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Linda in TX

Assignments before the first day?!

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You can lead a horse to water....

 

 

But, you can't make him understand there will be no extra credit available.

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But, you can't make him understand there will be no extra credit available.

 

 

No, apparently not.

Ever single semester, I encounter the same requests in my classes. It is stated clearly in the syllabus that the grade cuts are fixed and will not be adjusted, and I announce repeatedly before the end of the semester that there will be no negotiations (the students have several opportunities to earn more points for homework and in class work than are counted towards their grade, to make up for illness and emergencies, and they may submit any assignment for a regrade in the next class following the assignment's return.)

 

Here are a few samples of the emails I received, all from after the final exam:

I looked at my grade today and noticed that I missed my desired C by four points. That is a very close margin and I was wondering I could come in and see if we can find four points somewhere.

 

I know and understand that you grade relative to our performance in the class and that the cut offs are what is down, but I was wondering if there was any chance a couple points were missed somewhere in the grading.

 

Just so you guys know: the Final was multiple choice.)

 

I am emailing you because I was hoping to discuss how close to a B I was in your class and possibly hope to get your understanding, and be able to raise it to a 79.50%. At the moment I have exactly a 79% in your class with the end materials. I know that I tried my very best in your class and definitely worked to get a B

 

I was wondering if there is anything I can do to get the 9 points needed to receive an A in your class. I worked extremely hard this semester in physics and I studied for hours for the final and by looking at the grades on the final I did pretty well comparatively to others. I just really wanted an A so bad in your class this semester.

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I would probably tell the one with a 79 that even if he got to a 79.5, that still isn't an 80, so it would still be a C.

Very glad I'm not teaching this summer.

I don't get those emails typically, but I'm sure it helps that I replace their lowest test with the final if it helps, but they don't see that in the online software, so it's rare that someone ends up right on the border. Much less grade grubbing.

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I would probably tell the one with a 79 that even if he got to a 79.5, that still isn't an 80, so it would still be a C.

 

This is something I don't understand. It's not an 80.0, but it *is* an 80 if you use the rounding rules taught in elementary school (of course there are other ways to round half, I realize). Do schools have written policies about rounding? Because if they don't, it seems to me that grades should be rounded to however many places are reported in the published grade cutoffs (and most of these that I've seen look like 94-100=A, 90-93=A-, and so forth and not 94.0-100).

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I would probably tell the one with a 79 that even if he got to a 79.5, that still isn't an 80, so it would still be a C.

This is something I don't understand. It's not an 80.0, but it *is* an 80 if you use the rounding rules taught in elementary school (of course there are other ways to round half, I realize). Do schools have written policies about rounding? Because if they don't, it seems to me that grades should be rounded to however many places are reported in the published grade cutoffs

 

To clarify: it has been a tradition in all the big introductory courses taught in our department to set the grade cuts at 0.5% below the full ten (89.5% for an A, 79.5% for a B, 69.5% for a C) to take care of rounding. The actual number of points corresponding to this percentage is spelled out in the syllabus as the hard grade cut. This way, nobody can make an argument along EKS' lines and argue for a higher grade because of rounding - it is already built in.

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I don't get those emails typically, but I'm sure it helps that I replace their lowest test with the final if it helps, but they don't see that in the online software, so it's rare that someone ends up right on the border. Much less grade grubbing.

 

I do something similar. I give three tests and a Final and the lowest test score gets dropped. Thus, the final can be used to replace a low test score (or as a general makeup for a missed exam; arranging individual makeups is not feasible with the large class sizes.)

My students see the full grade spreadsheet with all assignment grades.

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I had instructors who'd post the grading scale as C: [70, 80), B: [80, 90), A: [90, 100}.

So C under that scale is 70 Inclusive), to everything UP to 80 but not including 80. Thus, 79.99 is still not 80, so C.

Gotta love math departments :)

 

Now... what is typically done is some rounding... or you may see where cutoffs fall and do some curving, but when you have grade-grubbers (typically students who have NOT done everything they could during the course but are just begging (or demanding as you can see from regentrude's emails), you just don't have any sympathy. And no, I don't round every semester.79.8 isn't an 80.

 

We don't have a departmental policy on rounding.

It is very very rare that I've had a student that on the border that I haven't bumped up, but it is a boost and not a given.

Although with the level of math I teach, I'd be pretty impressed if a student could make a case for a grade challenge and show the arithmetic.

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I do something similar. I give three tests and a Final and the lowest test score gets dropped. Thus, the final can be used to replace a low test score (or as a general makeup for a missed exam; arranging individual makeups is not feasible with the large class sizes.)

My students see the full grade spreadsheet with all assignment grades.

 

We use MyMathLab. I've got it set up for weighted percentages, so students can see bar graphs filled in as they progress through the semester (so they have a visual of what's remaining). It also shows how much time they've spent online. I'm currently teaching what's basically prealgebra (yup... start out with integer arithmetic, fractions, decimals... and it's appalling how much students can't do without their calculator). We have SIX tests during the semester plus the departmental final (required).

 

I do the computation for final replacing lowest test in my spreadsheet that isn't uploaded, so sometimes students get a letter grade higher than what they see online. Definitely cuts down on grade complaints.

 

For those of you who don't know, lots of times instructor policies come about because of prior experiences & in an attempt to cut down on the whining. Unless you've been there, you really can't understand how appalling some of the complaints are. And that's WHY you'd assign something before the first day... students who get it done will be ones who have a shot at completing the class. The whiners are obvious.

(And yes, there are emergencies that come up... do check with your professor... but don't do it with a sense of entitlement! And poor planning isn't an emergency. Being arrested from class is (had that happen to a student once during my class. She still passed).)

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For those of you who don't know, lots of times instructor policies come about because of prior experiences & in an attempt to cut down on the whining.

 

This, exactly. Our course policies are designed to spell out absolutely everything and to minimize ambiguity. I inherited the idea of a multiple choice final exam (all other exams are fully worked problems with partial credit) from an experienced colleague, and it is sheer genius! If I get whiners who want more points at the end (and I even had one student ask fro partial credit on a multiple choice problem because she got the question "half right"!), I don't even want to imagine the number of regrade requests I would get if there were partial credit.

Every semester there is one student where it hurts me to see him miss the grade by one or two points. And every time I wish I could make adjustments. But with a large class, there is no way: if I adjust by one point, the next student will then be one point from the new cut, and so on, because with 90 students there is a continuum of points, and no natural breaks where to place grade cuts. So, I have to be the mean person who denies the requests, because it would open the flood gates.

 

Unless you've been there, you really can't understand how appalling some of the complaints are. And that's WHY you'd assign something before the first day... students who get it done will be ones who have a shot at completing the class. The whiners are obvious

 

Yes. I can make a pretty good guess two weeks into the semester who will fail the course. And I am usually right.

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Regentrude and Dana and any other instructors -

I'd love to hear your thoughts about the cause of these negative student behaviors (the whining, begging, not accepting the grade earned even when the grading system has clearly been explained repeatedly). Do you think it stems from experiencing again and again in high school that there will always be a second chance or extra credit? Is it something about the way students have been parented? Something about our culture?

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Regentrude and Dana and any other instructors -

I'd love to hear your thoughts about the cause of these negative student behaviors (the whining, begging, not accepting the grade earned even when the grading system has clearly been explained repeatedly). Do you think it stems from experiencing again and again in high school that there will always be a second chance or extra credit? Is it something about the way students have been parented? Something about our culture?

 

Yes to all three of the above.

Low expectations in high school, grade inflation, extra credit, good grades for "effort", fuzzy pedagogy along the lines of "all answers are valuable" - students think life at college will continue like this.

 

Parenting and culture contribute. From an early age, "self esteem" is seen as the highest good that must not be damaged by the harsh wind of criticism. The "everybody is special" mantra suggests that rules do not apply to special snowflake. Add the prevalent attitude in the entire society that nobody ever has to take responsibility and that one's shortcomings are always somebody else's fault. - and of course the student will blame the instructor for low grades and failing.

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When I was in high school here, students still had to repeat grades if they didn't pass. Zeros were zeros.

When I did my student teaching 17 years ago now (eek), the district I taught for had the no zero policy. Students would get a 50 instead..."so they wouldn't get discouraged". It appears that that is now state policy rather than just at some districts.

 

I hate saying,"back when I was a student". I also know teachers have said this for millennia.

Calculators have made a HUGE change. For the worse at my levels. I see more and more students who can't multiply. They do repeated addition instead.

 

Some students have had policies changed or not applied to them in high schools due to helicopter parenting. Those students think that will follow along in college. Depending on the school, sometimes it does.

 

So yes, high school policies. Yes, parenting. Yes, culture... Show me ANYWHERE now that we see people taking responsibility for their actions.

 

But again, this has been the complaint for generations. I try to remember that when I get discouraged. And I am awed by some of my students who work tremendously hard and against amazing odds. I'm thrilled to be able to help them.

But it's the problem students who take up a ton of time and energy.

 

I am lucky and we have a decent set of administrators at our cc. The prior cc I taught at didn't.

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. And I am awed by some of my students who work tremendously hard and against amazing odds. I'm thrilled to be able to help them.

 

Yes! They make it all worth it.

I had amazing students who succeeded in spite of difficult circumstances:

The girl who was back in class two days after her emergency appendectomy.

The homeschooling mother of four who came to help sessions every week and often had to bring the kids.

The boy whose father's funeral caused him to miss an exam and who simply took the final and got his well deserved A.

The student in a wheelchair who was paralyzed from the chest down and needed an aide to even open his book.

The older student with three teenage kids who had owned a store and sold it to pay for his college education.

 

The underperforming, whining students are usually not the ones who have the real obstacles.

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To better ensure the pre-class assignments are completed, the class description in the course catalog could mention that a reading should be done before the first day. This is not so difficult for the college to do. Why not be clear from the get-go?

 

My son's high school is very clear about summer readings and assignments. I'm glad they are.

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Because it may vary according to instructor and not be across the board. This is why students at college need to check college email accounts regularly and course info. The course catalog does say that students are expected to check college email accounts.

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To better ensure the pre-class assignments are completed, the class description in the course catalog could mention that a reading should be done before the first day. This is not so difficult for the college to do. Why not be clear from the get-go?

 

The catalog is published many months before the instructor of the course has been determined.

Thus, the catalog is not the place to give specific instructions about assignments and course rules, because these are determined by the instructor. The place for specific rules are the instructor's syllabus and course websites.

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The catalog is published many months before the instructor of the course has been determined.

Thus, the catalog is not the place to give specific instructions about assignments and course rules, because these are determined by the instructor. The place for specific rules are the instructor's syllabus and course websites.

 

It would be nice if the schools (all of them) would have a printed notation on the registration/receipt/whatever that the students get telling them to be sure to check "thisplace" for any assignments that may be due before class begins.

 

Honestly, I never know of such a thing as summer reading lists, pre-class readings, etc, until the last several years (maybe 10 years?), so there may be more like me out there who just don't know to look. Not all schools have advanced classes that require summer/early work, and not everyone has the benefit of hearing stories of 'those who went before them'. Granted, the majority of students who come unprepared are probably just lazy, but I was the kind of student who would have done the assignments, but just never knew they may have existed. Despite being a college grad and despite ds having sophomore standing at the cc, until this thread I never knew unis had pre-class assignments, either. I used to just prepare by reading the first chapter and skimming a bit more, but that was it. I am thankful to this thread for educating me in this regard!!

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Yes, to checking college email accounts. It was surprising to me to find out how many students rarely or never check their college email address. A lot of kids in this generation are just not as email oriented as their parents, but it is a habit they should start cultivating as they apply to college and continue during college.

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Oh, a question, for those who teach/have walked the road....

 

If a class lists the prof as "Staff" how does one check for early assignments? With ds' cc classes, he often never knew who his teacher was until he walked in the door and received the syllabus. When I was in uni, I also had many, many classes taught by "staff".

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It would be nice if the schools (all of them) would have a printed notation on the registration/receipt/whatever that the students get telling them to be sure to check "thisplace" for any assignments that may be due before class begins.

 

Honestly, I never know of such a thing as summer reading lists, pre-class readings, etc, until the last several years (maybe 10 years?), so there may be more like me out there who just don't know to look.

 

I don't get this. My 16 year old has, of her own initiative, checked out the webpages of all the instructors from whom she was intending to take classes in the fall, checked at the book store page to find out whether textbooks have been determined, looked at online class materials from previous semesters when available.

I did not tell her to do this. She figured this out herself and found the information. For the past two semesters, she had found and read the syllabi and course rules weeks before the start of the semester.

 

Honestly, I do not think the university needs to tell students to check. Students check all kinds of carp on their computers or phones all.the.time - they should spend the minimal effort to find out details about the classes they plan to take.

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Oh, a question, for those who teach/have walked the road....

 

If a class lists the prof as "Staff" how does one check for early assignments? With ds' cc classes, he often never knew who his teacher was until he walked in the door and received the syllabus. When I was in uni, I also had many, many classes taught by "staff".

 

At my school (and I believe this is a legal requirement for public colleges), we are required to publish our syllabi through the department website by the beginning of the semester. So, any student interested in taking a Physics 1234 at our college can go to Physics Department, Current Courses, Undergraduate, Physics 1234, and find the syllabus.

 

If the course uses blackboard, the student simply logs into his blackboard account, and the course will appear as one of the courses for which he is enrolled. All course information will be available through blackboard. DD's French courses use blackboard; all handouts, assignments, course information etc show up there.

 

Lastly: if a student is interested in finding out who will be teaching the course because he has specific questions, he could either contact the instructor who has taught the course in previous semesters (chances are, it will be the same person), or he can contact the academic department and ask who will be teaching the class. If there are courses with multiple sections, there might be a professor in charge who sets unified rules and who may be announced, even if it has not yet been decided who will be the instructors for all the individual recitation sections for the course. There may be a course web page with information, even if the student does not know who his recitation instructor will be.

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The catalog is published many months before the instructor of the course has been determined.

Thus, the catalog is not the place to give specific instructions about assignments and course rules, because these are determined by the instructor. The place for specific rules are the instructor's syllabus and course websites.

 

At the very least, the catalog could easily mention that students may have assignments before the first class and should check the instructor's site. It's a simple thing to add that could even be listed under the table of contents or different departments. I don't think that's too unreasonable.

 

I've taken a number of classes at Northwestern U and some of my professors have not used the internet much. My Italian professor does not maintain a site at all and rarely checks her e-mail because she claims to be technically challenged. We are asked to call her if we have questions.

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We have a departmental syllabus for all classes. They're posted on individual department web pages.

The catalog DOES tell students to check email. For instance, I have seen students dropped from all classes for unpaid parking fines. They got email notification but hasn't checked and as a result lost all classes. That's just stupid.

 

As for instructors, students at our cc often have to register where instructors are listed as TBA. If students keep checking back, names do go in. Regardless, we use D2L and about five days before class starts, students have access to materials online for their specific class. Some colleges use Blackboard instead, but most now will have course websites where students have access before first day of class.

 

When I have assignments due at the start, I have posted on D2L, sent an email to students college accounts and D2L accounts, and had the information up on our MML site. Students have no excuse for being unaware IMO.

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At the very least, the catalog could easily mention that students may have assignments before the first class and should check the instructor's site. It's a simple thing to add that could even be listed under the table of contents or different departments. I don't think that's too unreasonable.

 

The few student who would bother to read the entire catalog would be the same students who already check the websites.

It is remarkable how little attention students pay to catalog listings. For our big intro courses, we have common afternoon exams on three dates during the semester, and the course catalog lists the dates and reminds the students that they must make sure these times remain free for the exams. The information is listed right there with the class time. And there are still quite a few students who do seem to be unable to absorb this information.

Good luck with anything that is listed under TOC or department - the 10% of students who read that are not the ones who'd miss checking for assignments.

 

On a more philosophical level: I'd like to treat students as adults. Which means I should not need to spell out things for them that should be common sense.

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Wow this topic is getting much more interest than I thought it would.

 

This child is not lazy and is very diligent. The school just happened to change its policy. She is taking two classes. Both are distant. One posted assignments a week early, due the first day. The second would not post assignments until 10 a.m. of the first official day of class.

 

After a week official class she is making an A in both of them, even with working a 40 hour week at a nursing home. These are 6 week classes, so its like taking 12 hours while working full time. She's doing well and I am proud of her.

 

Linda

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I don't get this. My 16 year old has, of her own initiative, checked out the webpages of all the instructors from whom she was intending to take classes in the fall, checked at the book store page to find out whether textbooks have been determined, looked at online class materials from previous semesters when available.

I did not tell her to do this. She figured this out herself and found the information. For the past two semesters, she had found and read the syllabi and course rules weeks before the start of the semester.

 

Honestly, I do not think the university needs to tell students to check. Students check all kinds of carp on their computers or phones all.the.time - they should spend the minimal effort to find out details about the classes they plan to take.

 

 

I'm sorry, but what is it that you don't get? Ds' cc doesn't have instructor websites nor does it publish class syllabi. He receives e-mails the cc sends out and checks those (although he has received one in the three years he has been DE), and retrieved his book list from the school's generic website. If there was a class pre-assignment, I don't know how else he would have been expected to find out about it.

 

What I was trying to say, and I guess I didn't go a good job of it, is that not everyone *knows* to search out assignments that may be due before class begins, as that may be a completely foreign concept to them, so how are they to know to *look* for them? Not all colleges have the same requirements such as the aforementioned instructor websites and published syllabi but even then, how would someone even know to look for that info until they are told about it the first time? Sure, he could e-mail the instructor asking if there are any pre-class assignments, but if this student never had a pre-class assignment, how would he even know to ask about one? I guess I'm thinking about all the kids who are new to college or new to pre-class assignments being expected to search out info that isn't a universal 'given'. In our local (highly acclaimed) high school, only the AP kids have pre-class assignments, so if a student never took an AP class, it's easy to see how he/she would never know to look for that possibilty. Even now, with all that I know about my own college experience, Dh's college (multiple advanced degrees), AP classes, and DE classes, I had never heard about pre-class assignments (barring AP summmer assignment and the 'usual' summer reading lists), so I feel bad that the kids are expected to just 'know' something so important.

 

I can't tell you how many times in my life I have been in such-and-such situation and have been told "oh, you should have done X" and I just never knew. I could probably guarantee you that if the valedictorian from my local high school went to a school where he/she was expected to research the instructor's website or hunt down a pre-published syllabus before the start of class, he/she would be unprepared for the first day because that just isn't the norm *here*.

 

Please know I'm not arguing about the assignments, nor am I arguing about those students who don't take inititive. I'm not arguing at all. In fact, I can't even begin to imagine how it must feel to have students continually unprepared for class. I know how it feels to be sitting *in* a class where no one seems to care, though. I'm just wondering if a (small) part of the problem is that kids just don't know to look for these things. That was where the comments about making a note on the registration form came from. The catalogs are so full of info, it would get lost in all of that, but why not a blurb on the semester's registration form, or on the kid's student page? Big letters.... "Don't forget to check instructors' webpages for any pre-class assignments!" There would be no excuses that way, and those who didn't even know such a thing existed would be enlightened.

 

At my school (and I believe this is a legal requirement for public colleges), we are required to publish our syllabi through the department website by the beginning of the semester. So, any student interested in taking a Physics 1234 at our college can go to Physics Department, Current Courses, Undergraduate, Physics 1234, and find the syllabus.

 

If the course uses blackboard, the student simply logs into his blackboard account, and the course will appear as one of the courses for which he is enrolled. All course information will be available through blackboard. DD's French courses use blackboard; all handouts, assignments, course information etc show up there.

 

Lastly: if a student is interested in finding out who will be teaching the course because he has specific questions, he could either contact the instructor who has taught the course in previous semesters (chances are, it will be the same person), or he can contact the academic department and ask who will be teaching the class. If there are courses with multiple sections, there might be a professor in charge who sets unified rules and who may be announced, even if it has not yet been decided who will be the instructors for all the individual recitation sections for the course. There may be a course web page with information, even if the student does not know who his recitation instructor will be.

 

 

Thank you for this info. I have saved it for future reference. As I said, neither my ds' cc nor his uni have instructor websites nor do they publish syllabi (that I can find). In fact, I was shocked earlier today to see that I don't think ds' uni utilizes Blackboard, but I'll ask him when he gets home. At the cc, only one of ds' many classes used Blackboard regularly (for posting grades only, though), and most added info (again, only grades) the week before finals. Oddly, the computer profs never used BB at all. He constantly checked looking for info, and they just never used it.

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As I said, neither my ds' cc nor his uni have instructor websites nor do they publish syllabi (that I can find). In fact, I was shocked earlier today to see that I don't think ds' uni utilizes Blackboard, but I'll ask him when he gets home. At the cc, only one of ds' many classes used Blackboard regularly (for posting grades only, though), and most added info (again, only grades) the week before finals. Oddly, the computer profs never used BB at all. He constantly checked looking for info, and they just never used it.

 

 

I find this very strange. I have never heard of a university that does not have this kind of information available online, be it through web pages or blackboard/similar platforms accessible for registered students..

 

Btw, I can understand not using blackboard, I don't use it myself: it is a huge PITA, is proprietary, the format is not portable, it is down frequently - a simple html page is much easier to handle.

 

ETA: Of course, if your CC does not have any online information, there would not be any online posted assignments and the student would not find anything when he goes looking.

My point was that this generation of young people uses the internet to look up all kinds of things on a daily basis and thus I would expect them try to look up information that might be important and pertain to their classes. If they can find out online about updates to their video games, movie show times, interviews with actors, songs, fanfiction, tumblr blogs, weather, events, their friends' relationship status - why wouldn't they use those same skills to look up their professor and class and thus find info if there is any? I am, of course, assuming they are interested in the classes they are taking.

I am not necessarily talking about the student searching for, or expecting to find, pre-class assignments. Just general information about the class he is about to take - and if there were assignments, he'd find out while he did this.

(And again, if there is no info, they can't find any, of course.)

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We have a departmental syllabus for all classes. They're posted on individual department web pages.

The catalog DOES tell students to check email. For instance, I have seen students dropped from all classes for unpaid parking fines. They got email notification but hasn't checked and as a result lost all classes. That's just stupid.

 

As for instructors, students at our cc often have to register where instructors are listed as TBA. If students keep checking back, names do go in. Regardless, we use D2L and about five days before class starts, students have access to materials online for their specific class. Some colleges use Blackboard instead, but most now will have course websites where students have access before first day of class.

 

When I have assignments due at the start, I have posted on D2L, sent an email to students college accounts and D2L accounts, and had the information up on our MML site. Students have no excuse for being unaware IMO.

 

 

I wish this amount of organization was universal. Seriously. I despise 'too little info' and both ds and dd *hate* having to search out info that should be easy to find.

 

I'm seriously asking here, and not being snarky.... would an e-mail be sent out using the uni's account about the assignment, if one was due? Or at least, saying that class info is now available on BB? I keep coming back to this because if someone doesn't know to check, they won't know to check. I have been properly informed, thanks to this thread, that some class info is available early at some institutions, but until now, I had no clue.

 

The few student who would bother to read the entire catalog would be the same students who already check the websites.

*snip*

On a more philosophical level: I'd like to treat students as adults. Which means I should not need to spell out things for them that should be common sense.

 

 

While I agree with all of what you wrote (and in the case of the first part of your post, isn't that the truth!), I snipped for space. I 100% agree with your philosophical lament. Ds was floored with what he saw at the cc and dd has seen it in her online classes as well. Most everyone wants things spoonfed to them. It drives them absolutelynuts.

 

 

Wow this topic is getting much more interest than I thought it would.

 

This child is not lazy and is very diligent. The school just happened to change its policy. She is taking two classes. Both are distant. One posted assignments a week early, due the first day. The second would not post assignments until 10 a.m. of the first official day of class.

 

After a week official class she is making an A in both of them, even with working a 40 hour week at a nursing home. These are 6 week classes, so its like taking 12 hours while working full time. She's doing well and I am proud of her.

 

Linda

 

 

Bless your heart! :laugh: I'm so glad to hear that your dd is doing so well. I hope she keeps it up!!

 

I, for one, am thankful you started this thread. If you haven't read all of my replies, I had absolutely no idea that there could be assignments due before class began in their college classes. I'm pretty sure you have helped my kids!

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I wish this amount of organization was universal. Seriously. I despise 'too little info' and both ds and dd *hate* having to search out info that should be easy to find.

 

I'm seriously asking here, and not being snarky.... would an e-mail be sent out using the uni's account about the assignment, if one was due? Or at least, saying that class info is now available on BB? I keep coming back to this because if someone doesn't know to check, they won't know to check. I have been properly informed, thanks to this thread, that some class info is available early at some institutions, but until now, I had no clue.

 

 

So much is going to depend on the school and the instructor.

The biggest thing to take away is to read the college communications and be sure to use whatever form the school requires.

 

I do email my students via the college and D2L accounts. But if a student doesn't check their school email account, there's no way I can get in touch with them. Thankfully the department managed to quash the suggestion for us to call students who miss first night. If they tell me to call students to check why they miss class, I'll stop teaching.

 

Read all material from the school's website and course catalog. That will tell what accounts a student has (Blackboard, D2L, etc.) typically a school will use one format. The student should then take responsibility and check before first class. I'd strongly recommend starting to check a week before classes start. We've had situations where a classroom has been changed or a class has been cancelled. This is all communicated via the college email.

 

One analogy...my son is going to a summer camp next week. I am looking online to see what we need to have for him in advance. We won't just show up at camp and expect to be told then what we need. A class costs a lot more here than a week of camp. Students should be checking on requirements before showing up first night in the same way that were getting prepared before going to camp.

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. Thankfully the department managed to quash the suggestion for us to call students who miss first night. If they tell me to call students to check why they miss class, I'll stop teaching.

 

Who suggested such a thing? That's ridiculous.

The next step would be to ask for the mothers' phone numbers so instructors can get in touch with mommy.

 

Jokes aside: I already resent having to use an "Academic Alert" system. I am required to submit an electronic Alert to students who are seriously underperforming or habitually absent. yes, I have to notify them "you got an F in the test" or "you have missed 5 assignments and are in danger of being dropped from the class". It's not like they can be expected to keep track of the fact that they have not been to class or realize that failed a test when I return it to them the next day, right? These are supposed to be adults, not 8 year olds.

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Who suggested such a thing? That's ridiculous.

The next step would be to ask for the mothers' phone numbers so instructors can get in touch with mommy.

 

Chair of department. (Eye roll)

Luckily the idea didn't go anywhere.

 

I HATE the idea of students as our "customers". If we do have any customers, it's the employers who hire our graduates. IMO, students pay for the opportunity to learn material. They have rights: a instructor who knows the material and can communicate it, timely feedback, clear expectations that are followed, and class time (we have one guy who cancels classes way too much). But paying for a class...even attending a class....doesn't guarantee passing it!

 

And as an adjunct, if they want me doing more than I do, they'd better pay me more!

I don't have to have office hours, but I do reply to emails within 24 hours and am available to meet with students before or after class by appointment. And we have free tutoring on campus 5 days a week at 3 different campuses. But the students HAVE to take some responsibility.

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On a more philosophical level: I'd like to treat students as adults. Which means I should not need to spell out things for them that should be common sense.

 

Society doesn't even treat college students as full adults. Many are under 21 and can't legally buy alcohol, for example. Further, neurologically many of them have not reached the development you would see in an adult. The students are still in transition.

 

I asked my husband, a former professor here in Chicago, what he thought about pre-class assignments. He said it's not a customary practice to assign homework before a class begins. Typically, homework is assigned after a class begins. If he had done it, he would have had to notify his students. He taught undergrad and MBA students, btw. (I am speaking here to the idea of not forewarning students.)

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I wish this amount of organization was universal. Seriously. I despise 'too little info' and both ds and dd *hate* having to search out info that should be easy to find.

 

I'm seriously asking here, and not being snarky.... would an e-mail be sent out using the uni's account about the assignment, if one was due? Or at least, saying that class info is now available on BB? I keep coming back to this because if someone doesn't know to check, they won't know to check. p!!

 

 

No, one cannot expect an email or other alert. It's nice to get one, but, like regentrude, I really can't wrap my mind around the idea of today's students not thinking to check. You don't have to know whether or not one particular class has/uses electronic systems; you should check them all as a matter of course. If you search and aren't finding any type of further info on a class, you can probably assume you're missing something, so go ahead and ask to make sure.

 

 

I HATE the idea of students as our "customers". If we do have any customers, it's the employers who hire our graduates.).

 

Ugh, no, that's an even ickier concept. The employer-based, assembly-line inspired 'reforms' of the past are one reason our system is in such a mess right now. I do think the (fairly) recent insane tuition increases are adding fuel to the 'I'm your customer, make me happy' fire.

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No, one cannot expect an email or other alert. It's nice to get one, but, like regentrude, I really can't wrap my mind around the idea of today's students not thinking to check. You don't have to know whether or not one particular class has/uses electronic systems; you should check them all as a matter of course. If you search and aren't finding any type of further info on a class, you can probably assume you're missing something, so go ahead and ask to make sure.

 

 

 

 

I agree with this. Public school high schools almost all have summer reading with comprehension questions or essays and math assignments due the first day of school. Also, other classes, especially AP classes have assignments due the first day of school. These assignments are all on the school website. Students should KNOW to check the class websites for assignments. My middle schooler knows to check the school website for his summer assignments for English and math class.

 

I teach as adjunct faculty at a local college. All of my assignments are on Blackboard. Students have the books and the syllabus and any journal articles well in advance of the class. And they need to come prepared the first day having done the reading and the trig pretest. (Don't get me started on the lack of trig knowledge. I think I might sound like regentrude, and I am sure she teaches at a much better university than I do. The reason I teach at the university is because I complain about the lack of mathematical knowledge of math teachers, and my university friends told me that I needed to make a difference. So I am trying, but, oh, it is hard.) I have no problem giving a student a 0 for something that is on Blackboard. They should know.

 

Rant over.

 

My oldest is starting college in the fall. He already has the book that all freshman have to read before starting school. He has a list of classes he needs to take his first two semesters. He is not registered, yet, and can't do that until the beginning of August. However, he knew to look for the reading. He knew to go to the ME website and check which classes to take and which computer system he needs to buy.

 

It isn't rocket science, yet. That is 3rd year...

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I agree with this. Public school high schools almost all have summer reading with comprehension questions or essays and math assignments due the first day of school. Also, other classes, especially AP classes have assignments due the first day of school. These assignments are all on the school website. Students should KNOW to check the class websites for assignments. My middle schooler knows to check the school website for his summer assignments for English and math class.

 

 

 

This may be true in your area, but is definitely not true in mine. Our schools are very anti-homework, teachers are instructed only to give homework that is absolutely necessary, and they don't give summer assignments- even in the high schools. Why would someone from this background assume to look for homework? Saying all students "should ___" assumes that everyone has a general shared experience of schools, and that everyone has been taught the same expectations, and that our country has some sort of national school experience, which is not true. Summer assignments are a relatively new concept and not universal. They have not caught on equally around the country, so why would a student in an area where this never happens and never has, think that they should check for summer reading in May to prepare for a class that doesn't begin until August? Have we changed the definition of "begin?"

 

I really don't get summer assignments. If you can't fit your course into the year provided, something is wrong with time management or you need to edit it down. I never had summer assignments for my AP classes and got all 5s. I think a lot of summer assignments (in high school) are a push to encourage good habits and make them feel like they are working hard and have little to do with any sort of necessity.

 

For me, it boils down to the fact that it is a change and I don't like change. ;) I don't like people telling me what to do with my kids (or my own free time) over the summer. Things were working fine before people started assigning work for classes before the classes started. It is not a free sample because it is not free if it is required and expected.

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When a student pays money (legally this is called consideration) to take a class and the school accepts the student and money, then the two parties have entered into a contract (all other contractual terms being met). I would think that a student could legally contest unannounced or even late summer reading assignments. Take a student who goes off to the Amazon jungle right at the end of spring quarter to study the whole summer. Let's call him Andrew Weil. Andrew has no contact with anyone because he is in too remote of a location and is busy studying the flora. He returns two days before fall quarter and finds out that a professor for one of his required classes assigned a book during summer and put this on the website in July. Andrew, who is normally conscientious and has made good grades in the past, fails the test miserably (it counts as 20% of his grade) and is not happy because he's worried he won't get into a good graduate school. I think it's reasons like this that a student could contest. If a university is clear about expectations, then they should be fine and will not be tip-toeing into potentially litigious situations, right?

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This may be true in your area, but is definitely not true in mine. Our schools are very anti-homework, teachers are instructed only to give homework that is absolutely necessary, and they don't give summer assignments- even in the high schools. Why would someone from this background assume to look for homework? Saying all students "should ___" assumes that everyone has a general shared experience of schools, and that everyone has been taught the same expectations, and that our country has some sort of national school experience, which is not true. Summer assignments are a relatively new concept and not universal. They have not caught on equally around the country, so why would a student in an area where this never happens and never has, think that they should check for summer reading in May to prepare for a class that doesn't begin until August? Have we changed the definition of "begin?"

 

 

Then your school system is not preparing your students to succeed in college if they don't know to look for summer reading, assignments before the first day, know to do homework, know to look on line, etc. You have had multiple college professors from very different schools on this thread explain that this happens.

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Then your school system is not preparing your students to succeed in college if they don't know to look for summer reading, assignments before the first day, know to do homework, know to look on line, etc. You have had multiple college professors from very different schools on this thread explain that this happens.

 

 

Now I know and we will be sure to check. Doesn't mean I like it or think it is an acceptable practice. On the other hand, I've my own personal experience not too long ago with no summer assignments, some people on here including profs who said they don't do it, and others who said they never experienced it recently. So- I think, IMHO, that the profs on here who do give summer assignments shouldn't assume that people who don't check are stupid, lazy, entitled students.

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This may be true in your area, but is definitely not true in mine. Our schools are very anti-homework, teachers are instructed only to give homework that is absolutely necessary, and they don't give summer assignments- even in the high schools. Why would someone from this background assume to look for homework? Saying all students "should ___" assumes that everyone has a general shared experience of schools, and that everyone has been taught the same expectations, and that our country has some sort of national school experience, which is not true.

 

I don't assume that at all; neither of my kids goes to school, or has ever gone to school! I just don't see how one gets through the process of picking a college, applying, getting accepted, and signing up for classes without hearing about these wondrous technological advances, lol, and the continuum of expectations at various schools.

 

I'm not trying to slam you at all, I just think the information is out there, and checking web sites and such should not be a big puzzler for students in 2013. If they don't have a smart phone or a social media account, I might give them a pass :001_cool:

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I don't remember any summer academic assignments in college at all.

 

I just asked ds and he looked at me like I had three heads. He said at his college the academic departments "are not authorized to assign any summer duties". So, it is still not universal, even with all the electronic bells and whistles modern technology can provide.

 

Once the academic year officially begins, it's fair game, but the "guy out in the Amazon" would be back by then and the assignment would be of the normal length.

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Typically at a college, apart from grad school or a freshman experience book, an assignment due first day of class is NOT going to be worth 20% of the grade. It may be a homework assignment or quiz though. In my classes, the assignment has been an orientation homework that ends up being worth uner 1% of the total grade. The point is to get students used to working without reminders, get used to the website and required software, and start the ground running.

 

That said, you'd better be able to read a lot and quickly. I'd typically have a book a week to read in my undergrad classes for my English major. So if the guy in the amazon reads so slowly, he's gonna have trouble with his courses no matter what.

 

But definitely start checking websites a week before the first class.

If there's a college email account, check it daily when you're enrolled. You can typically set it up to forward it to a different account if there's a different one you check regularly.

 

I think anyone who'd have a 20% of the course grade due on the first night is going to lose that grade appeal for an undergrad course. That's definitely not what I'm talking about here.

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Unfortunately, I do understand how a student could just not know to check for first-day-of-class assignments. I had a student last year who had NEVER USED A COMPUTER BEFORE as a freshman in CC! I was pretty shocked. I have a lot of first-generation college students at that CC also, some of whom seem to get no guidance or even moral support from their families or friends. So, a lot depends on the population a college draws from. Those types of situations are the major reasons I'd make first-day assignments worth small numbers of points and easy to either turn in late or make up somehow.

 

As for the "staff" label for the instructor, in my experience this varies by institution. Some places use that if the instructor hasn't been determined yet; at others it means it will be taught by an adjunct or by an advanced grad student. Some institutions update that info as the semester approaches, others don't bother updating until class begins. If that information is important to you, you could probably go into the department office (or call) and ask. Keep in mind that some grad students do an excellent job teaching if they've been properly prepared and the department is careful about their selection, so this isn't necessarily something to avoid-- you can ask around among past students to get a sense of whether the department you're in does a good job of making sure their grad student instructors can teach well or not.

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Okay. I've been thinking what I would do if I were a lawyer representing a student in these scenarios; not that I am a lawyer -- I just play one online and live in the area of Illinois with the most lawyers per capita. However, another potential problem could be how a semester or quarter is defined. If it is defined by the university as being from one specific date to another specific date, then I would think a student could bring a suit against the university for doling out assignments in a period of time other than the dates defined by the university especially if students are not notified of the exceptions. I'm just playing the legal devil's advocate for the student here. ;)

 

Anyway, none of us in our family (husband, two children, me) have had pre-class assignments in college. High school is different. Today my youngest brought home his required reading for APUSH. He'll probably have something for English as well. Everything is announced at the end of the prior year which makes it easier for us. We don't find out about teacher assignments until one week before school begins.

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I know it can be hard when so many of us have had negative experiences with K-12 education, but I would really encourage students not to see the professor-student relationship as adversarial. Most instructors and professors really do want to help students and are eager to see students learn and do well. Job satisfaction doesn't generally come from having students fail - it comes from having them succeed. When students see professors or institutions as their enemies they are not inclined to ask for help and asking for help is exactly what they need to do early in the course before it is too late to turn things around. Are there bad professors out there? Sure, but they aren't the majority and what I hear from homeschoolers is often a lot of enthusiasm for what they are learning in college and the positive support they've gotten from faculty.

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Technically, this wasn't a pre-first-day-of-class assignment. It was due on the first day of class. I think that dd has come across this before in an online class. I don't know the exact details, but I think it involved reading the syllabus and information about drop/withdrawal regulations and then taking a quick quiz to show they had done this and knew the contents of the syllabus. IMO that's a great idea to make sure that the students know what's expected and "check in" with the class. Even with this, the number who drop out of online classes especially is very high. Frustrating when you consider that others probably tried to sign up for the class but couldn't as the class was full. By having a few assignments due early maybe it gives the professor the ability to drop the no-shows and make room for those who want to add the class. I agree that there are probably many new to college who don't know how to navigate the college computer systems, but I also think that it's their responsibility to find out how before their classes begin. There's many avenues for help for those who need it. And I agree that the professors want nothing more than to have their students learn and succeed. The students just have to meet them half way.

 

To the OP, congratulations to your daughter! Sounds like she'll have a great summer session, and your sharing here has undoubtedly helped many others.

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Now I know and we will be sure to check. Doesn't mean I like it or think it is an acceptable practice. On the other hand, I've my own personal experience not too long ago with no summer assignments, some people on here including profs who said they don't do it, and others who said they never experienced it recently. So- I think, IMHO, that the profs on here who do give summer assignments shouldn't assume that people who don't check are stupid, lazy, entitled students.

 

Yeah, this is what I was trying to say. There are very valid reasons one may not be ready that first day.

 

I don't assume that at all; neither of my kids goes to school, or has ever gone to school! I just don't see how one gets through the process of picking a college, applying, getting accepted, and signing up for classes without hearing about these wondrous technological advances, lol, and the continuum of expectations at various schools.

 

I'm not trying to slam you at all, I just think the information is out there, and checking web sites and such should not be a big puzzler for students in 2013. If they don't have a smart phone or a social media account, I might give them a pass :001_cool:

 

I agree that the info is out there, but even still.... the info has to be in a place where it will be noticed. That's what I'm saying. If a student has never had a teacher w/a website or pre-class assignment, or had never had a class where Blackboard was used for anything other than for posting grades, *how and why* would they even think to check on their own before class if there was no notice visibly posted/school-wide e-mail sent out?

 

I don't remember any summer academic assignments in college at all.

 

I just asked ds and he looked at me like I had three heads. He said at his college the academic departments "are not authorized to assign any summer duties". So, it is still not universal, even with all the electronic bells and whistles modern technology can provide.

 

Once the academic year officially begins, it's fair game, but the "guy out in the Amazon" would be back by then and the assignment would be of the normal length.

 

The practice *isn't* universal, and that was where my concern is. I feel concern for the student who doesn't know, and whose uni doesn't post a "head's up" note across their sign-in page, or whatever, then when they get to class and aren't prepared, the prof is instantly thinking negative thoughts about the student. The assumption that 'everyone knows' creates hard feelings all around.

 

But definitely start checking websites a week before the first class.

If there's a college email account, check it daily when you're enrolled. You can typically set it up to forward it to a different account if there's a different one you check regularly.

 

My ds set his up to forward to another e-mail and it wasn't difficult. He is alao 'haunting' his uni's website as he is anxious to get there. He has since found out that his uni *does* offer Blackboard, but the log in was hidden in the depths of his main sign-in page. So far, there is nothing at all to look at, but thanks to this thread he will be checking regularly!

 

Unfortunately, I do understand how a student could just not know to check for first-day-of-class assignments. I had a student last year who had NEVER USED A COMPUTER BEFORE as a freshman in CC! I was pretty shocked. I have a lot of first-generation college students at that CC also, some of whom seem to get no guidance or even moral support from their families or friends. So, a lot depends on the population a college draws from. Those types of situations are the major reasons I'd make first-day assignments worth small numbers of points and easy to either turn in late or make up somehow.

 

As for the "staff" label for the instructor, in my experience this varies by institution. Some places use that if the instructor hasn't been determined yet; at others it means it will be taught by an adjunct or by an advanced grad student. Some institutions update that info as the semester approaches, others don't bother updating until class begins. If that information is important to you, you could probably go into the department office (or call) and ask. Keep in mind that some grad students do an excellent job teaching if they've been properly prepared and the department is careful about their selection, so this isn't necessarily something to avoid-- you can ask around among past students to get a sense of whether the department you're in does a good job of making sure their grad student instructors can teach well or not.

 

Ugh, that poor student! What a hearning curve he/she must have had. And how brave of him/her to undertake such a challenge! I still remember being an undergrad in the same shoes, but I wasn't alone, as personal computers were only for the 'richies' back then. I was terrified and yet I wasn't alone. I can only imagine your poor student's anxiety!

 

 

Technically, this wasn't a pre-first-day-of-class assignment. It was due on the first day of class. I think that dd has come across this before in an online class. I don't know the exact details, but I think it involved reading the syllabus and information about drop/withdrawal regulations and then taking a quick quiz to show they had done this and knew the contents of the syllabus. IMO that's a great idea to make sure that the students know what's expected and "check in" with the class. Even with this, the number who drop out of online classes especially is very high. Frustrating when you consider that others probably tried to sign up for the class but couldn't as the class was full. By having a few assignments due early maybe it gives the professor the ability to drop the no-shows and make room for those who want to add the class. I agree that there are probably many new to college who don't know how to navigate the college computer systems, but I also think that it's their responsibility to find out how before their classes begin. There's many avenues for help for those who need it. And I agree that the professors want nothing more than to have their students learn and succeed. The students just have to meet them half way.

 

To the OP, congratulations to your daughter! Sounds like she'll have a great summer session, and your sharing here has undoubtedly helped many others.

 

It's a fabulous idea to have the syllabus ready and expect everyone to have read it. I always hated getting to class not knowing how grades were computed, what we would be doing, etc. I just love the idea of knowing what to expect ahead of time.

 

And I can't agree more that most profs want to teach and have their students learn. My ds was sad for his Calc prof-- she obviously loved math and teaching, and yet most of the students were only there because they had to be and did minimal work. Ds *wanted* to be there and it showed. He and the other hsers, along with a few others, made her day.

 

I know it can be hard when so many of us have had negative experiences with K-12 education, but I would really encourage students not to see the professor-student relationship as adversarial. Most instructors and professors really do want to help students and are eager to see students learn and do well. Job satisfaction doesn't generally come from having students fail - it comes from having them succeed. When students see professors or institutions as their enemies they are not inclined to ask for help and asking for help is exactly what they need to do early in the course before it is too late to turn things around. Are there bad professors out there? Sure, but they aren't the majority and what I hear from homeschoolers is often a lot of enthusiasm for what they are learning in college and the positive support they've gotten from faculty.

 

I quoted out of 'order' as I wanted to end my post with your quote. It speaks for itself and I agree wholeheartedly.

 

OP, thank you, thank you for starting this thread. Not only have you helped me, but hopefully many others in that we now know to tell our students (and their friends!) to look for those first day assignments. And for those who teach and are chagrined at those students who show up unprepared, I hope you see just how easy it could be for some to just.not.know about the assignments, no matter how diligent they may be. I don't teach, so I can only imagine how it feels to show up to an unprepared class. Maybe this thread will allow you to not feel so "ugh" when someone shows up without that first assignment. Thank you for what you do.

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Regentrude and Dana and any other instructors -

I'd love to hear your thoughts about the cause of these negative student behaviors (the whining, begging, not accepting the grade earned even when the grading system has clearly been explained repeatedly). Do you think it stems from experiencing again and again in high school that there will always be a second chance or extra credit? Is it something about the way students have been parented? Something about our culture?

 

 

I'll answer that since I've taught as an adjunct. I think that the entitlement culture here in America contributes heavily. These kids are used to their parents complaining all.the.time. K-12, Buford shouldn't have to do this, or that, or the teacher is tough, or mean, or that they deserve x,y,and z just because they "tried". Grades are so "fluid" in many public school districts. In our local one, the pressure is on the teachers to NEVER fail anyone, and he/she can lose the position for doing it. So, let me tell you some of the things that go on there. Points are given for NOT falling asleep in class. 100% is awarded for turning in homework. Yes, you read that right. If you turn in homework, you get a 100% grade on it just to reward you for handing it in. I'm not kidding! The principal of the local high school insists that each teacher base 50% of the final grade on "homework" so you guess it...they can write in preposterous answers to the homework problems and even get everything wrong, and yet have a perfect A for half of the class...receive F's or 50% on the exams and quizzes, and still have a 75% C at the end of term. Unbelievable! I would like to note that this is only for non-AP coursework. A much tighter rein, given the AP approval for these classes, is kept on the work load and grading integrity of the AP's which is why there has been such an outcry for the cutting of AP classes due to budget cuts. For the few parents who really care and are trying to get an education for their kids, the AP's were the last things they could hang on to.

 

I think it is a huge contributor to the high drop out rate on many college campuses and in particular, regional, unranked uni's with few accredidations where many kids go because they can't get into a better ranked institution. This grade inflation really shows at ACT/SAT/SAT II time. I am no fan of making the standardized test the end all and be all of evaluating an education, but on the other hand it's pretty glaring when large numbers of kids who have reported to have completed trigonometry/pre-calc, chemistry, physics, and college prep English, and have been standardized tested to death throughout their school years can't manage better than a 20 on the ACT! It is indicitive of being awarded grades without the commensurate achievement.

 

I am not a popular adjunct with the bulk of music students. If the student is willing to work hard, I will provide all kinds of office hours, personal tutoring, online resources, etc. to help them overcome a deficit and be successful. However, for every single struggling student who is willing to say "Mrs. H, I really want to pass this class or I really want to get a B, but I'm not doing well, where can I get some help?", there are ten others that just assume they'll slide by or cajole me into inflating their grade. It's a rude awakening for them. I am literally the very last instructor one should beg for a grade adjustment. Ask my own children, I simply do not believe it is in a student's best interest to do so because it sets them up for failure in the future because at some point, somewhere, they are going to encounter someone in authority over them, "the boss", who is not likely to give them "points" for failing to get the work done or not meeting requirements. The younger they learn to give it honest effort, seek assistance, READ THE SYLLABUS, check emails and other forms of communication, and study regularly, the better.

 

I also think the current propensity to give a trophy for everything does.not.help. The "everyone is a winner" philosophy isn't teaching a child that we live in a comparison, measuring, evaluating system. Your performance is evaluated against someone else's performance. A certificate of participation is fine. The leaders are recognizing exactly what that student achieved...the minimum requirements to participate. Every team gets a trophy, every student gets an award at the award's banquet no matter how ridiculous and contrived we have to make it in order to not hurt anyone's feelings, teachers can't use red pens to grade papers anymore because the red might make Festus feel bad because it's not a happy color - approved colors are now lavender and green - on, and on, and on. These kids do not have coping skills due to this. They never learned how to deal with disappointment or take responsibility for their efforts when they are young and the consequences are not so severe and mummy and daddy are there to help them sort out their feelings on the subject. Thus, emotionally stunted, immature adults enter our hall of higher learning and plague the poor professors! In this regard I do feel somewhat sorry for many students, though that still doesn't move me to budge. The culture created the mess. Since whining, complaining,and parental demands work in the PS system many times to get adjustments to Jingo's grades, it's only natural that they'll try pushing their luck post-high school.

 

The final straw is that I find many students are very jaded. They've endured a lot of bad situations in their 13 years of childhood education...bullying, apathy, chaos, ignorance, zero tolerance policies that defy all measures of good sense, an in ordinate amount of bubble testing with limited experiencial learning, people who appear to not care about them at all, disjointed educational programs, lack of consistency, you name it. They are tired, sometimes bone tired of what they've endured, and have become a little hard hearted. They aren't easy to reach or excite about the material. They've never found their passion or maybe they think music or English, or physical therapy is their passion, but in the absence of real world exposure, they don't have a clue what this really entails and their angry. They've been lied to, herded along like sheep, confused and not received appropriate intervention, or bored to death and received no challenge, their needs as an individual have not ever counted, their constitutional rights have been trampled, and they are not very healthy individuals at the moment. Sometimes they rise to the challenge, sometimes they find what they need on campus and in the classrooms of their college, make some friends, figure out that while some of us can be tough on the exterior, in reality we really care about helping them succeed and WILL make reasonable efforts to remediate their skills if they will apply themselves, etc. but, many do not and thus for a lot of institutions (especially those that are not at all competitive) a higher than ideal drop-out rate, a much higher than ideal four/five year graduation rate, etc. Too many give up and some shouldn't have been there in the first place because they needed to do some serious maturing and get some other experiences before starting college.

 

It's a cultural recipe for disaster and as a nation, we are reaping what we have sown. Sometimes, outside of other college profs and trade school instructors (I've met some pretty amazing trades instructors that are saying the exact same thing and experiencing the same issues in their classrooms), it seems like the WTM higher education and college board is the only haven where this is being seriously discussed.

 

Faith

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Faith -

 

Yes, yes, YES!!!

 

I typically don't grade in red, but when I do, I feel daring! And that's a hold out from my teacher Education classes when I was getting my credential 15 years ago. Yes...education classes WERE explicitly saying not to grade in red because it damages their self esteem.

 

Let's add the self esteem movement to the list of problems as well.

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