Phil Beauchamp has introduced a “capitalistic reward system,” as he calls it, in his innovative method of grading his organic chemistry courses. Up to 30 percent of the grade can be earned by doing extra problem sets of the sort he would normally feel constrained to give students, since they are difficult (some of them he calls “massive”), time-consuming, multistep problems. This means the in-class examinations can count as much as 100 percent of course grade or as little as 70 percent, depending on the students’ willingness to do the extra problems. Extra credit in Beauchamp’s scheme thus becomes “substitute credit.” Regular homework problems are promptly graded and returned along with an answer key.


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  1. 5.
    The description of the innovation is taken (with the author’s permission) from two articles both by Marjorie Kandel: “Grading Laboratory Notebooks in a Large Organic Chemistry Course,” Journal of Chemical Education 63(1986): 706; “Grading a Large Organic Laboratory Course,” Journal of Chemical Education 65(1988): 782.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 7.
    See H. B. White, “Introduction to Biochemistry: A Different Approach,” Biochemical Education 20(1992): 22–23; and, for a more recent description of how the course is run, seeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. H. B. White, “Addressing Content in Problem-Based Courses: The Learning Issue Matrix,” Biochemical Education 24(1996): 4145Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Beauchamp
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemistry DepartmentCal Poly-PomonaPomonaUSA

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