Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Missing Work

I am thrilled my grades have now been submitted. Now I can relax. Still, I realize I need to make some changes as to how I collect work. Up until now I have simply told my students to leave papers and journals piled up on my desk and I grab them as I get set to leave. Some of my students have asked if they could e-mail the work to me and I tell them this is also fine.

Now, as I was going through all of the papers, both e-mailed and handed in, I found a number of students that did not hand in one or both of the items. Some of the students are reliable students and I am surprised I do not have their work. It makes me question whether they never hand in the work of whether I misplaced it. I do not think I misplaced it since I have all the other papers in the pile.

To further complicate the mater, I told my students they could hand in the work anytime within the last two weeks of the semester. If something was handed in earlier, I am pretty sure that I graded it, entered it into my grade book and got it back to the student. Still, once I don’t see some grades for certain students, I question whether or not it was my mistake (even though I don’t think so). Of course, once there is even the slightest doubt that exists, it makes me question how I want to handle grading.

So, I have decided on a few things that I want to do for the future. First, I want all work submitted to me via e-mail and I want the students to CC the e-mail with the attachment to themselves. This way, if I never get the e-mail the student can prove the date and time the e-mail was sent. The send thing I want them to do, and students should know this but sometimes the obvious needs to be stated, is to keep an electronic copy of their work so if I misplace something the student can easily send me another copy.

What I did in this case is, I sent an e-mail to all students who, according to my records, did not submit all the work for the semester. Only one responded and I think, in part, this is because now that the school year is over, students are not checking campus e-mail accounts. I graded as if they did not hand in the work and if any of them challenge me after seeing the grade and can show me the completed assignment, I will submit a change of grade form.

In the meantime, to those students and teachers who now are on break, enjoy your vacation!