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Author Topic: Bang Your Head on Your Desk - the thread of teaching despair!  (Read 2037360 times)
professor_pat
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« Reply #5850 on: May 03, 2012, 1:49:43 PM »

Student-athlete has missed the two weekly quizzes that have been on the schedule since the term began, as he knew he would since the beginning because of the established game schedule. All students can drop their two lowest quiz grades, so this has not affected his grade at all. Day before yesterday, I get a message from the athletics rep saying that the athlete has complained that I am not complying with our university athletics policy because he has not made up the quizzes. (I'm guessing the complaint emerged because he finally noticed that one of the quizzes he did take earned a D.)

Of course, S-A is ignoring the part of our policy that requires the athlete to approach the professor before drop/add period is over, to discuss how to deal with missed assignments. Student has not said one word to me the entire term (to this moment) about dealing with missed quizzes or the midterm.

Student then proceeds to skip yesterday's class and also fails to turn in the assignment due yesterday. He had earlier told me he had an afternoon game and if it went long, he might have to miss class. But what he didn't realize yesterday is that the athletic rep had emailed me earlier yesterday afternoon that the game had ended and that S-A should therefore be coming to class.

I'm furious for two reasons. First because the student's laziness in not talking with me about the quizzes earlier means that I have to choose between (a) giving him the same quizzes everyone else took, but after the graded quizzes have been returned and the material further discussed in class, with a resulting huge advantage over other students, or (b) taking the time to create and grade two entirely new quizzes.

The second reason I'm banging my head is that the athletic rep seems solely concerned about S-A's points, not his learning or fairness to other students. The rep had no problem with his taking the exact same quizzes the other students had, with graded versions and vastly extra study time available.

This rant is ending with a question. I looked through the NCAA website for regulations about what accommodations are required for Division I athletes whose games make them miss tests and quizzes, but couldn't find a link to this type of regulation. Could anyone point me to the relevant rules?
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cgfunmathguy
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« Reply #5851 on: May 03, 2012, 2:21:46 PM »

This rant is ending with a question. I looked through the NCAA website for regulations about what accommodations are required for Division I athletes whose games make them miss tests and quizzes, but couldn't find a link to this type of regulation. Could anyone point me to the relevant rules?
Pat, I don't believe that the NCAA mandates any accomodations. My experience (Division IAA and Division II) is that the school has the reasonable expectation that professors will work with student-athletes--within reason--to accomodate conflicts between the professor's assessment schedule and the team's game schedule. However, it has always been the responsibility of the student-athlete to start the conversation for each conflict prior to the actual occurence of the conflict. I'd tell S-A that s/he's SOL and that no make-up will be forthcoming.
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professor_pat
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« Reply #5852 on: May 03, 2012, 2:46:37 PM »

Thanks, Cgfunmathguy. I would LOVE to tell the athlete this, but not without backup to counter the athletic rep's insistence that he must be allowed to make up the quizzes. I reallyreallyreally do not want to be dragged through a grade appeal.

(The ironic thing is that this athlete is really bright and will probably earn an A either way.)
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prof_cj
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« Reply #5853 on: May 03, 2012, 3:10:34 PM »

Behind on grading papers and rolling into the next major assignment for ~60 students? Check.

Writing three different assignments to distribute to two different schools? Check.

In the middle of a grade appeal? Check.

A week of having to basically scold students in class for coming unprepared and late consistently Check.

Why sure "hotshot photographer" student who's missed almost too much class to make it up because of "work on like, big fashion shoots in Atlanta and NY and s***," I'd love to stick around after class to redo the whole lecture just for you when you show up w/10 minutes to go in the class session. It's not like I have other classes to go to or work to do, I'm TOTALLY free to just answer all your questions about a lesson issue I JUST TALKED ABOUT in the class session you missed.
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geonerd
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« Reply #5854 on: May 03, 2012, 3:39:38 PM »

Thanks, Cgfunmathguy. I would LOVE to tell the athlete this, but not without backup to counter the athletic rep's insistence that he must be allowed to make up the quizzes. I reallyreallyreally do not want to be dragged through a grade appeal.

(The ironic thing is that this athlete is really bright and will probably earn an A either way.)

Can you turn it around on them? Inform S-A and athletic rep that your course policy is detailed in the syllabus, which he has had from day one, and which student athletes at This University have followed for the past XX years without incident. You will not accept an undocumented claim that "Random Agency dictates A, B, and C" that allows one student an unfair, unreasonable, and substantial advantage over the rest of the class. If S-A would like to provide the written policy from Random Agency then you will be happy to read it and discuss it with your department chair and dean and conduct board, to make sure that all involved are interpreting and implementing this policy correctly. In the mean time, please review Syllabus Policy on Quizzes and University Policy on Athletes Approaching Prof before the before drop/add period is over, both of which are provided below.
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summers_off
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« Reply #5855 on: May 03, 2012, 3:44:45 PM »

Professor_Pat, I am assuming that there is nothing that states that a make-up has to be in the same format as the orginal!  Therefore, one option would be to give your student athlete an oral make-up quiz.  Just ask him a few hard questions on the topic and assign a grade. 
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molli_sols
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« Reply #5856 on: May 03, 2012, 3:56:02 PM »

Aggg...I had a student miss an exam earlier in the term and they didn't contact me to make it up until I had already turned that exam back to the class.  They had a very valid reason for missing complete with documentation, but not so valid a reason for not contacting me, so it was kind of a gray area as to whether they could make it up.  I decided to allow the make-up after the final today.  So what do they do?  They missed both the final and the make-up.  Well, that's two less items to grade this weekend but 30 minutes of modifying the exam to use as a make-up that I can never get back. 
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marigolds
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i had fun once and it was awful


« Reply #5857 on: May 03, 2012, 4:07:54 PM »

Chocolate?  Filled with alcohol?  Count me in!

<pops into the kitchen for a few minutes>
<emerges with a large platter covered with rum balls to share>


These are the BEST. It's a liquid alcohol center, with a crusty sugar ball enclosing it, which is coated in really good chocolate. They are absolutely addictive.
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polly_mer
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Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #5858 on: May 03, 2012, 4:42:59 PM »

Well, that's two less items to grade this weekend but 30 minutes of modifying the exam to use as a make-up that I can never get back. 

Are you ever teaching this class again?  I often use the make-up exam as the regular exam in the next term since I have already put that time into it.

Professor_Pat, if this guy is likely to get an A anyway, I'd modify what Summers_Off suggests and do it as LarryC.  "Why, sure, Athlete.  You can have make-up quizzes.  Come to my office on <date, time>."

In the office, quiz one is an essay test: explain the primary concept that was on the quiz one that everyone else took.  Quiz two is the same, but for quiz two.  An A student will bang out something that you can quickly skim for full-credit, half-credit, or no-credit.
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genius_at_large
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« Reply #5859 on: May 03, 2012, 9:35:15 PM »

Student-athlete has missed the two weekly quizzes that have been on the schedule since the term began, as he knew he would since the beginning because of the established game schedule. All students can drop their two lowest quiz grades, so this has not affected his grade at all. Day before yesterday, I get a message from the athletics rep saying that the athlete has complained that I am not complying with our university athletics policy because he has not made up the quizzes. (I'm guessing the complaint emerged because he finally noticed that one of the quizzes he did take earned a D.)

Of course, S-A is ignoring the part of our policy that requires the athlete to approach the professor before drop/add period is over, to discuss how to deal with missed assignments. Student has not said one word to me the entire term (to this moment) about dealing with missed quizzes or the midterm.

Student then proceeds to skip yesterday's class and also fails to turn in the assignment due yesterday. He had earlier told me he had an afternoon game and if it went long, he might have to miss class. But what he didn't realize yesterday is that the athletic rep had emailed me earlier yesterday afternoon that the game had ended and that S-A should therefore be coming to class.

I'm furious for two reasons. First because the student's laziness in not talking with me about the quizzes earlier means that I have to choose between (a) giving him the same quizzes everyone else took, but after the graded quizzes have been returned and the material further discussed in class, with a resulting huge advantage over other students, or (b) taking the time to create and grade two entirely new quizzes.

The second reason I'm banging my head is that the athletic rep seems solely concerned about S-A's points, not his learning or fairness to other students. The rep had no problem with his taking the exact same quizzes the other students had, with graded versions and vastly extra study time available.

This rant is ending with a question. I looked through the NCAA website for regulations about what accommodations are required for Division I athletes whose games make them miss tests and quizzes, but couldn't find a link to this type of regulation. Could anyone point me to the relevant rules?
I for one am appalled at the money thrown to athletes, just to get them to come to schools that are worse off academically for their presence (or lack thereof).
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professor_pat
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« Reply #5860 on: May 03, 2012, 11:04:29 PM »



I for one am appalled at the money thrown to athletes, just to get them to come to schools that are worse off academically for their presence (or lack thereof).


That may be true in many cases, but in my case the athlete is a smart kid. He sits in the back of the class, never says anything, and generally has his cell in hand, but he writes beautifully and picks up knowledge quickly. As I mentioned above, he's likely to end up with an A in the class whether he gets to make up the missed quizzes or just drops them.

In looking for information through my university, I found that although the standard form letter we all get about policies around athletes missing stuff is ambiguous, there's another policy stating that per NCAA, athletes are not allowed to receive special benefits not available to other students. I think that typically refers to free meals, transportation, etc., but it sure seems like getting to make up quizzes when other students can't would fall into that category.

I'm waiting to hear back from some higher-ups about my own situation - will report back.
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octoprof
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Love your loved ones while you can.


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« Reply #5861 on: May 04, 2012, 5:27:15 AM »



I for one am appalled at the money thrown to athletes, just to get them to come to schools that are worse off academically for their presence (or lack thereof).


That may be true in many cases, but in my case the athlete is a smart kid. He sits in the back of the class, never says anything, and generally has his cell in hand, but he writes beautifully and picks up knowledge quickly. As I mentioned above, he's likely to end up with an A in the class whether he gets to make up the missed quizzes or just drops them.

In looking for information through my university, I found that although the standard form letter we all get about policies around athletes missing stuff is ambiguous, there's another policy stating that per NCAA, athletes are not allowed to receive special benefits not available to other students. I think that typically refers to free meals, transportation, etc., but it sure seems like getting to make up quizzes when other students can't would fall into that category.

I'm waiting to hear back from some higher-ups about my own situation - will report back.

I have always interpreted this to mean no special privileges. And, one of this is they don't get to turn in or do things late since I never let any student do those things. So, homework, for example has to be turned in before the trip, because it will not be accepted late. I now use an online publisher provided system for homework so that's not a big deal For most.

I do not allow make up exams, generally, but students can miss one exam during the regular se,ester. So we look,at three schedule of excused absences to see if they are going to miss more than one because of university excused absences. If so, I let them make up any over the one, but they still have to take it before the trip.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 5:27:50 AM by octoprof » Logged

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cgfunmathguy
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« Reply #5862 on: May 04, 2012, 7:25:41 AM »

Aggg...I had a student miss an exam earlier in the term and they didn't contact me to make it up until I had already turned that exam back to the class.  They had a very valid reason for missing complete with documentation, but not so valid a reason for not contacting me, so it was kind of a gray area as to whether they could make it up.  I decided to allow the make-up after the final today.  So what do they do?  They missed both the final and the make-up.  Well, that's two less items to grade this weekend but 30 minutes of modifying the exam to use as a make-up that I can never get back. 
This is why my syllabus states that students who miss an exam must contact me within 24 hours of the exam in order to be eligible for a make-up. No contact = no make-up. I make exceptions based on extreme circumstances, but there's still a deadline. There's also a deadline for making up the exam.
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anon99
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« Reply #5863 on: May 04, 2012, 8:53:38 AM »

In looking for information through my university, I found that although the standard form letter we all get about policies around athletes missing stuff is ambiguous, there's another policy stating that per NCAA, athletes are not allowed to receive special benefits not available to other students. I think that typically refers to free meals, transportation, etc., but it sure seems like getting to make up quizzes when other students can't would fall into that category.

I'm waiting to hear back from some higher-ups about my own situation - will report back.

Look at their schedule and tell them that SA can make up the assignments on X day (when there is no game) and if they fail to do so at that time as per the syllabus they receive a zero.  I'd also email the rep and the student in the same email and say that the student has not contacted you regarding missed work and that the request should first come from SA.
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archman
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« Reply #5864 on: May 04, 2012, 9:14:21 AM »

Student asked me during a test what "remnant" meant.

The downspiral of american literacy continues...
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