Background from Instructor: I wrote to a student who missed the first exam; he has not attended class, and is missing one of several assignments. I let him know I am concerned about his ability to pass the class and asked that he schedule a time to come in to take the first exam. As a side note: I have offered 10 different extra credit opportunities throughout the semester, and those deadlines for completion have passed. These were posted to our class folder, handed out at the start of the semester, and announced each week in class. Instead of scheduling a time to come in to take the first exam he missed (worth 30% of his grade) he writes:
Email from Student: I realize I am way behind in the class. I am wondering if there is any extra credit I could do instead of having to go back and read and study for the first exam.
Background provided by Instructor: It is near the end of the semester and I emailed all students who have missing assignments, urging them to get those in for reduced points. One student emails on Saturday evening to say she is upset that she is doing so poorly. I explain she is missing three assignments, and that I have emailed her several times about these over the past month. She says she did them but I point out they have not been submitted and to email them to me. After several back and forth emails, I point out it is Saturday evening and I need to go. I suggest she submit the missing assignments for me to grade as late (she’s lucky I am willing to accept them) and if she wants to meet me to discuss things further, she can come by during office hours. She then replies again:
Email from student: I have things to do too, but I am very concerned about my grade and do not want to fail a class when I did the work and passed it in, and am not getting credit for it. I realize it is Saturday night but you are the instructor and you should be answering any emails from students no matter when. I know I have had all semester to deal with this, but I am just now looking at my grades since it is the end of the semester.
Background provided by Instructor:Despite detailed instructions, I received this email from a student. It just makes me think: SAY WHAT?!?! How will our university look when this student enters the workplace? Geez.
Email from Student: I am so confused. I am not understanding if I need to find my group member’s post and reply to them for what they said in part 1 or part 2.What exactly do we suppose to discuss from part 1? Like do we suppose to find research on everything we responded to the questions with or just search things on the topics we responded to.
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.