There is little information in the literature about extra credit in undergraduate coursework and even less about professional schools, including colleges of veterinary medicine. For the present study, syllabi at one veterinary school were reviewed to determine availability of extra credit. Extra credit was offered in 13.0% of courses in the core curriculum (first five semesters), with number of points ranging from 1% to 4% of total course points. Students in a comparative theriogenology course in 1 year of the curriculum (year 1) were offered 12 extra-credit questions over the semester. There was no correlation between number of questions completed and examination scores or final grade for the course. Sixty students (85.7%) agreed or strongly agreed that the extra-credit questions helped them review material from this course and other courses, and 80.0% agreed or strongly agreed that the questions helped them integrate material. The next cohort of students taking the course (year 2) were required to answer one of the questions as an assignment, and were given the option of choosing the question answered. Sixty-six students (79.5%) agreed or strongly agreed that the assignment questions helped them review material from this course and other courses, and 69.9% agreed or strongly agreed that the questions helped them integrate material. Students generally had a better feeling about completing extra-credit questions than they did about completing a required assignment, and this feeling was not due to points received relative to their perceived effort.
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