Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Escape Clause

We have several ways that you can drop a class. If you drop within the first two weeks, it's as if you never signed up in the first place. Until the sixth week, you can withdraw with a W. Once the W deadline passes, but until the 11th week, students who are passing can still withdraw; failing students who withdraw during this time will have the course count as an F in their GPAs.

One of my students is taking this course for the second time. He told me that he really needed to pass this time. He didn't take the first test (slept through his alarm). Since I allow one missed test to be replaced by the final (with no penalty), this isn't a big deal. He also missed the second test and didn't tell me why. He has handed in a tiny fraction of the work. The last day that he attended class was the day after the W deadline.

He emailed me two weeks ago claiming that he dropped online just after the first test but that it must have been improperly recorded in the registration system, as his online schedule showed that he was still in my course. This was a lie, as my attendance records show otherwise. I told him that there was nothing that I could do because the registrar's office enforces the deadlines about registration and he had attended my class after the withdrawal deadline.

Today he calls me on the phone. He wants to try for the withdrawal option that is available for passing students (which he is not). He suggested that maybe he can complete some sort of project so that I may consider him to be "passing" after which point he can withdraw.

Should I come up with some task for him to complete so that he can get out of my class? If so, what? It really doesn't matter to me whether he withdraws or whether he fails.