Friday, November 14, 2008

It's Like a Non-Passing Grade, Only Better

Now that we have passed the last-chance withdrawal deadline, my inbox starts to plump up with requests for incompletes. Students seem to view the incomplete as a magical totem that will solve their problems.

I suspect that part of this is well-founded. Knowing what I do about the computer system that handles registration, I suspect that a well-timed incomplete can hide a failing grade temporarily. And, more importantly, delay the consquences. Depending on the enforcer's willingness to go back and recalculate retroactively once the incomplete is completed, consequences may be avoided completely.

Today's request comes from a student trying to play a different game. And this student doesn't know the system at all. An incomplete could possibly be the worst grade to have on the record for what the student is claiming to try to accomplish. An incomplete would be both inappropriate and counter-productive.

So, no. No incomplete for you.