Author Topic: Favorite student emails  (Read 4397 times)

summers_off

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Re: Favorite student emails
« Reply #45 on: September 18, 2019, 11:57:34 AM »
The worst was the "sorry I missed class" email I received several years ago.  The student accidentally severed his thumb and he SENT PICTURES.  TMI indeed.  (Fortunately, the surgeon was able to re-attach the digit.)
 Now I tell me students that they do not have send me evidence, a simple note about the absence will do.

EdnaMode

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Re: Favorite student emails
« Reply #46 on: October 08, 2019, 01:37:35 PM »
I received this one today...

Dear Dr. Mode,

I have a question, I know that I turned in lab [assignment] late. From looking at the syllabus, it just states that late work just recieves a 25% deduction. From the rubric it said I got a 8/10 on the [assignment] and that turned into a 5.5. I checked the math and 25% of 8 is 2. Why did I lose 2.5 points from 8 instead of 2? On the syllabus it states that only a mininum of 25% is reduced from late work.

Thank you,

[Stu Dent]

At least he was very polite. I wrote back to explain that 25% of 10 was 2.5 points and that any deduction is taken from the possible grade, not the earned grade. He replied thanking me for the explanation. Was it just wishful thinking on Stu's part? Or is there something being done somewhere in other classes or in high schools that made him think that late work penalties are taken from the earned grade, not the possible grade? I've been doing this sort of penalty for certain late work for years now and never had this sort of question before.

Hegemony

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Re: Favorite student emails
« Reply #47 on: October 08, 2019, 01:53:13 PM »
He's just distracted or not thinking very hard.

nucleo

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Re: Favorite student emails
« Reply #48 on: October 08, 2019, 03:16:40 PM »
On the syllabus it states that only a mininum of 25% is reduced from late work.

Or is there something being done somewhere in other classes or in high schools that made him think that late work penalties are taken from the earned grade, not the possible grade?

I would interpret your wording above in the same way that the student did.  But if you changed your wording to "a minimum of 25% of the total points", then I think that would remove the ambiguity.

marshwiggle

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Re: Favorite student emails
« Reply #49 on: October 09, 2019, 06:29:21 AM »
On the syllabus it states that only a mininum of 25% is reduced from late work.

Or is there something being done somewhere in other classes or in high schools that made him think that late work penalties are taken from the earned grade, not the possible grade?

I would interpret your wording above in the same way that the student did.  But if you changed your wording to "a minimum of 25% of the total points", then I think that would remove the ambiguity.

Those three bits of wording together I find confusing.(Why "only" if it's a "minimum"?? And why "reduced from" rather than "reduced by" or "deducted from"?)
It takes so little to be above average.

EdnaMode

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Re: Favorite student emails
« Reply #50 on: October 09, 2019, 06:45:52 AM »
On the syllabus it states that only a mininum of 25% is reduced from late work.

Or is there something being done somewhere in other classes or in high schools that made him think that late work penalties are taken from the earned grade, not the possible grade?

I would interpret your wording above in the same way that the student did.  But if you changed your wording to "a minimum of 25% of the total points", then I think that would remove the ambiguity.
What the student wrote is not actually what the syllabus states. It says "Late work will accrue a penalty of 25% of the assignment's point value," which is why I wondered what he was thinking.

wwwdotcom

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Re: Favorite student emails
« Reply #51 on: October 09, 2019, 08:36:31 AM »
What the student wrote is not actually what the syllabus states. It says "Late work will accrue a penalty of 25% of the assignment's point value," which is why I wondered what he was thinking.

The assigned point value (8) or the potential point value (10)?  I can understand the student's confusion.  I'm sure there are many faculty who assign late penalties to the earned grade rather than the possible grade.

EdnaMode

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Re: Favorite student emails
« Reply #52 on: October 09, 2019, 09:08:31 AM »
What the student wrote is not actually what the syllabus states. It says "Late work will accrue a penalty of 25% of the assignment's point value," which is why I wondered what he was thinking.

The assigned point value (8) or the potential point value (10)?  I can understand the student's confusion.  I'm sure there are many faculty who assign late penalties to the earned grade rather than the possible grade.

Now that makes no sense to me. I've never heard of anyone taking a percentage off of what was earned instead of what the assignment was worth, which would actually be quite inequitable to the students. Those who did the work to a higher standard, even though it was late, would receive a greater penalty than those who did lower quality work and also turned it in late. An assignment's point value should be self-explanatory. If an assignment is worth 10 points, it is worth 10 points. And any deduction is from the 10 points. But then I'm in engineering, we tend to see things differently.

marshwiggle

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Re: Favorite student emails
« Reply #53 on: October 09, 2019, 09:17:52 AM »
What the student wrote is not actually what the syllabus states. It says "Late work will accrue a penalty of 25% of the assignment's point value," which is why I wondered what he was thinking.

The assigned point value (8) or the potential point value (10)?  I can understand the student's confusion.  I'm sure there are many faculty who assign late penalties to the earned grade rather than the possible grade.

Now that makes no sense to me. I've never heard of anyone taking a percentage off of what was earned instead of what the assignment was worth, which would actually be quite inequitable to the students. Those who did the work to a higher standard, even though it was late, would receive a greater penalty than those who did lower quality work and also turned it in late. An assignment's point value should be self-explanatory. If an assignment is worth 10 points, it is worth 10 points. And any deduction is from the 10 points. But then I'm in engineering, we tend to see things differently.

I'm in physics, but I still see the same ambiguity; 25% of what? "Fairness" is in the eye of the beholder. (And if a person earned less than 25% on the assignment, and handed it in late, would they get a negative grade? So it would be better to not hand it in and get zero?)
It takes so little to be above average.

wwwdotcom

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Re: Favorite student emails
« Reply #54 on: October 09, 2019, 09:32:56 AM »
What the student wrote is not actually what the syllabus states. It says "Late work will accrue a penalty of 25% of the assignment's point value," which is why I wondered what he was thinking.

The assigned point value (8) or the potential point value (10)?  I can understand the student's confusion.  I'm sure there are many faculty who assign late penalties to the earned grade rather than the possible grade.

Now that makes no sense to me. I've never heard of anyone taking a percentage off of what was earned instead of what the assignment was worth, which would actually be quite inequitable to the students. Those who did the work to a higher standard, even though it was late, would receive a greater penalty than those who did lower quality work and also turned it in late. An assignment's point value should be self-explanatory. If an assignment is worth 10 points, it is worth 10 points. And any deduction is from the 10 points. But then I'm in engineering, we tend to see things differently.

I'm not disagreeing with your perspective, just pointing out that the student's confusion is understandable.  The language you shared "Late work will accrue a penalty of 25% of the assignment's point value" is still ambiguous.  Are you referring to the point value earned or the point value possible? 

EdnaMode

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Re: Favorite student emails
« Reply #55 on: October 09, 2019, 09:34:48 AM »
What the student wrote is not actually what the syllabus states. It says "Late work will accrue a penalty of 25% of the assignment's point value," which is why I wondered what he was thinking.

The assigned point value (8) or the potential point value (10)?  I can understand the student's confusion.  I'm sure there are many faculty who assign late penalties to the earned grade rather than the possible grade.

Now that makes no sense to me. I've never heard of anyone taking a percentage off of what was earned instead of what the assignment was worth, which would actually be quite inequitable to the students. Those who did the work to a higher standard, even though it was late, would receive a greater penalty than those who did lower quality work and also turned it in late. An assignment's point value should be self-explanatory. If an assignment is worth 10 points, it is worth 10 points. And any deduction is from the 10 points. But then I'm in engineering, we tend to see things differently.

I'm in physics, but I still see the same ambiguity; 25% of what? "Fairness" is in the eye of the beholder. (And if a person earned less than 25% on the assignment, and handed it in late, would they get a negative grade? So it would be better to not hand it in and get zero?)

Guess I'll have to consider the wording and will discuss it with colleagues, just never had that question asked before. Are there negative grades? No, but there are 0 grades for those who earned less than 25% on what they turned in. It's the same policy in all the courses across our department for late work, with the same statement in the syllabi. Some faculty choose not to accept late work at all, which is also allowed by policy. Didn't mean to cause such a kerfluffle over something that makes sense to me, but apparently not to everyone, including one of my students.

marshwiggle

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Re: Favorite student emails
« Reply #56 on: October 09, 2019, 10:32:56 AM »
Didn't mean to cause such a kerfluffle over something that makes sense to me, but apparently not to everyone, including one of my students.

Just this term I had a lab where the first instruction was:
Connect power and ground.

We've connected numerous devices at this point, but a couple of groups had trouble because they connected power TO ground.  (eye roll..)

So I changed it to:
Connect power.
Connect ground.


As Murphy noted, if there is an incorrect way to do things, sooner or later, someone will. This obviously implies to interpreting instructions as well.....
It takes so little to be above average.

RatGuy

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Re: Favorite student emails
« Reply #57 on: October 09, 2019, 11:11:05 AM »
Got this today:

Quote
Hi Dr. Rat. I'm currently in your freshmen-level introduction to basketweaving class. I see that next semester you are teaching History of American Baskets, 1776-1856. Will there be a lot of work in that course?

I want to respond with "Compared to an intro class? Yes. Compared to any other history class? Also yes."

Cheerful

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Re: Favorite student emails
« Reply #58 on: October 09, 2019, 12:59:25 PM »
"
Got this today:

Quote
Hi Dr. Rat. I'm currently in your freshmen-level introduction to basketweaving class. I see that next semester you are teaching History of American Baskets, 1776-1856. Will there be a lot of work in that course?

I want to respond with "Compared to an intro class? Yes. Compared to any other history class? Also yes."

Looking to boost enrollment?  "Nah, not much at all."

Looking to limit enrollment?  "Yes, lots and lots of work.  More work than most classes at this university and the grading standards are rigorous.  However, you will learn a great deal."

Word will spread fast in both cases.

EdnaMode

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Re: Favorite student emails
« Reply #59 on: October 09, 2019, 03:01:46 PM »
Didn't mean to cause such a kerfluffle over something that makes sense to me, but apparently not to everyone, including one of my students.

Just this term I had a lab where the first instruction was:
Connect power and ground.

We've connected numerous devices at this point, but a couple of groups had trouble because they connected power TO ground.  (eye roll..)

So I changed it to:
Connect power.
Connect ground.


As Murphy noted, if there is an incorrect way to do things, sooner or later, someone will. This obviously implies to interpreting instructions as well.....

Murphy is indeed alive and well in the technical fields!