Rethinking extra credit: How gamification can reduce grade inflation and strengthen soft skills


  • Katie Welch



gamification, extra credit, grade inflation, soft skills, undergraduate linguistics courses, intro to linguistics, JEDI


Gamification, the use of game-based principles to promote learning (Kapp 2012), allows instructors a pathway through which they can maintain curricular rigor while simultaneously fostering strong work habits and soft skill development. In this paper I describe my own experience of gamifying an online linguistics undergraduate course as I sought to combat engagement challenges such as spotty attendance and assignment procrastination. By implementing a gamified bonus level in the course, I was able to reimagine the traditional notion of extra credit in a way that incentivized self-regulation and engagement without creating a high amount of grade inflation in the process. Unlike traditional extra credit which advantages high-performing students, the bonus level sought to provide equity to the lower-performing students at a regional university with a predominant first-generation population.




How to Cite

Welch, Katie. 2021. “Rethinking Extra Credit: How Gamification Can Reduce Grade Inflation and Strengthen Soft Skills”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 6 (2): 5070.