"Favorite" conversations with students

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marshwiggle:
Quote from: cc_alan on December 02, 2013,  9:46:12 pm


I expect to have this conversation with someone in the next two weeks as I have a similar policy about a missed exam.



I'm just kind of curious: Why would a student who blew off a previous exam get it dropped while someone who wrote it and did badly would have it count? It seems this kind of policy encourages someone who isn't prepared for a test to skip it rather than to make their best attempt, which seems to me pedagogically counterproductive.

There may be some logical reason that I've missed, though...

theritas:
Quote from: mathminion on December 03, 2013, 12:04:39 pm

Quote from: polly_mer on December 03, 2013,  8:21:45 am

Quote from: dr_alcott on December 02, 2013,  3:56:44 pm

Scene: office hours. Students have optional revisions due this week. They have already received detailed comments and rubrics.

Student: I was wondering if you could help me with my papers?
Me:    Sure! What would you like help with?
S:       I want to be a better writer.
Me:    Great! What are your specific questions?
S:       Well, I need help with this paper.
Me:    Right. What specific things in this paper do you need help with?
S:       Well, I want it to be better. How can I be a better writer?
Me:    Start by addressing my comments. Let's take a look at this paper. Do all my comments make sense?
S:       Yes. They do. So how can I be a better writer?
Me:     All of my comments on your papers are meant to help you become exactly that.
S:       Oh. So what do I need to do?
Me:    See my comments there?
S:       Yeah.
Me:     I'd like you to do these things.
S:       OK.


I've had these conversations.  They reinforce my notion that college isn't the place for these people at this point in their lives.


I'm having the exact same email exchange right now with a student who failed a big test given by another professor.  I made the mistake of agreeing to be a second reader (the other professor wanted a second opinion) and now the student is bombarding me with emails asking how he could not only raise his score from an "F" but improve it to an "A" (he gets to retake the failed section).  I gave him some feedback and told him to read the rubric.  I'm not responding to any further emails from him. 

It depresses me to think about the amount of time I spend carefully crafting comments which students don't read...


You are all mean for not just casting the simple  spell on them that fixes their writing.  <glare> Meanies.</glare>

onthefringe:
Quote from: marshwiggle on December 03, 2013, 12:24:42 pm

Quote from: cc_alan on December 02, 2013,  9:46:12 pm


I expect to have this conversation with someone in the next two weeks as I have a similar policy about a missed exam.



I'm just kind of curious: Why would a student who blew off a previous exam get it dropped while someone who wrote it and did badly would have it count? It seems this kind of policy encourages someone who isn't prepared for a test to skip it rather than to make their best attempt, which seems to me pedagogically counterproductive.

There may be some logical reason that I've missed, though...


I have  had a similar policy in some if my classes (ie miss one midterm for any reason, make it up at the cumulative final), and the motivation was not pedagological at all, it was to prevent me from being drawn into judging the qualities of people's excuses. If you are distraught because your cat died, and you can't focus to study, just skip the exam (I think this is a reasonable excuse). When I require documented excuses, it's easy enough for people to get a doctor's note (I've seen people excused from an exam for a mild cold) if they want to blow it off, while it's hard to get documentation for some (to me) reasonable excuses. So it's easier on a lot of levels to just say "You are adults, if you can't take an exam, don't take it."

However, if you do take the exam, you have to live with your grade. I'm not computing everyone's grade six different ways to figure out what their best possible grade is.

kiana:
Quote from: marshwiggle on December 03, 2013, 12:24:42 pm

Quote from: cc_alan on December 02, 2013,  9:46:12 pm


I expect to have this conversation with someone in the next two weeks as I have a similar policy about a missed exam.



I'm just kind of curious: Why would a student who blew off a previous exam get it dropped while someone who wrote it and did badly would have it count? It seems this kind of policy encourages someone who isn't prepared for a test to skip it rather than to make their best attempt, which seems to me pedagogically counterproductive.

There may be some logical reason that I've missed, though...


Yeah, this is why I drop the lowest one if the final's higher regardless of excuse. I want to encourage them to come and try their best even if they feel unprepared instead of making up a BS excuse.

I tell Excel to drop the lowest exam and replace it with the final exam score if the final's higher - if I had to do it by hand I wouldn't do it.

marshwiggle:
Quote from: kiana on December 03, 2013,  1:14:28 pm


Yeah, this is why I drop the lowest one if the final's higher regardless of excuse. I want to encourage them to come and try their best even if they feel unprepared instead of making up a BS excuse.

I tell Excel to drop the lowest exam and replace it with the final exam score if the final's higher - if I had to do it by hand I wouldn't do it.


That's what I do, and for the same reason.

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