It is very unfortunate that you are unwilling to help me pass your class.

That’s a direct quote from an email I received today. The student wanted extra credit or a chance to retake tests or both. The student took three tests and managed to get 68 on one test, but the other two tests averaged to about 50.  A grade in a course means more than the student learned the material, it means he passed the course. I hand out a syllabus that tells them what they need to pass the course. If they don’t like it, they can change sections.

As to extra credit, extra credit is extra work for me. I give four tests, a final exam, about a dozen quizzes, and about 20 graded homework assignments. Instead of doing extra credit, this student could have turned in the six homework assignments he’s missed so far.

But ignoring the work aspect, I would not give him a higher grade because he’s done more work. The only way I would give a higher grade is that he has learned the material. The easiest way for him to learn the material, now that we are more then three quarters of the way through the course, is to take the course again. If he doesn’t have a passing grade on the first three quarters of the course, how is he going to learn that material and the new material in the last quarter of the course?

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