Friday, 18 June 2010

It's been a busy few days ...

The past two days have been very busy at work. Actually, busy is an understatement ... things have been frantic!

4.00 p.m. today was the deadline for my students to hand in their coursework. They have known this for months – and in some cases, years – but some of them left it until almost the last minute to hand their work in ... and in several instances they did not manage it.

For the past two days I have been dealing with increasingly desperate requests for help and guidance on how to complete the 'missing' coursework whilst trying to get some students to actually get out of bed and turn up to do the work they needed to complete. In at least two cases I had parents arguing that it was unfair of me to expect their offspring to come in on days when they did not have timetabled classes to do work. How they expect them to cope if they actually make to university, I don't know!

But now it is all over. The coursework is marked, and the marks will go off to the examination board early next week. I know that on Monday I will have several students trying to hand work in after the deadline, and I will be under pressure from them and their parents – and possibly members of the school's management team – to accept it ... but in my book a deadline is a deadline.

It is now the weekend and hopefully I will be able to spend some time preparing for COW, which is now only two weeks away.

It is so nice to have something to look forward to!

7 comments:

  1. I recall one year in college when we were supposed to return from Christmas break with some sort of paper for one class.

    I, of course, had been enjoying the holidays and had not written it. However, fortunately for me the airline had lost my luggage on the flight to school.

    I was able to show the professor the paperwork from the airline about my lost luggage.

    His response was that he really didn't think that I'd written the paper but that the documentation was too good not to accept.

    I wrote the paper that night and didn't get docked a grade.

    Sometimes we get lucky.


    -- Jeff

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  2. Bluebear Jeff,

    I must admit that I would also have accepted that as an excuse as it sounds far too plausible (and difficult to refute!).

    Some years ago, when floppy discs were still used to store data on, a student told me that all his work was on a floppy disc that had been 'chewed up' by the school's computer. He told me that, "The computer has eaten my homework" which is at least a bit more original than the dog doing it!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. I should add that my luggage was delivered a day or two later (I don't recall exactly -- it was over 40 years ago).


    -- Jeff

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  4. You can't change human nature unfortunately and there will be those who will always expect special consideration - something that appears to be coming the norm rather than the exception.

    Universities allow late submissions, docking a percentage of the mark according to the lateness of the piece. Obviously there is the deferral system too for those crises that pop up in everyone's lives. It is odd how many of these pop up the day before submission though...

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  5. Teachers could write books about the excuses pupils (and parents)give! In fact someone has probably already done it - it sounds very much like the sort of thing Gervase Phinn might cobble together.

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  6. Jim Hale,

    The problem is that if you keep giving extensions to deadlines, the original concept of a deadline becomes pointless. As you say, this has now become the norm and students do not like it when deadlines are enforced.

    The exam board will not accept late submission of grades because the course - which is made up of 18 units - is assessed in-house. They do quality control sampling of the assessments done by the staff ... and this is quite rigorous!

    One thing that does annoy me is the 'It's not my fault because ...' excuses I keep getting. I am simply amazed at the number of computers and memory sticks that 'go wrong' during May and June each year. The Government should investigate this phenomena!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Jfidz,

    I am sure that someone has written such a book, but if they have not, I could easily contribute a chapter!

    All the best,

    Bob

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