Thursday, January 22, 2009

Please Do Not Make Your Own Rules

There is a class where a specific student hasn't yet shown up. My guess is that it's either a glitch of the registration system by which the student doesn't even know that he's in the course (happens! for reals! I have proof!) or else the student is trying to game the system in some way. My hunch is that the student will never show up and so what happens next will be easy: click on the button for F in the grade entry system at the end of the semester.

But, in any case, the instructor of the course has been emailing me asking about the hypothetical situation in which this student only shows up on exam days and not to other days of class. The instructor wants to refuse to grade the exams of that student.

Remember, this is just one section of many in the vast ocean of standardized intro courses that offer. There is nothing in the departmental syllabus for the course about having to attend the lectures in order to be allowed to take the exams. There is nothing in the catalog about instructors being able to decide whether or not to grade student work (unless there is some rule spelled out in the syllabus -- like having to have completed all the assignments for a portfolio, etc.).