And we don’t mean “plagiarize.” We mean “is there ANY sign of life out there? Anywhere?”
LOL! I spoke too soon the other day, as the semester seemed to be winding to a peaceful close. I’m now done with grading papers for three endlessly entertaining sections (some of whose classmates, to my delight, are doing exceptionally well; some of whom are going to survive if it kills us all). Grades are due on Friday. Though in theory all papers are in and graded, experience suggests that’s unlikely to be the case. So I’m waiting till Friday a.m. to post final grades with the Distric t. Gives the little things a chance to review their scores and squawk if they have any questions.
As it develops, ’twas a wise move this semester. What should pop up but a dismayed email from one of my beloved pups: Eeeeeeekkkkk! Why am I flunking when I turned in every single paper on time ogodogodogodogodogodOOOOOOOPUHLEEZE GET BACK TO ME AT THE SOONEST POSSIBLE MOMENT LIKE RIGHT THIS FREAKIN’ VERY INSTANT!
Hm. Why are you flunking? Well dayum. I don’t know. Do you s’ppose it’s because you haven’t turned in a whole passel of the papers? Our honored CMS, Canvas, records not only whether you submitted a response to a given assignment, but whether you did NOT do so. Canvas claims you failed to post eight of the eleven assignments. Baaaad Canvas!!!!
So, what could be going on here? Several possibilities present themselves:
1. I can’t read Canvas’s messages, the ones that say “No submission.”
2. Beloved Pup did not actually submit anything and now is trying to wangle an incomplete so as to evade a failing grade.
3. Beloved Pup DID submit most of the papers but for some reason they didn’t go through.
4. Beloved Pup is crazy.
5. I am crazy.
My guess is that 1, 4, and 5 do not apply. Let’s discard those as likely FAILS.
So, what we have left as choices are a) our student is trying to pull a fast one, or b) our student is not trying to pull a fast one.
We have evidence, real and presumptive, in both directions.
a) What? Are you KIDDING me? This is the freaking END OF THE SEMESTER and you haven’t even checked in to see what your grades were or what comments and advice Your Distinguished Professor might have offered to you?
Okay, that’s hyperbolic. But isn’t it a little odd that Beloved Pup didn’t even check in to see his grades and gauge my response to his efforts (if any)? An online course is not a hole into the ground into which you pour assignments. There’s a certain amount of back and forth going on, y’know. You fool around with trying to get the assignment right. I fool around with trying to help you get it right. Sort of like that. It’s circumstantially suspicious that Beloved Pup never noticed the absence of any acknowledgement of his efforts, or even that no grades were posted for said efforts, allll semester long.
On the other hand, anything’s possible. Stupidly assuming that students would KNOW responses to their papers would be posted in Canvas, I naively failed to post Announcements to the effect that papers were graded and comments were online. So…yea verily, if this is the first online course Beloved Pup has taken through Canvas, it may not have occurred to him that he, like a grownup, needed to proactively check in to see what, if anything, was going on.
On the other other hand, Beloved Pup is a grownup: he’s on active duty in the Middle East.
But on the other, other hand, that doesn’t mean much, does it, given the general state of grownups in America.
b) Beloved Pup is stationed overseas. It’s not even faintly out of the realm of possibility that this fact bears heavily on the case.
To cut a long train of thought short: I am not even faintly interested in having to read an entire semester of work, not even for one (1) student no matter now deserving s/he may be, at a point where I believe my work to be done. This is not fair to me for a number of reasons:
1. I am not paid for overtime;
2. Adjunct teaching is a side gig for me; I have bigger fish to fry;
3. Those fish are surprisingly demanding, being denizens of the Real World;
4. Even in the absence of any such fish, I am not interested, even in the faintest way, in having to read an entire semester’s work of worth for some guy who was the one person out of 47 who could not figure out that he needed to check in to the course every now and again.
Hevvin help us.