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Managing Extra Credit in Canvas

Attention, instructors! We are currently reassessing this article as Canvas has implemented a few changes to group assignment weights and extra credit. If you've noticed these changes have affected your students' grades or would like assistance with working on group assignment weights, please contact ODL Technical Support at (850) 644-8004 or email us at [email protected].

Creating and managing extra credit in Canvas can be challenging because there is no explicit "Extra Credit" option available. You have two options for managing extra credit, depending on whether you are using a point structure (see option 1 below) or Canvas's grade weighting feature (see option 2 below).

Option 1: For courses not using weighted assignment groups

If you are using a point structure and do not have weighted assignment groups, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to your course Assignments page, and add a new assignment worth zero points. Make sure that the submission type is either "no submission" or "paper submission," and click Save & Publish to create a column for this extra credit "assignment" in your Gradebook.

    Once you have done this, your extra credit assignment should look like this on your Assignments page:
  2. Return to the Gradebook and add the extra credit points to the assignment column you just created. The assignment should read 'Out of 0' points at the top of the column.
    Click on the image below to enlarge it
    To test your setup and make sure that extra credit is being implemented correctly in your course, we suggest using the Test Student as practice. You can enter grades for the Test Student located at the bottom of your Gradebook and afterward use the Student View feature to see how your extra credit would be presented to students.

Option 2: For courses using weighted assignment groups

If you are using a weighted grading scheme and have designated weighted assignment groups in your Canvas course, follow these steps.

  1. Ensure that all assignments are contained in appropriately weighted assignment groups that add up to 100% and accurately reflect the grading scheme according to your syllabus.
  2. Create an additional assignment group called "Extra Credit."
  3. Set the weight percentage of the new extra credit assignment group to be worth the maximum amount of extra credit you want available.
    • For example, if you want 5% possible extra credit in your course, you'd weight this assignment group 5%.
  4. At this point, you'll be able to add assignments to this category. If a student chooses to participate in the extra credit assignment, the grade on the assignment will increase the student's grade. 
    • For example, if a student receives a 5/10 on an assignment within this new group, their grade will increase proportionally to 50% of the available extra credit you've made available.
    • It's important to note that you can also create a singular assignment titled "Extra Credit," set the submission type to either "no submission" or "paper submission," and input extra credit grades that are not "assignment based" such as participation or in-class activities.

Once you have done this, your extra credit assignment group and extra credit assignment should look like this on your Assignments page: 

Your Gradebook will reflect these changes with the addition of a new column (boxed text below). This column directly affects the total percentage earned for the course.

Disclaimer: There is a downside to using this extra credit option. 

  1. It is very important that you do NOT use the extra credit column until all your other assignments have grades recorded.
    Until every weighted assignment group has grades recorded, using the extra credit column will control a larger portion of the "Total" column than expected. For example, you have recorded grades in 3 of the 4 assignment groups in your course, except for the Final Exam group, which is worth 30%. If you include extra credit before grading the final exam, 30% of the course will be unaccounted for, and the extra credit will be more prominent until the final exam grade is factored into the total.

To test your setup and make sure that extra credit is being correctly implemented in your course, we suggest using the Test Student as practice. You can enter grades for the Test Student located at the bottom of your Gradebook and afterward use the Student View feature to see how your extra credit would be presented to students.

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  • 08-Dec-2022
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