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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Extra credit not created equal among classes

    Students and faculty have differing views on extra-credit opportunities, but whether or not teachers put extra-credit assignments on the grade bargaining table for their students is a matter of personal choice, said UA professors.

    Edella Schlager, an associate professor of public administration and policy and a Faculty Senate member, said that by the time a student is a junior or senior, extra credit should not be needed.

    “”I occasionally offer extra credit,”” said Schlager. “”But never in graduate courses.””

    As a student’s classroom experience increases, coursework should be taken more seriously and extra credit won’t be needed, Schlager said.

    Schlager is in her 16th year of teaching and said that as a student, she didn’t care about extra credit.

    “”Why do more work when you could do it right the first time?”” Schlager said.

    Schlager says the Faculty Senate does not have a policy on extra credit and acts only if they perceive a problem. The senate has not met yet this year, but Schlager doesn’t think extra credit will be on their agenda at the moment.

    Juan Garcia, vice provost for academic affairs, sees extra credit two ways. Sometimes it is more important for students to focus on the workload given, but if a student does poorly on an assignment and the opportunity for it to be made up is not available, then extra credit is an option, Garcia said.

    “”We urge faculty to think reasonably about what extra credit is and how to assign it to their students,”” Garcia said.

    Adam Dobrusin, a pre-business freshman, said extra credit can be crucial if student has a class in which there are limited points and assignments because there will be little room for error.

    “”If there are three tests during the year and you bomb one of them, that’s one-third of your grade,”” Dobrusin said.

    Karl Goranowski, a history junior, has a hard-nosed opinion on extra credit.

    “”Extra credit should only be available to those who do all the work in class,”” Goranowski said.

    Goranowski said that his courses are made up of papers and exams, so extra credit should be something that a student can use if they did poorly on a test, not if they missed it all together.

    “”The notion of extra credit is implicitly in conflict with equity and fairness,”” said political science professor William Welsh.

    Welsh views extra credit as a tool that is only available to an individual who has extra time, and that person is not always the one who needs extra credit.

    It is much more appropriate for a student and teacher to readdress a problem than adding on more work, Welsh said.

    Extra credit is not an option for points on Welsh’s syllabus; he stopped endorsing that route in writing in 1981.

    Welsh has been teaching for 43 years and said he believes that a teacher’s responsiveness a student’s problem is more important than handing out extra point opportunities.

    Some international students, like anthropology graduate student Satoshi Abe, believe that when perfecting their English and studying, extra credit is a buffer that can be necessary at times.

    “”The language barrier can affect my grades sometimes,”” said Abe.

    Abe said he uses extra-credit opportunities whenever his professors offer it.

    Other students believe extra credit should be offered because potholes in the road of life aren’t always seen from far away.

    Verana Bailowitz, an undeclared freshman, said she doesn’t think she’ll need extra credit, but she believes it’s a good idea to offer it.

    “”People make mistakes. We’re all human,”” said Bailowitz. “”If you sleep in one day or make a mistake, extra credit is a good backup for that.””

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