I spend a lot of
time in my teaching trying to find the happy medium between mercy and justice.
manifested itself this past semester in terms of late work. With an expanded
number of classes and students, I instituted a new late work policy, which is
basically that everything turned in by the end of the week (11:59 Saturday
night) would be graded without penalty. Everything turned in after that would
not be graded. In my immediate experience, students who needed some extra time
to complete an assignment only needed an extra day or two.
This worked well for
my freshman intro to college class. For my entrepreneurship and arranging
classes, less so, probably because I’d make an exception once early in the
beginning of the semester, and after that it was unfair to enforce it.
Also, the work we do
in my non-freshman class is largely project-based, and when working creatively,
sometimes writer’s block happens.
So, what I need is
an easy-to-administer, easy to understand late work policy that gives students
the flexibility to navigate their busy schedule (and promote
self-time-management) and affords students the ability to spend some extra time
on a project to bring it to its full potential.
This semester, I’m instituting the Late Work Pass.
The Late Work Pass
(LWP) is a physical business card-sized piece of card stock which each student
gets at the beginning of the semester. If they have an assignment to turn in
after the grace period, they can turn it in with their LWP.
Even though each
student gets one LWP per class, there’s nothing governing whether they keep it,
barter it, sell it, or stockpile it for future classes. It can only be used for
one assignment (no turning everything in during the last week of classes, unless
you have enough LWPs to cover it), and you can’t use it outside of a semester
(no turning in things after grades are due).
As an added benefit,
it opens the discussion for supply and demand in Music Entrepreneurship.
And it lets me spend
less mental energy on late work. And probably less on grading, too.