Having a tough time with late assignment policy

Discussion in 'High School' started by cymru3, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. cymru3

    cymru3 Rookie

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    Dec 30, 2015

    I'm currently covering for another teacher for the full year while they are on leave. Their policy for their AP class is that if a student does not hand something in on time, then they don't get credit for it at all. That counts for everything - homework and major papers/assignments. I have kept all policies and routines as the regular teacher had them, although the no late work policy probably wouldn't be my preference.

    Each time I have assigned a major paper, there has been one student who has not handed the paper in on time. The structure of the course so far has been to turn papers in by X time using Turnitin. Because of the impact that these 0s have on their grades, I consult with a number of people on the administration team before I put the 0 into the grading system. Each time this has happened, the issue has escalated further, with more staff needing to be consulted. I'm beginning to feel (although nobody has made me feel this way, just me being insecure about a year-long position I guess) that I'm creating problems for people, which I don't want to do as I need a good recommendation if I want to be working somewhere come September! I do feel badly for the students, but at the same time, they are not doing what they should be doing despite being aware of the consequences.

    I mentioned to one member of administration that I'm going to rethink how I can implement this policy, as there has been an issue with every single assignment. Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to how I can do this while keeping the no late assignment policy in place, as others have received the zeros so it would be unfair to change that for other students now. We also have to run the papers through Turnitin, as it's become part of the school-wide policy on plagiarism, otherwise I'd just get them to hand in a hard copy instead.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 30, 2015

    This is an AP class for which students potentially earn college credits. College profs aren't going to deal with late assignments. The 'real world' of work isn't going to either. I'm not sure why so many others need to confer with you every time an assignment is late.
     
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  4. cymru3

    cymru3 Rookie

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    Dec 30, 2015

    I was asked to check in with others due to the effect on a student's overall grade. E.g. from an A to a D+ or an F depending on the assignment.
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Dec 30, 2015

    I'm confused as to why you need to consult administration each time about putting zeroes in since they are now all aware of the policy and that some students will still not turn in the assignments on time. I can see if you need to consult because of an exception such as a major illness where the student asked in advanced or college level accommodations for a student with a disability, but aside from those situations, I don't understand the need to consult with anyone. What am I missing?

    I agree with the general policy for the AP class. There are always exceptions, even in college. These are usually dealt with in advance with the professor and an agreement is reached (or not).
     
  6. cymru3

    cymru3 Rookie

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    Dec 30, 2015

    No special circumstances, just students not turning things in when they're supposed to.

    I don't want to go back on the 'no late assignments' policy. I'm just trying to think of a way to alter it slightly so I don't get the "my computer mysteriously broke half an hour before the deadline" excuses when the assignment is only handed in on Turnitin. For example, I've been considering making it a requirement for students to also hand in a hard copy, but then what to do when a student hands in a hard copy but not the digital by the deadline, or vice versa? Just seems much more complicated than it needs to be.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    How about turning in outline, rough copy, revisions along the way?
     
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  8. cymru3

    cymru3 Rookie

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    Dec 30, 2015

    Oh, they do that. I should have mentioned that to begin with, sorry. Each time, the issue seems to be (whatever excuse is given) that the student just forgets about the deadline, or that they work right up to the deadline and end up missing it, as Turnitin stops accepting submissions at the deadline.
     
  9. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Dec 30, 2015

    Can you set TurnItIn to have the deadline when school starts for the day instead of at midnight? This allows for the late-nighters to work throughout the night.

    That is the only thing I can think of that would give some leeway and still adhere to the policy.
     
  10. cymru3

    cymru3 Rookie

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    I like that. That would also prevent the "my computer blew up" excuses as students can use the computers at school to submit. Thank you.
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    It won't solve them all such as the I forgot to e-mail it to myself, I had it on a jump drive and it is corrupted, it is on my computer at home, etc. There will always be an excuse, some real and some planned. Happy I was able to come up with something that may help the "my computer blew up" excuse.
     
  12. cymru3

    cymru3 Rookie

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    Oh, I don't doubt it. However, it seems as though this will help the situation somewhat. At the very least it might encourage the students to get it done beforehand and not to work right up until the last minute, as they won't really be able to. That's what one of the big issues seems to be, students working right up until the deadline to perfect a completed essay then losing track of time.
     
  13. Historyct

    Historyct Rookie

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    Jan 7, 2016

    I used to have just as strict of a late work policy, but only with homework. If a student didn't hand the homework in on time, which meant during the class that I had them in, it was a 0. Because of a similar situation that you're describing about how it impacted students' grades, I have done the following:
    • I will accept work 1 day late, but points will be deducted
    • If no homework is submitted at all, it will count as a 50.
    I was very much against the latter for a long time, but a literacy teacher convinced me to adopt that policy because the student still receives an F, but it is not to the point of no recovery.

    Here are my thoughts about the your concern over the recommendation though. I'm not sure what the administrative or school culture is, but I would assume that your recommendation would be stronger if you adhered to the policies of the teacher you are filling in for, not if you change the policy to raise students' grades. Most likely, grades won't have any impact on how good the recommendation is. The teacher or admin would probably comment on your work ethic, management style, collegiality, and how you built rapport with the students. Changing the policy, I think, would just make the teacher more aggravated when he or she returns.
     
  14. cymru3

    cymru3 Rookie

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    Jan 9, 2016

    Thank you for your input. That was my feeling too.
     

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