1

News2

News3

News4

News5

News6

News7

News8

News9

News10

News11

News12

News13

Total

 

2nd Period

10-Sep

17-Sep

24-Sep

1-Oct

8-Oct

15-Oct

22-Oct

29-Oct

5-Nov

12-Nov

19-Nov

26-Nov

3-Dec

13 Weeks

 

Random Identifier

Year In School

Grade %

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

Max Points: 65

% of EC used

50098

12

92.43%

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

10

15.38%

50103

12

90.81%

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

10

15.38%

50188

11

89.18%

 

5

 

5

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

15

23.08%

50242

12

95.67%

 

 

 

 

5

 

5

 

5

 

 

 

 

15

23.08%

50552

12

90.27%

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

7.69%

59539

12

81.62%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

0.00%

59552

12

84.32%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

0.00%

60154

11

88.10%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

0.00%

60233

11

94.59%

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

10

15.38%

60255

11

90.27%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

0.00%

66021

11

94.05%

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

5

5

 

 

 

 

15

23.08%

66257

11

91.89%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

5

 

 

 

 

10

15.38%

67305

11

100.54%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

0.00%

70271

10

91.35%

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

7.69%

77040

10

98.91%

 

5

5

5

5

5

5

 

5

 

 

5

 

40

61.54%

78719

10

66.48%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

5

7.69%

Total Student Participation

0

10

5

25

20

10

10

10

40

0

0

5

5

 

 

 

 

Average

0.00%

12.50%

6.25%

31.25%

25.00%

12.50%

12.50%

12.50%

50.00%

0.00%

0.00%

6.25%

6.25%

 

 

 

Business Law

News1

News2

News3

News4

News5

News6

News7

News8

News9

News10

News11

News12

News13

Total

 

5th Period

10-Sep

17-Sep

24-Sep

1-Oct

8-Oct

15-Oct

22-Oct

29-Oct

5-Nov

12-Nov

19-Nov

26-Nov

3-Dec

13 Weeks

 

Random Identifier

Year In School

Grade %

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

5 Points Possible

Max Points: 65

% of EC used

40028

12

88.10%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

5

 

10

15.38%

50067

12

92.43%

 

 

5

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

15.38%

50494

12

98.37%

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

 

5

5

 

 

50

76.92%

50504

12

101.62%

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

5

5

 

 

15

23.08%

50543

12

104.86%

5

5

5

5

5

 

5

5

 

5

5

5

 

50

76.92%

50702

11

98.37%

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

7.69%

56522

12

93.51%

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

7.69%

57023

12

97.83%

 

 

5

5

 

 

5

5

5

5

5

 

 

35

53.85%

57058

12

89.18%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

5

7.69%

57505

11

91.35%

 

5

 

 

5

5

5

5

 

 

 

 

 

25

38.46%

60078

12

86.48%

 

 

 

5

 

 

5

 

5

 

 

 

 

15

23.08%

60192

11

97.29%

 

5

 

5

 

 

 

5

5

 

 

 

 

20

30.77%

60224

11

106.48%

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

 

5

5

5

 

55

84.62%

60240

11

97.83%

 

 

 

5

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

15.38%

60244

11

77.83%

 

 

 

5

5

 

 

5

5

 

 

5

 

25

38.46%

60247

11

101.62%

 

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

 

5

5

5

 

50

76.92%

60327

11

90.27%

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

7.69%

60489

10

90.27%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

0.00%

60674

11

80.00%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

5

7.69%

66506

11

93.51%

 

5

 

5

 

5

5

5

5

 

5

5

 

40

61.54%

67063

11

83.78%

 

 

 

5

5

5

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

30.77%

70303

10

103.24%

5

 

5

5

5

5

 

5

 

5

5

 

 

40

61.54%

70360

10

95.67%

5

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

5

5

 

 

 

20

30.77%

70436

12

93.51%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

0.00%

76510

10

82.16%

 

 

5

5

5

5

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

25

38.46%

78699

10

97.83%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

0.00%

Total Student Participation

25

35

40

80

60

40

50

50

40

50

40

30

0

 

 

 

 

Average

19.23%

26.92%

30.77%

61.54%

46.15%

30.77%

38.46%

38.46%

30.77%

38.46%

30.77%

23.08%

0.00%

 

 

 

    The chart below is related to the date in the two period tables above. This shows each student separately, in no specific order relative to the “Y” axis. Each student’s current class average is displayed using the blue bars and the percentage of extra credit taken advantage of is shown using the purple bars. For example, student #1 has a 92.43% in the class and has taken advantage of 15.38% (10 points or 2 total assignments) of the total extra credit allowed (5 per week*13 weeks = 65 total points).  The calculated class averages include the extra credit awarded.

 

 

Week Ending

10-Sep

17-Sep

24-Sep

1-Oct

8-Oct

15-Oct

22-Oct

29-Oct

5-Nov

12-Nov

19-Nov

26-Nov

3-Dec

Total (Student Participation)/42

Measured in # of Students

5

9

9

21

16

10

12

12

16

10

8

7

1

Class Average

2.38%

4.29%

4.29%

10.00%

7.62%

4.76%

5.71%

5.71%

7.62%

4.76%

3.81%

3.33%

0.48%

 

 

 

 

 

            The chart below is produced by the data above. This data table speaks to the total amount of students (out of a population of 42) that have taken advantage of extra credit (EC) during a given week. Keep in mind that each student is allowed to submit only 1 extra credit article per week, but they are allowed to participate every week. The chart below shows the trend in the amount of students taking advantage of the extra credit availability per week.

    As you can see, in the first week only 5 students handed in EC, and over the course of a few weeks, the amount of students rose to 21, and then began to decline. The number of students remained between 10 and 16 over several weeks until the number began to decline up to the present time. With adequate research, I would be anxious to see what these trends are related to.

    This project leaves much room for added research. I plan to add more qualitative data such as feedback from the participants themselves to really capture the motivation behind the availability of extra credit.