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How would you compare your student's work from previous years? My mostly sophomore-level writing classes are making grade-school punctuation and capitalization errors. I'm trying to decide if it is just the year, or they really do need the middle-school level worksheets that I'm using in an attempt to remediate. I think they are getting sentence structure help from Yoda. It is really bad.

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Definitely not university faculty, but my college freshman was completely stressed about turning in her first essay.  And, then, they did peer reviews.  Let's just say that doing peer reviews totally shocked her, and she is no longer stressed about any writing assignments.  She said one of the papers (and this is HONORS English) had no thesis statement, meandered all over the place, was difficult to even understand what they were saying.  (She did say that one of the other ones was pretty decent, though.) But, she couldn't understand how a couple were ever placed into honors English.

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I went abroad for a year in high school, didn't write anything in English for a year, and then started AP English. My first paper back was the worst grade I got in high school. Then I revised it and it was great. My teacher said to me, "I really wondered why you were in this class. Now I understand."

That said, the amount of disruption in normal school last year could really have left students with incredibly rusty skills. My son's high school was not allowed to give any grades from March on, so very few students completed all work, despite it being a gifted / accelerated school that ranks in the top in our state.

(Trying to be charitable.)

Emily

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I teach a very different topic, so I can't really make a comparison of writing skills of this semester's students to previous years.  I do know that students this semester are reporting a much higher stress level and a much higher workload than they had in previous semesters (I am teaching mostly seniors--with some juniors thrown in).  

Is there a big difference in the structure of the course?  Are you meeting in person?  Have students turned in hard copies before but now submitting electronic copies?  I know I can proofread much better when I have a printed page than when I am looking at a screen.

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I haven't seen any difference in the level of work from my English students this year.

I do see increased stress levels and increased confusion. They all have more online classes and hybrid classes which my University doesn't normally allow freshmen to take. I can see the potential for that stress and confusion leading to lower quality work - they just don't have the mental capacity left to work in the midst of the stressors.

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Not a teacher, but I know our local public university had to accept students without the usual ACT requirements this year. It was a substantial number of students for a mid-size school. Maybe your school did the same? In between that, and stress, I can see winding up with such a class. 

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On 9/15/2020 at 8:56 PM, 8FillTheHeart said:

And, then, they did peer reviews.  Let's just say that doing peer reviews totally shocked her, and she is no longer stressed about any writing assignments.  She said one of the papers (and this is HONORS English) had no thesis statement, meandered all over the place, was difficult to even understand what they were saying.  (She did say that one of the other ones was pretty decent, though.) But, she couldn't understand how a couple were ever placed into honors English.

My daughter had the same experience when she did dual enrollment in high school.  It was shocking (and sad) how bad other students' writing was.  

 

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Also not faculty but in following the parent's FB groups for my DDs' schools, many parents are reporting that those students who are off campus are struggling with the isolation of remote classes. For DD2, it was very important that she get an apartment with friend so that she was among other people who were studying.

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Thanks all. As far as I know, I am the only professor teaching this class as fully in-person this semester. For various reasons my classroom is a large computer lab, and we can spread out. I did have students transfer into my sections because it is all live, so I might have a concentration of a certain kind of learner. I also don't use the English department's assignment bank. I'm pretty sure my student's work is all their own. 😉

There is a considerable reliance on computers in all classes, though. Administration is requesting we hand out/ hand in as little paper as possible. I did make the suggestion this week that students print things out and look at them before submitting electronically.

I did two other things this week. I went over the "grammar in writing" assignments a bit more thoroughly, (I had been treating them as independent refresher assignments for the students) and I gave out some very low grades. I'll see what came in overnight later this morning, but I had more specific and careful questions from my students this week.

As for stress, yeah, it is a thing. Students are much less boisterous this year. ETA- I did break the students up into groups for some activities this week (well-masked... sort of socially distanced). They immediately perked up and started giving each other help on my other assignments and calling me over with all kinds of questions, some barely related to English. We are at the end of the 6th week of the semester.

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5 hours ago, MamaSprout said:

Thanks all. As far as I know, I am the only professor teaching this class as fully in-person this semester. For various reasons my classroom is a large computer lab, and we can spread out. I did have students transfer into my sections because it is all live, so I might have a concentration of a certain kind of learner. I also don't use the English department's assignment bank. I'm pretty sure my student's work is all their own. 😉

There is a considerable reliance on computers in all classes, though. Administration is requesting we hand out/ hand in as little paper as possible. I did make the suggestion this week that students print things out and look at them before submitting electronically.

I did two other things this week. I went over the "grammar in writing" assignments a bit more thoroughly, (I had been treating them as independent refresher assignments for the students) and I gave out some very low grades. I'll see what came in overnight later this morning, but I had more specific and careful questions from my students this week.

As for stress, yeah, it is a thing. Students are much less boisterous this year. ETA- I did break the students up into groups for some activities this week (well-masked... sort of socially distanced). They immediately perked up and started giving each other help on my other assignments and calling me over with all kinds of questions, some barely related to English. We are at the end of the 6th week of the semester.

It is a very stressful time--for everyone.  All of those little things that break up the stress of a day, such as seeing a friend's smile as you walk between classes, are missing.  I think the absence of some of those stress relievers is significant for college students.  I am wondering how much computer fatigue is setting in with your students.  Suppose in a regular semester students sit down at their computer to write their paper--after having walked from their math class where they were using paper and pencil and before walking to their biology class where they would be doing a hands-on experiment.  But now, the sitting at the computer, writing a paper, is sandwiched between sitting at a computer typing in answers to math problems and sitting at a computer watching a biology lab demonstration.  And then on to the ZOOM club meeting!!!  Not only is so much screen time difficult, all of the other screen time does not require the same level of thought and detail to grammar, spelling, and structure.  I am wondering if they aren't making the mental transition of what they need to be doing on their computer.  

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On 9/15/2020 at 10:32 AM, MamaSprout said:

How would you compare your student's work from previous years? My mostly sophomore-level writing classes are making grade-school punctuation and capitalization errors. I'm trying to decide if it is just the year, or they really do need the middle-school level worksheets that I'm using in an attempt to remediate. I think they are getting sentence structure help from Yoda. It is really bad.

I have been teaching for almost 20 years at the college level, and I have seen a huge degradation over that time span.  From year to year, it's only a small amount, but from 10 years ago, 20 years ago, it's huge.

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I've taught a STEM field for over twenty years at the community college level, so I get a wide range of students. Some are thinking they want to major in my field because of the money, and it's really not their thing from my side of the gradebook. 

My classes that started in August have been fine. They really aren't any different from previous years and semesters. 

But oh, boy! I have one that started on Labor Day, and I predict that half of the class is either going to drop or fail. They just aren't getting it. I did notice this morning that eight had dropped out of thirty so far. 

I have several students who are way out there. One is supposedly a sophomore, but she emailed me yesterday to ask if the grade was based on summarizing the textbook chapters. This is a very hands-on, project-based class, which I pointed out. Then she said that she found the videos I linked to "boring and hard to follow," so she made up her own assignment. What? Others have been asking me questions like they aren't using the textbook and my instructions at all.  

I have another one that starts in October, so we shall see.  

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22 hours ago, G5052 said:

But oh, boy! I have one that started on Labor Day, and I predict that half of the class is either going to drop or fail. They just aren't getting it. I did notice this morning that eight had dropped out of thirty so far. 

I have several students who are way out there. One is supposedly a sophomore, but she emailed me yesterday to ask if the grade was based on summarizing the textbook chapters. This is a very hands-on, project-based class, which I pointed out. Then she said that she found the videos I linked to "boring and hard to follow," so she made up her own assignment. What? Others have been asking me questions like they aren't using the textbook and my instructions at all.  

You've got my curiosity piqued!  What do you teach and what aren't they understanding?  What is the demographic of your students?  

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On 9/19/2020 at 4:05 PM, G5052 said:

I have several students who are way out there. One is supposedly a sophomore, but she emailed me yesterday to ask if the grade was based on summarizing the textbook chapters. This is a very hands-on, project-based class, which I pointed out. Then she said that she found the videos I linked to "boring and hard to follow," so she made up her own assignment. What? Others have been asking me questions like they aren't using the textbook and my instructions at all.  

 

I have a class of business students in their senior year.  I am using the case method with Harvard Business School cases.  We meet by ZOOM once a week for the online discussion of the case.  Students are assigned teams and have to read and answer study questions about the case before the class discussion.  I just had one team contact me (while working on the fifth case of the semester), complaining about a team member.  They said his responses to the study questions had been unreadable--in addition to grammar/spelling problems the answers made no sense.  They started talking to him and found out he didn't have a copy of the cases for the class.  Said he didn't know that there were "cases" he was supposed to be reading and that he was just making up random answers to the questions.  Some of the questions are like "If ABC company's sales increase 10%, how many more workers will they have to hire given the productivity numbers in Table 4?"  
Yes, it clearly states on the syllabus that there is not a textbook, but a course pack of Harvard cases--the syllabus is online with a hyperlink so that students can purchase the pack electronically directly from Harvard.  This explanation and link is also provided as a separate tab in the class LMS.  I sent TWO emails to the entire class explaining this.  I made a video about how I expected to approach and use the cases for them to watch at the beginning of the semester.  I discussed this the first day of class AND we have had four cases we have discussed so far in which students are asked what they think the main character in the case should do, etc.  

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1 hour ago, daijobu said:

You've got my curiosity piqued!  What do you teach and what aren't they understanding?  What is the demographic of your students?  

I teach web development and multimedia. The classes are based on creating progressively more complicated web pages and media. Both have weekly homework to create different web pages and media focusing on certain skills. Both classes develop parts of a project all semester that is graded at midterm as a draft and then final at the end. Both are freshman-level classes for information technology majors. This is a nationally-ranked community college with strong transfer agreements and guaranteed admission agreements. That said, I get all kinds of students. There is no average student. I get everything from students who live in their cars to students who went to pricey private schools K-12 and then flunked out of an Ivy that I suspect are very well off. I have 16 y.o. dual enrollment up to folks in their 70's who are retired and just doing it for fun.

It's an inability to focus on very detailed information, an unwillingness to troubleshoot their own work, and an inability to follow instructions. As an example, instead of following the directions for uploading web pages on the college enterprise system and providing me with a URL for an HTML file via the Canvas assignment, they email me a shared Google link with Word files instead of HTML files on the enterprise system. My instructions give exactly how to use the enterprise system and how to put together an HTML file that will work in a browser. 

I was telling my daughter about the student who wanted to just summarize the chapters and then did their own thing on a web page after calling a professionally produced, five-minute Adobe video "boring and hard to follow." My daughter laughed and said, "That's a homeschooler." LOL. 

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16 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

I have a class of business students in their senior year.  I am using the case method with Harvard Business School cases.  We meet by ZOOM once a week for the online discussion of the case.  Students are assigned teams and have to read and answer study questions about the case before the class discussion.  I just had one team contact me (while working on the fifth case of the semester), complaining about a team member.  They said his responses to the study questions had been unreadable--in addition to grammar/spelling problems the answers made no sense.  They started talking to him and found out he didn't have a copy of the cases for the class.  Said he didn't know that there were "cases" he was supposed to be reading and that he was just making up random answers to the questions.  Some of the questions are like "If ABC company's sales increase 10%, how many more workers will they have to hire given the productivity numbers in Table 4?"  
Yes, it clearly states on the syllabus that there is not a textbook, but a course pack of Harvard cases--the syllabus is online with a hyperlink so that students can purchase the pack electronically directly from Harvard.  This explanation and link is also provided as a separate tab in the class LMS.  I sent TWO emails to the entire class explaining this.  I made a video about how I expected to approach and use the cases for them to watch at the beginning of the semester.  I discussed this the first day of class AND we have had four cases we have discussed so far in which students are asked what they think the main character in the case should do, etc.  

My oldest is graduating from business school in December, and he had some people on group projects like that. I was helping him with his resume and suggested that he talk about his group project that he did in his capstone class, and he said he might not want to. He reminded me that he did about 80% of the work on the project and had to scramble and then put in long hours to get the final project whipped into shape. He got an "A" in the class, but suspected that the others did very poorly in the end. One class member never showed up for the group Zoom sessions and contributed nothing until they were preparing for the final presentation. 

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College students are the only consumers who want less for their money.

Do I have to read the text?

Do you take attendance?

Can you cancel the last class before (every) break?

Can you just raise my grade enough for me to keep my scholarship?

I just used that student's assignment as a starting point!

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5 hours ago, SusanC said:

College students are the only consumers who want less for their money.

Do I have to read the text?

Do you take attendance?

Can you cancel the last class before (every) break?

Can you just raise my grade enough for me to keep my scholarship?

I just used that student's assignment as a starting point!

It has been this way since i have been teaching, but it has intensified during the pandemic.  As faculty we are being pressured to prove that our courses are just as rigorous and just as engaging online as they are in person.  I teach at a private school where parents have been demanding a price break because they feel they aren't getting the same product in an online class.  At the same time we are getting that students are worried, nervous, confused, stressed, emotionally exhausted and some are sick with COVID, have family members who are, or are quarantined--so be gentle, patient, understanding, more flexible with deadlines and assignments. 

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On 9/18/2020 at 6:17 PM, Kassia said:

My daughter had the same experience when she did dual enrollment in high school.  It was shocking (and sad) how bad other students' writing was.  

This with the older son (younger one should be experiencing it any minute now).

Also, I have two recent master's degrees from writing intensive programs.  I would say that less than 25% of the other students were able to produce grammatically correct prose on a regular basis, and less than 10% were able to produce reasonable undergraduate level work (to say nothing of graduate level work!).  It was really sad.

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On 9/21/2020 at 2:46 AM, kdsuomi said:

I know students at the high school here have told teachers they don't like the websites the teachers are using and assignments the teachers are giving, so they're going to do this thing instead. It kind of scares me that students think that's ok.

Must be happening here too. I can't imagine proposing that to a professor, but I'm a boomer.

I just graded more assignments in my "interesting" class, and fully half of the class is now failing. Tomorrow I dig into their project plans. 

The student who made up an assignment made up another one even though I told them not to do that. I gave them 10/100 which is what I give for almost no effort at all. 

I confronted another one who was not following the directions. What they did might have been cheating (hard to prove), so they also got 10/100 with a message from me that I showed mercy. If I see that again, it will be a zero. Now they are all repentant and claiming that their partner helped them without knowing what I expected. Whatever, the grade stands. I couldn't tell if they actually did the work or not with the way they did it. 

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I haven't much argument with the steady decline of skills observations but I will add in my home things are more stressful than usual due to social frustrations. We are not on the same page as all of our social group and every meeting is comments and frustrations. The stress is affecting everybodies ability to function at their usual level. It is simply hard to focus, period.

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9 hours ago, frogger said:

I haven't much argument with the steady decline of skills observations but I will add in my home things are more stressful than usual due to social frustrations. We are not on the same page as all of our social group and every meeting is comments and frustrations. The stress is affecting everybodies ability to function at their usual level. It is simply hard to focus, period.

Yes, every student I've had come to online office hours talks about how stressful it is right now. I had one this summer who had four people in the hospital at once with COVID, and he was trying to get his work done in the hospital parking lot. One came today and said that bluntly she doesn't do well with online classes. 

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My dh teaches online and it has just gotten progressively worse over 15 years.

The number of students who see due dates as mild suggestions and expect to hand in ten labs and all the homeworks and all the quizzes the last week of class is absolutley staggering. It is so many that approach it this way, it has to fly in high school or other online classes. It never crossed my mind as a student that the due date wasn't really the due date. Just a helpful suggestion to stay on track?

My dh actually accepts late work (or else everyone would always fail and he would not have a job). His late work penalty is that he just gives a grade and doesn't provide helpful feedback. Just a number grade. He explains this multiple times. He had a student hand in a late lab and he just gave a grade with no feedback. She wrote him a nasty email accusing him of "ganging up on her" and not supporting her success and copied his boss. I'm hung up on the use of the word "ganging" and wondering who she thinks my dh is colluding with to orchestrate her failure. 

He continually gets demands to send students copies of the pages in the textbook because they don't own it. He gets complaints to his superiors that he penalized students for missing homework they couldn't do because they didn't buy the book.

I just don't know when things like due dates and required book purchases became optional and things only the superstar overachievers did.

So that rant isn't really related to the writing issues. My kids, who never considered themselves fantastic writers, definitely got to college and realized that whatever we did in homeschool was far superior to what their peers had. 

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I'm going through a version of this right now.

About 75% of the freshmen class at my uni is required to take a basic algebra class (problem solving, linear equations, functions, basic stats, etc). Because there are so many sections (and so many instructors) of the course, we use a an online content & homework management system to standardize the material as much as possible, and we start using it in week #4 in my class. They were told in our zoom meetings in weeks #1, 2, &3, and reminded again by email blast yesterday, that they need to sign up for the system. I will see my two sections tomorrow, and all of this week's material (which they are supposed to start working on BEFORE we meet) is in the system. I just checked, and over half of my students have not yet registered and set up their accounts. Which means that they have not yet started interacting the material. Which means I will stare at many, many blank faces tomorrow when I ask if there are any questions about the concepts & ideas before we break into groups to practice and extend on the material. UGH.

I just don't wanna.

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On 9/29/2020 at 6:56 AM, teachermom2834 said:

.

I just don't know when things like due dates and required book purchases became optional and things only the superstar overachievers did.

 

I'm trying to figure out why taxpayers should continue to subsidize this behaivor. I'm all for the state subsidizing university work because I find it benefits other citizens too and is a public good but I think competeing for spots and losing your spot if you fail to do the work is a way to make sure those students are fulfilling their end of the bargain. 

 

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5 hours ago, frogger said:

I'm trying to figure out why taxpayers should continue to subsidize this behaivor. I'm all for the state subsidizing university work because I find it benefits other citizens too and is a public good but I think competeing for spots and losing your spot if you fail to do the work is a way to make sure those students are fulfilling their end of the bargain. 

 

Yes, I've been a community college professor for over twenty years now, and the irony is that a percentage of students disappearing/failing is built into the system. If all of our students were diligent, we could never handle them. It's how the community colleges survive, plain and simple. The bar for admission is low, and many don't make it. 

I'm fortunate in that the courses I teach are both taken by second-semester freshmen or sophomores, so I have a higher finish rate than many. 

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5 hours ago, frogger said:

I'm trying to figure out why taxpayers should continue to subsidize this behaivor. I'm all for the state subsidizing university work because I find it benefits other citizens too and is a public good but I think competeing for spots and losing your spot if you fail to do the work is a way to make sure those students are fulfilling their end of the bargain. 

That is how it works in the countries where they have free university education (at least the ones I'm familiar with).

You have to go to usually a couple of extra years of high school (past what non-university bound kids take), then take a series of quite rigorous exams (way more in depth than SAT/ACT - in actual subjects and deep content knowledge, often with oral presentations and real essays that are not bot-graded).  Only then do you get into a university, and it's free (or virtually free).  

But then, if you can't keep up with the work, you unceremoniously flunk out and do something else with your life.  Too bad, so sad.  No hand-holding.  If you can hack it and do the work, it's free or quite affordable.  If you can't, well, it's not even available to you anymore.

This actually works better when the education is government subsidized and the university isn't counting on the student or their family paying $$$, which causes universities here to do everything in their power to retain access to those $$$, which means coddling and hand-holding and doing everything possible to retain them even if they're practically flunking or barely, or not, doing the work.

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1 hour ago, Matryoshka said:

That is how it works in the countries where they have free university education (at least the ones I'm familiar with).

You have to go to usually a couple of extra years of high school (past what non-university bound kids take), then take a series of quite rigorous exams (way more in depth than SAT/ACT - in actual subjects and deep content knowledge, often with oral presentations and real essays that are not bot-graded).  Only then do you get into a university, and it's free (or virtually free).  

But then, if you can't keep up with the work, you unceremoniously flunk out and do something else with your life.  Too bad, so sad.  No hand-holding.  If you can hack it and do the work, it's free or quite affordable.  If you can't, well, it's not even available to you anymore.

This actually works better when the education is government subsidized and the university isn't counting on the student or their family paying $$$, which causes universities here to do everything in their power to retain access to those $$$, which means coddling and hand-holding and doing everything possible to retain them even if they're practically flunking or barely, or not, doing the work.

This is what tax payer subsidized universities and community colleges do here anyway. 

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9 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

This is what tax payer subsidized universities and community colleges do here anyway. 

Are you in the US?  There are no rigorous entrance exams here, the equivalent of the German Abitur, French Baccalaureate, or English A levels.  They don't exist, so we certainly don't do the first thing.

As for the second, sink-or-swim, CCs are open to all, and do flunk people out, yes, but there's also no pretty much bar to get in as in Europe, so there's the reason for all the unprepared students.     

But state universities? They are still super-expensive in most states, and extra-hard to get into especially for in-state students who are the most subsidized - they're much more likely to accept middling students that will pay $$$ out-of-state tuition, which kind of undermines the reason we supposedly subsidize in-state U's.  And they certainly don't unceremoniously flunk you out without giving tons of support and 2nd and 3rd and 4th chances.  I know a kid (at a stateU, but not in-state) who should long have been given his marching orders, but he's still hanging on with lots of 'help' like once making a final optional (not with good grades, but a D going in - he would have flunked the final and the course if he'd taken it), and he's made straight up F's in a few other courses.  And yet, he's still there, and his parents are paying $$$ for it.  I am unconvinced he will ever earn the degree, but he'll pay for at least 5 of years OOS tuition trying...

It's not the taxpayers getting the shaft with this model...

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29 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Are you in the US?  There are no rigorous entrance exams here, the equivalent of the German Abitur, French Baccalaureate, or English A levels.  They don't exist, so we certainly don't do the first thing.

As for the second, sink-or-swim, CCs are open to all, and do flunk people out, yes, but there's also no pretty much bar to get in as in Europe, so there's the reason for all the unprepared students.     

But state universities? They are still super-expensive in most states, and extra-hard to get into especially for in-state students who are the most subsidized - they're much more likely to accept middling students that will pay $$$ out-of-state tuition, which kind of undermines the reason we supposedly subsidize in-state U's.  And they certainly don't unceremoniously flunk you out without giving tons of support and 2nd and 3rd and 4th chances.  I know a kid (at a stateU, but not in-state) who should long have been given his marching orders, but he's still hanging on with lots of 'help' like once making a final optional (not with good grades, but a D going in - he would have flunked the final and the course if he'd taken it), and he's made straight up F's in a few other courses.  And yet, he's still there, and his parents are paying $$$ for it.  I am unconvinced he will ever earn the degree, but he'll pay for at least 5 of years OOS tuition trying...

It's not the taxpayers getting the shaft with this model...

Oh yes. I 100% agree with you. 

I was just saying keeping those in college who shouldn’t be there isn’t only just to make money off the students in case of private colleges. We also waste phenomenal amount of taxpayer dollars on kids who take and retake and retake again courses they should have passed in high school in the first place.

 

I am all for rigorous entrance exams, which will never happen, because meritocracy is long dead with new politics. I am also for a one year intense prep program for those who want a second chance or who simply want to go back to the system later in life. I know Germany has those preparatory programs. 
 

 

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7 hours ago, frogger said:

I'm trying to figure out why taxpayers should continue to subsidize this behaivor. I'm all for the state subsidizing university work because I find it benefits other citizens too and is a public good but I think competeing for spots and losing your spot if you fail to do the work is a way to make sure those students are fulfilling their end of the bargain. 

 

I taught at a state university and this was a major issue.  I would have students register for class and never show up, but then the governor wanted to tie my pay to the grade they received in my class.  If I put down an "A" for a student who took zero exams, turned in zero homework, and came to zero classes I would get higher pay than if I failed the student!  When faculty complained about those incentives we were told it was not only our job to teach but to motivate them to do the work--HOW can I motivate a student who has never even logged into the LMS, much less attended class????

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On 9/29/2020 at 9:56 AM, teachermom2834 said:

The number of students who see due dates as mild suggestions and expect to hand in ten labs and all the homeworks and all the quizzes the last week of class is absolutley staggering. It is so many that approach it this way, it has to fly in high school or other online classes. It never crossed my mind as a student that the due date wasn't really the due date. Just a helpful suggestion to stay on track?

Just before we moved from the North Country in NY about 10 years ago, the school district decided to make deadlines for work "flexible". Students could turn in any work up to the end of the grading period, regardless of what the actual due date was. Teachers weren't allowed to penalize students for this practice. Where we are now, I saw some of the same "flexibility" in my ds's high school classes. I couldn't imagine being a high school teacher and in the last week of the grading cycle receiving all the late work from the students.  

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3 minutes ago, wilrunner2 said:

Just before we moved from the North Country in NY about 10 years ago, the school district decided to make deadlines for work "flexible". Students could turn in any work up to the end of the grading period, regardless of what the actual due date was. Teachers weren't allowed to penalize students for this practice. Where we are now, I saw some of the same "flexibility" in my ds's high school classes. I couldn't imagine being a high school teacher and in the last week of the grading cycle receiving all the late work from the students.  

Not only is it a huge grading load at the end of the semester, but it is often irrelevant to grade work for one student when other students received feedback on the same assignments weeks before.  I have lost count of "but can't I get some credit" for an assignment that has already had the answer key made available to students.  

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4 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

Not only is it a huge grading load at the end of the semester, but it is often irrelevant to grade work for one student when other students received feedback on the same assignments weeks before.  I have lost count of "but can't I get some credit" for an assignment that has already had the answer key made available to students.  

That is a conundrum! Though it should absolutely be relevant in high school, I don't believe it is if students aren't allowed to fail (or if teachers aren't allowed to fail students, as was the case in NY). The knowledge isn't there even if the grades are (barely?) there. The public school system needs an overhaul in so many ways. It's hurting students under the guise of "helping" them and penalizes all the students, especially the ones who are diligent, as they head off to college.

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It is very much a disservice to the students.  

One of my children's earliest lessons is " all education is self-education." Yes, people can give you resources, explanations, feedback  but really what you do with it is up to you. 

 

 

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It's incredibly depressing right now especially with the total inability to be sure that someone's actually heard something. I can't tell you how much I hate this. I spend more time emailing, nagging, and dealing with people who didn't read the directions that were literally IN THE NAME OF THE ASSIGNMENT, or people who are just getting started on a course that started a month ago. I'm pretty much in "fine, whatever" mode. The homework's open. Knock yourself out. Yes the late penalty applies. If you get up to any of the assignments that don't autograde I'll grade it. Since I have only rarely seen someone who missed the first week of class pass the class I'm not really worried about consistency in grading on those extremely late assignments. I'm just a grading nagging robot right now and the way-behind people are turning in so little and so late that trying to explain to them why it's not a good use of their time would take more time than just saying "ok, the assignments are over there, let me know when you're ready for the first test."

I do agree with open cc education but what I'd really like to see more of is mandatory time off for people who are just goofing around. I think that if someone has a 0.0 gpa from 5 years ago and has been working a job since, I'm totally okay with funding them for another shot. Lord knows my freshman gpa was terrible enough.

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17 hours ago, kiana said:

It's incredibly depressing right now especially with the total inability to be sure that someone's actually heard something. I can't tell you how much I hate this. I spend more time emailing, nagging, and dealing with people who didn't read the directions that were literally IN THE NAME OF THE ASSIGNMENT, or people who are just getting started on a course that started a month ago. I'm pretty much in "fine, whatever" mode. The homework's open. Knock yourself out. Yes the late penalty applies. If you get up to any of the assignments that don't autograde I'll grade it. Since I have only rarely seen someone who missed the first week of class pass the class I'm not really worried about consistency in grading on those extremely late assignments. I'm just a grading nagging robot right now and the way-behind people are turning in so little and so late that trying to explain to them why it's not a good use of their time would take more time than just saying "ok, the assignments are over there, let me know when you're ready for the first test."

I do agree with open cc education but what I'd really like to see more of is mandatory time off for people who are just goofing around. I think that if someone has a 0.0 gpa from 5 years ago and has been working a job since, I'm totally okay with funding them for another shot. Lord knows my freshman gpa was terrible enough.

And then DS has a professor who names an assignment "September 29 assignment" .  The due date for the assignment was September 28 at 1:00pm.   So, I see why some students are confused.

But, I know what you are talking about regarding being concerned when you see certain behavior.  I was talking to a student this week who has attended 0 classes, done 0 assignments and has completed one quiz with a 65.  I struggle with whether to be an encourager, supporter or whether its best to simply say, in over 3 decades of teaching I have only seen ONE student who has demonstrated this behavior by the halfway mark make it through the class.  

 

 

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17 hours ago, Bootsie said:

And then DS has a professor who names an assignment "September 29 assignment" .  The due date for the assignment was September 28 at 1:00pm.   So, I see why some students are confused.

But, I know what you are talking about regarding being concerned when you see certain behavior.  I was talking to a student this week who has attended 0 classes, done 0 assignments and has completed one quiz with a 65.  I struggle with whether to be an encourager, supporter or whether its best to simply say, in over 3 decades of teaching I have only seen ONE student who has demonstrated this behavior by the halfway mark make it through the class.  

 

 

DS did have a professor make a confusing due date for an assignment. He usually turns all his stuff in on time. It was a midnight due date so he turned it in in the day it was due at 10AM. The problem was that it was due the first minute of the day of course. He was thinking it was due that night. I guess not flying much and not bothering celebrating New Years at midnight meant he hadn't much thought about what day it is at the stroke of midnight.

 

But yes, a September 29th assignment due the 28th is worse.

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1 minute ago, frogger said:

DS did have a professor make a confusing due date for an assignment. He usually turns all his stuff in on time. It was a midnight due date so he turned it in in the day it was due at 10AM. The problem was that it was due the first minute of the day of course. He was thinking it was due that night. I guess not flying much and not bothering celebrating New Years at midnight meant he hadn't much thought about what day it is at the stroke of midnight.

 

But yes, a September 29th assignment due the 28th is worse.

Is it possible the professor did not know this?  I found out that in my Learning Management System, I have to put 11:59pm, Oct 4 (with a minute of grace time) for it to show up as due on Oct 4.  when I used the "clock" feature to set the time at midnight, it would put in the calendar students can use as "October 5"--so they would think they had an extra day.

DS's professor has done a number of things like this, so I don't think it is a LMS issue.  They have class on Friday.  Professor assigns a reading and students must do a response on the discussion board AND then respond to another student's response--by 1:00pm on Sunday.  So, this isn't an assignment DS can do ahead of time.  It isn't necessarily a really length assignment by DS works Friday evenings, most of Saturday, and during the day on Sunday, leaving the rest of the week free for school work (and he isn't in a position to change his schedule).  DS can't even do his reading and his response and be finished.  He must wait until someone else posts a response--if no one else does that until Sunday morning he can't respond by the deadline because he is at work.  

 

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22 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

Is it possible the professor did not know this?  I found out that in my Learning Management System, I have to put 11:59pm, Oct 4 (with a minute of grace time) for it to show up as due on Oct 4.  when I used the "clock" feature to set the time at midnight, it would put in the calendar students can use as "October 5"--so they would think they had an extra day.

DS's professor has done a number of things like this, so I don't think it is a LMS issue.  They have class on Friday.  Professor assigns a reading and students must do a response on the discussion board AND then respond to another student's response--by 1:00pm on Sunday.  So, this isn't an assignment DS can do ahead of time.  It isn't necessarily a really length assignment by DS works Friday evenings, most of Saturday, and during the day on Sunday, leaving the rest of the week free for school work (and he isn't in a position to change his schedule).  DS can't even do his reading and his response and be finished.  He must wait until someone else posts a response--if no one else does that until Sunday morning he can't respond by the deadline because he is at work.  

 

It is very possible. I mean, we didn't think about it so we can't assume the professor did.

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Just now, frogger said:

It is very possible. I mean, we didn't think about it so we can't assume the professor did.

I know I have learned a lot looking at how things look on the LMS from a student's perspective through DS and because my husband took a course.  I can switch to "student view" but it still isn't totally functional like a student would see things because I can't see how it looks to turn in an assignment, take a quiz, or have grades in the gradebook.  And I had no idea what I didn't know, until I realized I didn't know it....

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6 hours ago, Bootsie said:

Is it possible the professor did not know this?  I found out that in my Learning Management System, I have to put 11:59pm, Oct 4 (with a minute of grace time) for it to show up as due on Oct 4.  when I used the "clock" feature to set the time at midnight, it would put in the calendar students can use as "October 5"--so they would think they had an extra day.

DS's professor has done a number of things like this, so I don't think it is a LMS issue.  They have class on Friday.  Professor assigns a reading and students must do a response on the discussion board AND then respond to another student's response--by 1:00pm on Sunday.  So, this isn't an assignment DS can do ahead of time.  It isn't necessarily a really length assignment by DS works Friday evenings, most of Saturday, and during the day on Sunday, leaving the rest of the week free for school work (and he isn't in a position to change his schedule).  DS can't even do his reading and his response and be finished.  He must wait until someone else posts a response--if no one else does that until Sunday morning he can't respond by the deadline because he is at work.  

 

Yes, most of the professors I work with have changed their due time to 11:59 p.m. to avoid confusion. 

For the classes I have discussion posts (both as TA and as student) there is at least a day between the initial post due date and when the response is due. That eliminates the above issue. The class I TA for allows 3 days. 
 

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On 9/29/2020 at 9:56 AM, teachermom2834 said:

My dh teaches online and it has just gotten progressively worse over 15 years.

The number of students who see due dates as mild suggestions and expect to hand in ten labs and all the homeworks and all the quizzes the last week of class is absolutley staggering. It is so many that approach it this way, it has to fly in high school or other online classes. It never crossed my mind as a student that the due date wasn't really the due date. Just a helpful suggestion to stay on track?

My dh actually accepts late work (or else everyone would always fail and he would not have a job). His late work penalty is that he just gives a grade and doesn't provide helpful feedback. Just a number grade. He explains this multiple times. He had a student hand in a late lab and he just gave a grade with no feedback. She wrote him a nasty email accusing him of "ganging up on her" and not supporting her success and copied his boss. I'm hung up on the use of the word "ganging" and wondering who she thinks my dh is colluding with to orchestrate her failure. 

He continually gets demands to send students copies of the pages in the textbook because they don't own it. He gets complaints to his superiors that he penalized students for missing homework they couldn't do because they didn't buy the book.

I just don't know when things like due dates and required book purchases became optional and things only the superstar overachievers did.

So that rant isn't really related to the writing issues. My kids, who never considered themselves fantastic writers, definitely got to college and realized that whatever we did in homeschool was far superior to what their peers had. 

Wow! That’s ridiculous! At our local community college, all of the grades show up online, and the window for turning in assignments closes after the due date for an online class. There’s no way to submit it. And the zero shows up right in the grades right away. And if the student is failing at midterms, the instructor can drop them from the class. That way the student gets a W instead of an F. I don’t see how students could show up the last week of class with all of these assignments and have any expectation of them being accepted!

For in person classes, the syllabus says whether or not late assignments are accepted. Usually if they are, they are dropped by a whole letter grade for being one day late. It’s pretty consistent throughout all of the syllabi for all of the instructors that my kids have had. So far, I haven’t seen it be any different at the University my son transferred to. And I don’t think it should be. That’s awful that your husband has to put up with that. I wonder how common that is.

Edited by MerryAtHope
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