Here we are again--the end of another semester. Last spring I had a remarkable group of students. A few of them had some issues and asked to submit work late, but overall they met the due dates scheduled. This summer, I had many students who wanted to submit work late, and several who are as we speak quite upset with me that I wouldn't "give" them a C, even though they quite obviously didn't demonstrate mastery of the course competencies. I try ever-so-gently to remind them that I don't give grades; they earn them, but some still don't quite get it.
Is it the 10-week term? Maybe I just forget from one short term to another how much more difficult it is for students to stay on schedule. Is it summer? Do students have too many other activities going on? I know in general I would much rather be doing something outside than doing homework.
Whatever it is, I count my blessings for those students who take their education and courses seriously enough to not tell me, "I had four other classes I was working on, so I need to turn my homework for your class in late."
I listened to a fascinating interview with Dr. Maria Anderson of Muskegen Community College on teaching calculus online. Maria uses Twitter to form a community both for its immediacy and its ease of use. She comments that it can be easy to get a little detached from exactly what the students are working on at any one time. To combat this she asks them to tweet a minimum of ten times a week with what they are learning.
The class uses Jing to post their work, so they can show work without fussing with math and the keyboard.
The interview includes a discussion of how Dr. Anderson uses the discussion boards and why she uses old-fashioned paper and pencil proctored exams.