Charles Huenergardt, Online Director of Game Development, asked:
I have a student who feels like he should be allowed to turn in late work due to the hurricanes. He just told me that he was affected directly by the hurricane in Texas (According to his profile, he lives in Arizona). He never said that before. On 10/1 he informed me that he had a ton of mandatory overtime because the company he works for has a client in Florida that was affected by the hurricane and they had to scramble to fix it, so he didn’t have time for school. He also mentioned a crazy commute to work which he had to move to mitigate. And he wants to be able to turn in his work for the semester now. I’m not sure if we must make an exception in this case. I’m pretty understanding and most students who were affected either dropped or made up the few modules of late work. I’m not sure what to do here.
Should we allow him to make up all the work for the whole semester?
These cases come up periodically, and it's always a bit of a puzzler to figure out how to respond, especially when you're not sure whether the student is telling you the truth (and suspect he might not be).
Here's my approach:
First of all, it doesn’t matter whether or not the student is telling the truth with his many excuses for not completing the work. While it's galling to be lied to, I choose to set that issue aside.
Whatever the reason, this student has fallen way behind. He does not fall into the circumstances described by the Academy policy on Excused Lateness in Online Classes — which means that you are not required to let him submit his work late. However, if he thinks he can catch up, I prefer to give him that chance. I would:
CAUTION: If you decide to have the student post his work in a private topic, you will need to enter his grade for each late assignment in its original assignment topic.
To do this, just open the original assignment topic, then click the blue Grades button to open the grading interface. Even though the student did not post his late work in this topic, you can still use this interface to record his grade. I'd recommend making a note in the grades comment that the work was posted elsewhere.
And then see what happens. Critique any work that comes in as quickly as you can. Grade as you would any other student’s work, but apply the grade penalty you spelled out. Maybe the student will pass — a win for everyone! Maybe not, but at least you gave him the chance to step up, however belatedly. Beyond that, it’s on him.
|from my Inbox|
I occasionally get messages from online instructors seeking advice on teaching issues. I review their class, think through the problem, and do my best to offer them a workable solution and relevant resources. When it (finally) occurred to me that other teachers might have similar concerns, I decided to post some of these questions and answers here. I hope you find them helpful! If you need help or advice or support with online teaching, please drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org).