Posts Tagged ‘student attendance’

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e-Pages: When?

posted: 3.27.13 by Barclay Barrios

I had planned on colon-titling this post “Write!” but as it turns out the correct subtitle is “When?”  Specifically, “when” is the problem I faced in class this week, as in “when are students going to turn in this draft?” or “when are students going to show up for class today?”  Both of these are suddenly pressing problems, although I can’t say if it’s because of our local institutional quirks or simply the way writing classes work.  Hence, this post—part explication, part plea.

About half my students turned in a draft for this assignment.  I’m wavering between two hypotheses.  First, it’s midterm season.  Technically, for us, it’s just after midterms since we just had our spring break (early, yes, I know).  But there’s also a more general issue with this course.  As a spring section of our first semester writing course, it tends to have a very high fail rate, in part because many students taking the course weren’t able to pass it in the fall.

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Mid-course correction

posted: 3.22.13 by archived

Despite snow in the forecast, it’s spring break here and time for mid-semester evaluations, of both my students and my course/myself. Typically that initiates, for me at least, a period of glumness that can last until end-of-the-semester adrenaline kicks in.  The statistics are grim: about 10% of the students still registered for my courses are not showing up for class and another whopping 40% or more have slipped perhaps irretrievably behind in coursework. For all of my talking and thinking and writing about the excitement of course design, it is again the issue of student persistence that’s occupying my thoughts these days.

Last week a student said to me, as if to explain her failure to turn in the previous two assignments, that none of her other classes required homework. When I asked how this could be, she acknowledged that she did look over the PowerPoint slides her teachers provided just before exams, but that was all of the out-of-class work required to earn her a slot on the Dean’s List. She asked me to predict her final grade in the course, to help with her decision of whether to risk hurting her GPA or to withdraw from my class.  I can’t get her out of my mind. 

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