Wednesday, May 19, 2010


One of my students hasn't turned in several assignments, and just emailed me to let me know that s/he'd turn them in on the last day of finals.

I've no wish to mess with this student. I know there have been problems.

But I'd really like to express my frustration with the situation.

I know it's not about me. But I get extra stuff to grade late because the student didn't get it done on time. And I get to figure out how to deal with the lateness so far as the grade. What's fair?

I hate the legalistic syllabus thing where we all state exactly what we will do to a grade for every increment of lateness, but even more, I hate the need for that legalistic stuff.

I'm involved in something that's made me realize I'm not the worst professor ever, but when I feel so frustrated by a student turning in stuff late, I sort of feel like I could be.


  1. Neptune629:36 AM

    You are just experiencing an attack of being human, we all get frustrated with little things. The realisation should make us feel proud to be human :)

  2. If their problem was significant enough to result in an incomplete, then no penalty.

    If not, but it was still a good reason -- then I'd say late stuff gets no more than a C+ level grade.

  3. I struggle with this sort of thing all the time. On the one hand, I don't want to use deadlines as an exercise of professorial power. On the other, paper deadlines are warm-up exercises for utility bills and projects for the boss. I end up teetering back and forth.

  4. Augh. That is maddening, especially if they're a graduating senior and need those marks RIGHT NOW!

    At my university, if you declare a reason for each individual, you can give an extension for one or more students while still submitting the rest of the marks on time. I had two students tell me that they wouldn't be able to make even the last day of exams to get in their work so both have extensions to early June.

    At least this way I'm not frantically trying to grade a term's worth of work in a few hours! Wish you could do the same.