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WWYD - Professor lost assignment - FINAL UPDATE


Pegasus
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DD19 is upset with one of her professors.  He lost an assignment she turned in on time and gave her a zero. The first time she talked to him about it, he acknowledged remembering her turning it in because she asked if she could add it to the stack that was already on the table, but just shrugged and said he didn't know where it ended up.  She talked to him again today and he said he did not find it and the zero stands. She's offered to re-do the assignment and he refused.  His argument seems to be that she will probably "do fine" in the class with the zero if she gets good scores on the remaining assignments/quizzes/exams.

Not to muddy the issue above, but he appears to have no respect at all for the students. His method of returning quizzes and assignments is to toss the stack on the floor for the students to retrieve.  I'm afraid if I encourage DD to talk to the dean that the professor would hold it against her for the rest of the semester.  Any suggested course of action?

Edited by Pegasus
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If it were me and my kid, I would take it to the dean and higher if necessary.  Had it happened to me as a college student, I would have gone to the department head first.  I went to a small school and there were generally only like 3 to 5 professors in the department, below the department head.  If going to the department head didn't work, then the dean.  If that didn't work, I would have gone higher...that higher step might depend on the school.

 

But there's no way I would ever let a zero stand because the professor ADMITS he doesn't know where the assignment went.  And I would push my kid to not accept that either.  

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This happened to one of my sons.  He would turn in assignments at the beginning of class and they were lost by TAs twice.  He was given partial credit once and a zero the other time.  He wasn't assertive enough to go to the professor and just accepted it.  He still got an A in the class but it made me SO mad.  

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That is so frustrating.  Was the work something that had been done by hand (like working math problems by hand) or was it a typed assignment that she has an electronic record o? 

She should consult the student handbook to see what the appropriate procedure for a grade dispute is.  Is there a particular person (department chair or dean) that she is to go to at her school?  In the meantime, I would suggest that she send the professor an email, documenting what has occurred and asking for a specific resolution.  

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8 hours ago, Calming Tea said:

I would have her from now on take a picture of the assignment sitting on the desk, making sure that your phone camera is dating the pictures.

This is a good idea.  Especially because I suspect the professor would change his story if DD tries to take this situation up the chain of command.

10 hours ago, Kassia said:

This happened to one of my sons.  He would turn in assignments at the beginning of class and they were lost by TAs twice.  He was given partial credit once and a zero the other time.  He wasn't assertive enough to go to the professor and just accepted it.  He still got an A in the class but it made me SO mad.  

Argh!  DD is not very assertive either, although she has impressed me with how she has been handling conflicts with some of her TAs and professors. DD might scrape an A in this class but it could easily be a B, especially with a zero on the books. So, certainly not catastrophic in the big picture but so, so frustrating.

6 hours ago, Bootsie said:

That is so frustrating.  Was the work something that had been done by hand (like working math problems by hand) or was it a typed assignment that she has an electronic record o? 

  In the meantime, I would suggest that she send the professor an email, documenting what has occurred and asking for a specific resolution.  

Yes, it was a math assignment that had to be done by hand.  She is definitely considering sending an email to him to document the interaction so far but I suspect he won't respond at all. 

Everyone - I sincerely appreciate the feedback and validation.  It actually makes me feel better and I'll pass along your suggestions to DD.  Other than sympathizing with her and letting her vent to me, I don't plan to intervene myself.  I struggle with being one of those parents that wants to jump in and fix things for my kids but have been forcing myself to allow my adult children to handle things on their own. It's hard!

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DD tried one more time to talk to the professor about this assignment.  He finally told her that he actually drops the lowest two assignment scores for each student at the end of the semester but doesn't announce it to the class to keep students from "counting on it" and not doing their best on all the assignments. So, he genuinely believes that this missing assignment will not hurt DD in any way.  We are both still fairly annoyed but at least somewhat mollified.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Pegasus said:

DD tried one more time to talk to the professor about this assignment.  He finally told her that he actually drops the lowest two assignment scores for each student at the end of the semester but doesn't announce it to the class to keep students from "counting on it" and not doing their best on all the assignments. So, he genuinely believes that this missing assignment will not hurt DD in any way.  We are both still fairly annoyed but at least somewhat mollified.

 

 

Good for her for trying to talk to him again! That’s good news grade wise at least, but I agree, quite annoying!

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Pfft. He's still a twit. 

I lost someone's assignment this semester and I used the omit function in my gradebook to remove the assignment from calculation completely. 

But yeah. I'd photograph or scan all future assignments in this class. 

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I had this happen to me in a history class.  I even got the assignment back with a grade!  It was a poster of war movements or something, so I tossed it.  I had a A on every single assignment,  so imagine my surprise to get a B for the class.   I went in to discuss it and discovered the 0 grade.  I was within a few points if an A .  Like a 5% on thus assignment would have given me the A.  He aplogized and sent a grade change through.  This was back before online grades, so we didn't have the ability to see out grading total to even see a missing assignment.   I assume that he just put my grade in another students line.  He remembered me, and knew I was a A student.

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On 3/8/2019 at 5:32 PM, Pegasus said:

Not to muddy the issue above, but he appears to have no respect at all for the students. His method of returning quizzes and assignments is to toss the stack on the floor for the students to retrieve.  I'm afraid if I encourage DD to talk to the dean that the professor would hold it against her for the rest of the semester.  Any suggested course of action?

 

Ah, that brings back memories!  I remember having to crouch on the hallway floor and sift through a stack of problem sets to find mine.  I started using a pink highlighter to outline the top of my page to make it stand out.  

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  • 1 month later...

I recommended against it but DD has been trying to use her cellphone to video the instructor tossing assignments on the floor for retrieval.  She says that whenever she gets her phone out and aims it at him, he places the stack on the table. 

Last exam went really well.  Just the final left, I think. Fingers crossed that she'll never take this guy again.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/28/2019 at 9:48 AM, Pegasus said:

I wanted to provide a final update.  DD got an A- for the course and provided a scathing end-of-course evaluation on the guy.  

She should now email the head of the department. As my head of department always says, no grade is final. She doesn't have to speak to anyone, but it lets the department head know, and, if it is like my university, the teacher will hear from the department head. She can also file a protest against the grade - if getting points for that assignment would have given her an A. Both are paper work, not in-person things and now she doesn't have to fear retribution.

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