Managing Extra Credit in Canvas

Creating and managing extra credit inside of Canvas can be confusing since there is no explicit "Extra Credit" option available, but it can be done in two different ways depending on whether you have set up grade weights in your Canvas course (see option 2 below), or you are instead using a point structure and not using Canvas's grade weighting feature (see option 1 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. Simply 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 into 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
    In order to test out 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 in 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 that use 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 your 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 100%.
  4. Create an assignment labeled "Extra Credit" within your extra credit assignment group. Make this extra credit assignment worth 100 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 group and extra credit assignment should look like this on your Assignments page:
  5. Now, you can add extra credit points into the gradebook. To clarify, you now have a grade column (red in image below) that directly affects the total percentage earned for the course.  Your normal assignments/exams/etc., all add up to 100%, and the extra credit adds an additional 100% on top of that.  Each single point you add into the Extra Credit assignment will directly add a percentage point to the student's total grade.  You can also enter in negative numbers and decimals in this extra credit column, so you have complete control of how much a final grade is affected by extra credit or grade deductions for absences, etc. (see blue in image below).
    Click on the image below to enlarge it

Disclaimer: There are two downsides of using this extra credit option 

  1. Students may be confused.
    Canvas will present your course to students as being out of 200%, and their "Extra Credit" total column will read poor percentages such as 2%, 1.5%, -3%, and so on. In reality those low extra credit percentages just show the exact amount that the students' final totals were affected by either extra credit or grade deductions. See "Students: Why is my weighted group total out of 200% instead of 100%?" for more information.  
     
  2. 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 grades in 3 out of the 4 assignment groups that you have in your course, except for the 'Final Exam' group worth 30%.  If you include extra credit before grading that final exam, 30% of the course will be unaccounted for, and the extra credit will be more prominent until the final exam grade gets factored into the total.

In order to test out 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 in 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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  • 05-Jun-2019
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