Learning Design Challenge #28: The Extra-Credit Assignment

Learning Design Challenge #28: The Extra-Credit Assignment


The beginnings of a semester often cause me to recall the days of yore, when students would come up to me after class and say, “Dr. Reynolds, is there anything I can do to raise my grade? Do you give out extra credit assignments?”

Ah, the extra-credit assignment. Early in my career,  admittedly influenced by my own experiences with professors, I avoided extra-credit assignments. After all, I told myself, students in my classes had plenty of opportunity to improve their grades through homework, quizzes, and even the opportunity to drop their lowest exam score. Who needs extra credit, right?

As I evolved in my own learning, however, I realized that what I thought of as a reward for under-performing students could actually be another opportunity to encourage learner agency. Extra credit could be a special assignment, something that allowed a few learners to really synthesize what they were learning in my class and take it out for a spin in the big RW.

With that context, this challenge is about designing a good extra-credit assignment.

Here are some questions to consider.

  1. What is your desired learner experience for this activity?
  2. What kind of credit are you willing to assign for completion of the activity?
  3. What can you do to foster learner agency in the activity?
  4. What evidence are you hoping to see in the completed activities??

Design Constraints

Time to Design: <20 min.
Context: Online
Number of Building Blocks Allowed: 7
Hashtag: #DailyLEM28
Design Challenge Guidelines


Wikipedia Trails by Laura Gibbs


Suggested Solutions


flickr photo shared by starstreak007 under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license

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