Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The semester is really rolling now...

I've had my first sick grandparent call....

Student: Hi philosophy factory, I'm in your class and missed the quiz last week because my grandparent was sick.
Me: Oh, I'm sorry to hear about your grandparent.
Student: (not sounding sad -- explaining that the grandparent had multiple strokes, fell off the roof or was abducted by aliens, just sick...) when can I make-up the quiz?
Me: you need to check your syllabus
Student: huh?
Me: It clearly says in your syllabus that I don't give make-up quizzes, sorry.
Student: I know it says that but (I thought I was special, or that you were just kidding about that, or that there is is a magic sick grandparent card I can play) I thought I could make it up.
Me: sorry.

I give quizzes in my logic course. The class meets twice per week and about one class in four has a quiz on the materials we've been covering. I give the answers out the next day in class and post the key immediately after the second class takes the quiz. For this reason, I don't give make-up quizzes. This is completely explained in class and a question on my syllabus quiz -- they know this...

Even better, this week in my 7:45 logic class, we have optional days... They are my way of dealing with the various levels of students in my class. Some students get it right away -- they see how the problems work, understand the concepts quickly and can do all the problems in any section after just a bit of work and perhaps my in-class explanation... and then, others have a really had time getting it -- they can have it explained to them MANY times and still don't get it.

Optional days are for those slower students. The really quick students don't come to class because they don't need the help and practice. In theory, I'm left with the ones who need more help. In truth, the ones that need the most help also skip -- but, they are beyond help and are going to fail -- because they aren't doing the work often enough to see that they don't get it. What I end up with is the middle 1/3 of the class, the earnest ones who have had a so-so quiz and really want to get a good grade.

Because the class is smaller, we do other kinds of work -- they put stuff on the board, they work in small groups to finish problems etc... it is more like a logic workshop than a class. I like it, and it satisfies the "active learning" component that I'm supposed to put into my logic class -- which is otherwise not very active :).


Seeking Solace said...

"I thought I could make it up despite what the syllabus says."


timna said...

yes, my first fatality came the night before the first paper was due.

comebacknikki said...

Ugh! I'm in the fourth week of class and I've already had three dead grandparents and five instances of "I didn't feel well." Of course, these problems all corresponded with days that there were quizzes or papers due. Sigh.