Information for Instructors

Instructors teaching Psychology courses have the option to offer extra credit to students who earn ArgoPoints. Students may earn ArgoPoints by participating in PRP-approved research studies or by completing alternative PRP writing assignments. Individual instructors have discretion regarding the role of ArgoPoints in their courses. For each course you teach, you decide:

  • Whether or not you want to accept ArgoPoints in your course
  • The maximum number of ArgoPoints each student can earn in your course
  • How ArgoPoints are translated into extra credit in your course

If you decide to accept ArgoPoints in a course, you will not keep track of ArgoPoints for individual students during the semester. This information will be automatically updated using the SONA experiment management system. Students will be able to login to SONA throughout the semester to check their ArgoPoints. You will also be able to login to SONA throughout the semester to check students' progress if you wish. At the end of the semester, you can simply login to SONA and download a spreadsheet that displays your students’ names and the number of ArgoPoints that they have earned toward your course. You may then apply extra credit to the students’ grades based on the way you have chosen to translate ArgoPoints in your specific course(s). For a detailed explanation, please view this brief video: 

Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions are commonly asked by instructors. Please read them to learn more about participating in the PRP:

How do I signify my consent for my students to participate in the Psychology Research Pool (PRP)?
  1. Notify the PRP Coordinator at that your course is participating in the PRP. Include the Course Title, Section Number, and CRN for all of the courses you wish to participate in the PRP.
  2. Syllabus language for the PRP is sent out every semester for Instructors – include this language in your course syllabus if you intend on giving credit for PRP participation. You can also download the PRP Syllabus Language if needed.
  3. Determine the translation of ArgoPoints to extra credit points for your courses and add the approved language to the syllabus of each participating course. Be sure to adjust the syllabus language to coincide with your ArgoPoints/extra credit limit. Please be aware that no individual course limit may exceed four (4) ArgoPoints.
  4. Wait to receive the report of students in your course earning credit from the PRP. This report will be in a password protected Excel spreadsheet customized for each instructor. If you do not receive a report, please contact the PRP coordinator at
What is an ArgoPoint?

ArgoPoints are participation points given to students utilizing the PRP. A student will earn one (1) ArgoPoint for each half-hour of research participation. The points are rounded up to the nearest hour. A student can also earn ArgoPoints by completing an alternative writing assignment. When completing an alternative writing assignment, students will be required to read a research article and submit a brief paper. After fulfilling this requirement, the student will earn two (2) ArgoPoints.

How are ArgoPoints translated to extra credit?

This is at your discretion. For Prof. A, 1 ArgoPoint = 1 extra credit point, but for Prof B., 4 ArgoPoints = 1 extra credit point depending on the total number of points in the course. There is one important guideline. It is suggested that extra credit from research participation be limited to 3-5% of course credit. You also maintain the right to allow other opportunities for extra credit. (These other opportunities will not be recorded by the PRP coordinator.)

Can I decide which studies are acceptable for my students?

To coincide with the overall goals of the Department of Psychology, maintain fairness to all participating researchers (some with more or less “attractive” studies), protect the confidentiality of participants, and allow for a manageable database of ArgoPoint participants, students may earn ArgoPoints for participating in any PRP research study or for completing any PRP alternative writing assignment. The PRP coordinator is unable to keep a separate record of students who are allowed to participate only in selected studies or to complete selected alternative writing assignments.

Do I have to evaluate the alternative writing assignment?

No. The PRP coordinator will evaluate the alternative writing assignments.

When will I know how much extra credit was earned by my students?

The deadline for students to participate in the PRP will be posted each semester on the PRP website. After this deadline, you will receive a list of students who wish to apply ArgoPoints to your course including the number of ArgoPoints that each student has earned for your course (which will not exceed 4 ArgoPoints). The PRP coordinator will send you this list as soon as possible after the semester deadline. Please be patient as the coordinator must prepare separate lists for each SBPS ArgoPoint course. Due to the number of studies collecting data and the number of participating instructors, spreadsheets are only released after the participation deadline and instructors cannot ask to receive them earlier.

Can students use one study to count as extra credit for more than one course?

No. A student must choose one course/instructor to apply ArgoPoints per study. Students may not apply ArgoPoints for one study to more than one course. Also, students may not go back and change the course once it has been chosen. Finally, students may not do a study more than once (unless a special exception has been made and approved by the Psychology Department Chairperson and the PRP Coordinator).


For more information about participating in the research pool, contact the PRP Coordinator at