It happens at the end of every term.
The final assignment in my course is a large research essay, due electronically during finals week. It comprises a significant portion of my students’ final grade. And at the end of every term – at the end of every single term – there are always a few students who simply don’t turn in the assignment.
It wouldn’t be so bad if they were failing to begin with, but most of them aren’t. Most of them have been B or A students throughout the course; they’ve turned assignments in on time, have completed the work I’ve asked them to do, and have put a significant effort forth. Missing this assignment will send their grade plunging down.
I used to wonder why. I used to blame it on computer problems, on confusion. I encouraged them to submit “test run” papers to make sure I…
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