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Course Bonus Points

Course bonus points are specifically intended to help those people who are having real trouble with the course.  Bonus points can occasionally be earned by doing some extra work. Students have also earned these points by asking relevant questions in class, by catching me in a contradiction, by catching a spelling, or other error in the web site. Finding a link that does not work is worth a bonus point, if that link is to substantive, instructional material. For example, links to the sites from which art work has been taken are not worth a bonus point.
I first started offering bonus points with the intention of helping students who were failing. My plan didn't work. Instead, relatively the same number of students failed (They didn't want to do the work.), and those students who would have earned a C or a B ended up with A's. I was going to eliminate bonus points altogether, but Rochelle McAndrews suggested that I use a sliding scale. I like her idea, so I'm using it.
The higher your earned grade is, the less a bonus point is worth. My grade program calculates your earned grade first. If your earned grade is 60 or below, you get full points. If your earned grade is above 60, the computer calculates the actual value of your bonus points in the following way.

First, it subtracts your earned grade from 100, and divides this number by 40 to get your bonus multiplier. For example:
If your earned grade is 60, then 100-60 = 40. 40 / 40 = 1.0.
If your earned grade is 70, then 100-70 = 30. 30 / 40 = .75.
If your earned grade is 80, then 100-80 = 20. 20 / 40 = .50
If your earned grade is 90, then 100-90 = 10. 10 / 40 = .25
This "multiplier" then determines how much your bonus points are worth. For example, if you have four bonus points and:
a 60, then 1.0 x 4 = 4
a 70, then .75 x 4 = 3
an 80, then .50 x 4 = 2
a 90, then .25 x 4 = 1
This sliding scale means that students who are having real trouble can raise their grade by the quantity of the work they do, but the A's, B's, and to some extent C's are based more on the quality of the work that was done. This is, I think, as it should be.

This border is a reproduction of
Diego Velazquez's Las Meninas
1656, Oil on canvas, Museo del Prado, Madrid
adapted from Mark Harden's WWW Artchive
Click here for the directory of my backgrounds based on art.
[for educational use only]