Friday, June 29, 2007

those darned students...

My summer class was 6 weeks long. My ethics class took one quiz per week. I dropped the lowest score, so the math is really easy.

I started giving participation/discussion points as part of the quiz points and all you needed to do is to show up to get them -- of course, the catch is that you need to show up for the brainstorming session AND when your topic is discussed to get the points, but all you need to do is show up.

The other half of the grade is a paper. We started talking about the paper the first day of class and most of the class got the idea -- they were supposed to read an applied ethics topic in the textbook NOT covered in class. They were supposed to present the most persuasive arguments on both sides of the ethical controversy and then present their own position on the topic and support their answer with an ethical theorist. I gave them access to my old PowerPoint slides that covered most of their possible topics, I offered to read drafts etc.. Most of my students wrote good to excellent papers....

but, there was Student X.....
If your quiz scores are consistently in the F neighborhood, wouldn't you get a clue that the course material contains concepts you aren't understanding? Especially since my quizzes were given AFTER discussion, so in all reality you don't need to do the reading at all if you pay attention in class.

Student X didn't make a peep. He just kept failing to do the reading and thus he failed the quizzes like clockwork. Sometimes X's answers were exactly the opposite of what was required by the question, so if I could have taken bonus points off of his quiz for being a dumb-ass, I would have.

So, if you were X, wouldn't you ask for help on your paper? Your paper is the only chance you have to get a C. You need at least a B on the paper (not that hard to do if you follow instructions) -- but, you don't do that either.

In fact, I suspect that X turned in a paper he wrote for a comp class on Animal Rights. It made the argument that animals should have rights, but it didn't cite ANY authors from the textbook. Since I doubt that X did any of the class readings, I sincerely doubt that X did a whole lot of original research on animal rights. Also, the paper didn't present any arguments against animal rights, which was a major part of the assignment.

I'm sure by now you've figured out why I'm blog-venting about this... I got an e-mail from X asking about their grade.

ummm... duh...

Secret message to X,
you are lucky to get the D instead of having to defend yourself against a plagiarism charge. I'm pretty sure that your paper wasn't original work.

When you re-take the class make sure you are understanding the material.... or, at least recognize you are in trouble.

your ethics prof....

No comments: