I appreciate your post on this topic; it’s one I constantly consider–and reconsider–in my classes, too. Currently, I allow students to turn in one assignment late (any assignment completed outside of class) up to one week at no penalty. Students fill out a “Late Assignment Pass” that is on the bottom of the Course Syllabus. So far, it has worked well, but often students use the pass in the beginning of the semester and come to regret it.
I also have students write all of their in-class work in a journal and I occasionally collect their journals and grade a select few entries. If students are absent, they can most likely complete the in-class assignments they missed on their own time and hopefully have a complete journal when I end up collecting them. This takes some of the pressure off of missing assignments.
My approach is not fool proof; I’m always thinking about revising it, so I like hearing how other instructors deal with this issue. Do you have a stated “late work policy” in the syllabus? Have other students complained that “you allowed so-and-so to turn in late work and that’s not ‘fair’?” And how do you determine who has the “capability to make up things”?
Thanks for the post!
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