Background provided by Instructor: I received this email from a student after the class ended when they checked their final grade (C). They lost points for never doing the final paper. They had received many reminder emails, including the opportunity to take an incomplete and send in the final paper later. Their decision to wait to read the assigned paperback in the last week is telling.
Email from student: I do not understand why I am being penalized a whole letter grade just for one paper. I understand that I signed up for this course but I have had work in the morning and baseball games every night and honestly do not have much time to read a book in a week. If there is anything else that I can do I will do it.
An instructor sent this email they received from a student:
Student’s email: Hey, im writing about my participation: like I said, I think its unfair to cut points just for being late, you didn’t even ask why? And I had a meeting with my advisor. I just want to pass this class and be done.
Background provided by Instructor: I taught a short online course that took place over three weeks between the semester break. All students were informed ahead of time that the course is a typical 15 week class condensed into just 3 weeks (15 days) and therefore requires daily attention and participation. While students were encouraged to work ahead, they were warned that falling behind would be problematic (“late assignments will not be accepted”). After the first week, one student “disappeared” and did not respond to daily email inquiries for the entire second week. The student sent the following email. In addition, the student insisted I should accept that they essentially missed one-third of the class due to the family vacation and offer extensions for all missed work.
Student’s email: I would just like to apologize for how spotty I have been with assignments this past week. I have been on a Caribbean cruise with my family since Sunday, so I am doing the best I can. Thank you very much for your patients, it’s much appreciated.
Background provided by Instructor: I teach an online class. The last exam was open for one week. A reminder was sent out the day it opened, again mid-week, and then the day before it was due. The exam closed at midnight on the last day. At 11:00pm on the last day – with only one hour left – I emailed three students who had yet to take the class. One of these students wrote back to me at 11:55pm (5 minutes before midnight when the exam and class were to close), after taking the exam in the final hour, to ask if I could reopen it for her to try again because she had not done well….. here is her email explaining her reasoning. [I replied that I was not willing to reopen her exam.]
Student’s email: When taking the test on campus, I had an extremely difficult time staying focused on my exam due to a lot of noise being caused by a group of students coming in… resulting in my lowest prelim grade by far. I was wondering if it would be possible to retake it? I understand if it is not possible, but I’m sure you understand my frustration with at the situation. Thank you for all of your help.
Background provided by Instructor: I received this email shortly before the midpoint of a fully online course. This “student” had been emailing me with excuses for not completing assignments that ranged from not having the textbook to not understanding the syllabus. Finally, I learned the real reason she was not doing her work:
hello profesor i M JUST WRITTING TO INFORM YOU THAT as of this week i will have all the required items to pARTICIPATE IN THE CLASS FULLY. HONESTLLY I HAVE BEEN TAKING THIS COURSE FROM MY PHONE ANTICIPATING MY REFUND TO PURCHASE A COMPUTER AND INTERNET SERVICE I AM NOT ASKING FOR ANY THING EXTRA BUT I WILL BE PUTTING FORTH THE EFFORT THAT I NEED IN ORDER TO PASS THE CLASS. I HONESTLY JUST WANTED TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU RATHER THAN TO KEEP YOU GUESSING AS TO WHY I HAVE NOT BEEN ACTIVE IN THE CLASS BUT THANKS FOR BEING UNDERSTANDING IN ADVANCE
Background provided by Instructor: One of the assignments for my online class involves answering a series of questions for each lesson. Each assignment is worth 5% of the final grade. I have rarely had this kind of email from a student:
Do we need to write in all 25 discussions for the 5 points? If not, what is the minimum number we need to discuss on lessons?
Background provided by Instructor: I teach an online course and the requirements for log-on time, my office hours, office location, phone number, etc. are all in the syllabus in several other places, such as in the Start Here link or in the Instructor Information.
Here is what one of my students who had been logged on for 2 hours 35 minutes in week 10 of the term emailed me:
How can you expect us to login for 4 hours a week when all we do is play matching games and answer a 5 question quiz? the matching games we play give us no credit nor does the journaling or the discussions. I didn’t ask you for a report on when I login in I dont need to be logged into the system when doing essays do I?? I have spent alot of time and effort and you just hand out bad grades. Just as you can evaluate, I too can evaluate. This is the worst class I have taken and your teaching style has really brought me down. I have had no feedback or help from you. Im sure you know what my feedback was on your evaluation. I will do my best to dry and catch up but I feel as if I should just re-take this class with a much more involved instructor. Im not here to be criticized and as a teacher and instructor you should be here to help instead of just passing me on to someone else. As I know this is not all your fault as most of it is mine due to unforseen circumstances I will be taking this to the Dean of students. As you can see I have almost no feedback or teaching from you. Yes this is an online course but you are also employed to teach online or not you should be involved with your students.
Background provided by Instructor: The students were assigned a computer project, which was posted two weeks before the deadline with a grading scheme. They were required to send a milestone to us after a week to receive some points; there was no partial credit for this section.
Email subject: This lab is very hard. You guys should try do it yourself.
Email body: Hi,
I’m not very happy. Why is task 1-3 no partial credit. Please send in some feedback because we need this for part 1-7 and if this is not right and we have no way of correcting this we are getting a zero. It is a very bad way to grade homework like this according to me. I have been correcting this thing for a long time. I admit i’m very stupid please help us by sending some feedback.
We talked to the TAs and they said they cannot see errors in my function.
Background provided by the Instructor: I just wanted to share how stunning it is that some students continue to equate “feminist” with “hates men.” I happen to teach a class where we discuss gender issues, including violence against women. Here is one of my course evaluations from a male in the class:
I took this class as an elective. It is obvious that our teacher is a feminist and hates men since she talked about issues like domestic violence being a problem and how rape is also an issue for girls. It is clear she hates men …. why else would she bring these up in a class on gender roles. As a guy I was really uncomfortable hearing her tell us about the studies.
Background provided by Instructor: I teach an online class. The syllabus and calendar are emailed to each student and are also posted online. Each week I send reminder emails about what is due. Since the prelim is open over the course of several days, I also send daily email reminders. For this exam, one student had not completed it by the deadline, so I extended the due date and emailed the student. It appears this student has not been checking email or his Calendar and forgot. The day after the prelim closed, I received this email:
I don’t know how, but somehow I completely missed prelim 2. I’ve been keeping extremely close track of the calender, but somehow that test completely slipped by me. I’m panicking right now. Professor, is there anything you can do for me? I don’t want to fail this class. You know I try really hard in it. This was just a brain lapse on my part, and I really don’t feel I deserve to lose out so much over it…I also didn’t see the email you sent about leaving prelim 2 open until the end of Sunday until 4:20 AM today. I didn’t think to check my email because I thought I had my entire schedule covered, and I thought Prelim 2 would be next week… I’m so very sorry. I really hope you’re willing to work with me on this…