January 29, 2010
File Under: Are You Serious?
As the add/drop period comes to a close, I am reminded of an email I got from a student some semesters ago. It was the kind of email that spews diet coke over your computer screen and has someone popping their head in to make sure the the scream that just emerged from your office didn’t require medical attention.
Dear Prof Art:
Hi! This is Suzie Snowflake, I’m in your online class. I just noticed the F I keep getting for the discussion stuff. I thought my posts were really thoughtful, and I wondered why I got an F. I know I’m supposed to post two times, but I thought I’d at least get some credit for what I did. I have a full-time job and three kids at home, so I don’t have a lot of time to post and log in to the class. I hope you’ll remember that when you grade this stuff, and take into consideration that I don’t have a lot of time. I really need this class to graduate, I have to have three humanities credits, there required, so I can’t drop this class or fail it. Can you give me some advice to help my discussion grades, and can you check to be sure you graded the last three weeks right? I just don’t see this as F work.
What did you think I advised?
A. I will certainly look into your grades and think about your home life when grading your work. Heck, you should get an A, because who needs humanities, anyway? Its just three credits.
B. My advice would be to meet the minimum requirements for each and every assignment. When you do not meet the minimum requirement, the only possible grade is an F. I did give you some credit for posting. If you had not posted at all, I would have awarded you a grade of 0.
C. You need to withdraw from this class.
Keep in mind that this student later accused me of “favoritism”. And by the way, I teach 2-3 online classes each semester, so I had to hunt down who this student was in the first place.