Thursday, April 11, 2013

Go Figure!

I can't figure out this one particular student. She first contacted me after midterm grades were issued, she had an "F" at that point and couldn't seem to understand why and asked for clarification. I provided a very detailed account but all you really need to know is that she failed to submit 55% of the work due up to that point.

She was then recently submitted a project which she had three weeks to complete. I provided a very detailed set of instructions along with a grading rubric that very clearly stated, and I mean very clearly stated that if the assignment were not submitted properly, that no credit would be given; she failed to submit it properly and therefore received a zero.

I explained the reason for the grade, citing the rubric, she would have none of it - totally beside herself and utterly disrespectful commanding me to "read it, it's worth reading", etc. I had to let some time pass before replying because I was so angry with her but stood my ground. Here's the thing, I read the submission and ran it through a plagiarism checker. Aside from being extremely mediocre at best, 34% of her words were directly lifted from a total of four sources, not one of which were cited. I called her on this and her excuse was that I didn't specify that references needed to be cited. She's losing it because she needs to pass the class, claims to have paid out of pocket and even used the excuse that the reason she didn't submit the first four assignments was because she ordered the book by mail and it hadn't arrived. She was willing to not do work that totalled 15% of her final grade for this reason!

Here's the real kicker, the one thing that makes me conclude she's gotta have something wrong with her. She filed a complaint against me to the dean of the division claiming that I am trying to sabotage her grade. What? I have physical evidence, some of which include her own admission that she's missing an enormous amount of work and the situation with the project - all of which I gave open access to the dean along with all of the emails and happily, the dean agrees that I have been more than reasonable. I can't for the life of me understand the rationale of filing such a complaint knowing full well that there is know way that she can support such a ridiculous and insulting claim.

A quick update on my post "The Harder Part of Teaching" from April 1st: we were able to work out a mutually agreed upon schedule of due dates, while I told him that he must make his health and recovery his first priority. He was content with our agreement and thus far, has lived up to his end of the bargain.

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