Thursday, December 15, 2005

Finals and Snow - response to Dean Dad

Here's my response to Dean Dad's contemplative post on snow days and finals.

Confessions of a Community College Dean: Snow: "I've always thought that students earn their grades all semester and it's further reinforced by the registrar's demand that we have grades in only two working hours after the last final is given. (Yes, there is a weekend in there and we know what we spend the weekend doing ...).

I have seen too many students blow off assignments thinking they can make it all up on a final and, on the other hand, I've seen students who have earned As and Bs through CONSISTENT WORK all semester blow it because of nerves on the final.

In your situation, I would not make them make it up. I have been teaching online since 2000 and even students who have been in an online class all semester still have trouble with following directions exactly (since computers don't compute 'almost right' on file submission, etc.).

To be fair to other students in different sections of the same class, an instructor could always look and compare to see if their grade would be different without the final for those who did take it and then take into account relevant factors like attendance and consistency of work.

After experiencing my own wreck on the ice (trying to get home BEFORE a storm but not calculating the icy rain), I'm much more understanding of no one risking life and limb just to get to my class for any reason."

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