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Assignment Submission – Academic Integrity – Grading

January 30, 2011
by

Just a quick note to visit the topic of turning in assignments. I look at the timestamps of student files to determine if an assignment was turned in before the due date. Any student can submit a link, but the associated files that are the actual work must be on the senna server and timestamped to receive credit for the work; conversely, working on a file after it’s due is the same as cheating and will result in a zero grade.

In past semesters I’ve encouraged students to submit the link well before the due date as sometimes it will be forgotten even though the work is complete (working late at night to finish but forgetting to submit can turn an A into an F). I think this is still a good strategy and recommend it for those with tight schedules and a penchant for last-minute outbursts of productivity.

This also raises the question, “can a student work on the assignment after submitting the link via the course site?” And the answer is, “yes.” Just make sure that the submitted link is the right one and that files associated with the assignment have a timestamp before the due date and you can update those files until the very last second.

Also, make no changes to assignment files until I’ve posted a grade with comments. After a grade is recorded for an assignment I expect students to make corrections and enhancements to the site which will invariably mean changes to the files (sometimes very radical changes). This naturally leads to the issue of grading disputes; I’m an easy grader and offer copious chances for extra credit, but I’m rigid about the grading areas. If a student feels a grade is unfair, contact me immediately to resolve the issue as the need to fix things and upgrade the site may obliterate areas in dispute.

Lastly, if a student misses an assignment it still must be submitted to enable the next assignment submission. So refrain from the practice of not turning it in simply because the grade is an automatic zero. My course uses the submitted link and date information to substantiate grading and keep a permanent record for which I’m required to keep for 5 years.  So, submitting the link to your assignments is important to both of us, and making sure your work is on senna, on time, is just as important. If this is not clear be sure to ask clarifying questions.

UPDATE (16:37PST 1/31/2011):

I forgot to talk about my grading style and lol-EC. My position on this work is that if it works right, it’s perfect and needs no comment. So, when you read my feedback on assignments, the less I say the better the work. If I write paragraphs, the student needs serious attention. Extra credit is awarded in 1/10 increments to students who make me laugh out loud while grading. This is to take the monotony out of looking at dozens of identical assignments and to encourage students to have fun with their work. I am a big believer that the best work is done with a sense of joyous play seen in children; have fun with your work and make us both lol; you’ll have a better time and get a better grade.

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