The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Better Never Than Late

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Only seven out of 26 students showed up for my Sociology class today. Why so many absences? The students had an essay due today, which was assigned a week ago. Many showed up to class and said

“My essay is done, it’s just not typed.”

Excuse me, but if the essay is not typed, IT IS NOT DONE!

Dr. Crazy and Astroprof talked recently about the problem of accepting late assginments. I have a zero tolerance policy for late work. If I do not have the assignment by the end of class, the student gets no credit. The policy is stated in my syllabus and on each assignment. Of course, I give the students option if they cannot make it to class. They have both my school and home email. They can give it to someone to turn in. If the student is so ill or in a serious emergency, and can provide documentation, I will cut them a break.

When I started as an adjunct, I would accept late work. I tried deducting points, giving amnesty and many other means to get them to turn in work. It was driving me crazy. So, in January, I instituted the zero tolerance policy. Many students did not think I would hold the boundary, but I did. When the first deadline passed, and students tried to turn in late work, they were stunned. They cried, begged, cussed me out and one student threatened me. Some even complained to the Dean. To the student’s surprise, the Dean backed me up 100%. Since implementing this policy, I found that my students understand that a deadline is a deadline. It has also made my life easier. I am no longer chasing students at the end of the semester for back work. And, I am not bombarded with a ton of back work to grade at the end of semester.

I don’t think many students understand that there are consequences outside of their own world. Many of my students fail to see how their actions affect those around them. If they do not submit an assignment on time, it put me behind in my grading. If I am behind in my grading, I may not be able to submit my grades on time. If I don’t submit my grades on time, then the Dean has to explain to her superior why the grades for my classes are not complete. It’s a circular thing.

One more day until Thanksgiving.....

PS: Two votes against the Boy, One vote for the Boy. See my post about Dates and Dogs. I am still taking votes.


Astroprof said...

Some people can't get the idea that certain things are scheduled for certain times. So, they leave early for the holiday, and they turn work in late. That pretty much shows where their education fits into their priorities.

It is amazing how they simply assume that they can turn in work any time that they feel like with no penalty or other consequence. I have even had papers turned in AFTER I had submitted final grades to the registrar!

blithering moron said...

Writing papers by hand is a big waste of time.

RussianViolets said...

I am absolutely with you on the "no late work" thing, and my policies pretty much echo yours. I never accepted it, and every semester, they look crushed when they push only to find out that I meant every word of it. Yeah for you!!! And I love your blog; thanks for visting mine, and I've added you to the list of people I want to keep up with. :-)

academic coach said...

be sure to send this in for teaching carnival. Isn't new kid hosting this month. hmmm. I'm not sure.

Seeking Solace said...

Thanks Academic Coach. I will consider it.

Samara said...

I also did the "no late anything" policy, but I required any assignments to be handed in before or at the beginning of class, not the end (ie, it's not acceptable to miss class because you're working on an assignment).