A weird course policy situation

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Here I am again with the damn course policies. Ah, well, so it goes.

I now indicate on all of my syllabi that students must complete all components of the course in order to get a passing grade. One component is a weekly reflection paper (thanks to the forumites who helped me devise/borrow/steal this assignment in order to get students to read). There are about 10 of these, altogether worth 10% of the grade.

I've got one student who has done none of these. Before the withdrawal deadline, I emailed him suggesting that he read the course policies closely, particularly this one. Still no reflection papers. In my view, this student has failed the course -- but I suspect he is clueless, because he's been doing other work.

There's one last chance to submit a reflection paper, which I've made optional. I'm considering emailing this student again to explicitly point out that he cannot pass the course. But if he's not entirely clueless, he may submit the last reflection and try to claim that it constitutes "completing the course component." Should I bother to communicate with him again?

FYI, usually students fail anyway if they skip a component, so there's rarely a dilemma. In this case, the student could possibly pass even with a recorded 0 for this component.

Stop poking this student. He's been warned, it's on the syllabus, it's his problem now. You're wasting your time thinking about it.

When the semester is done, you'll have a decision to make:
1. Fail him like he deserves
2. Give him the pass if those zeros on the responses automatically lead to an F

Both are legitimate. But don't waste time worrying when your student clearly isn't.

On the other hand, one more email doesn't hurt.  You've clearly done due diligence either way.  I'd be more likely to to this in one of my small graduate classes than a huge undergraduate class, though.

You've given him ample warning of that, so I think you would be justified in awarding the "F" and moving on.

That having been said . . .  I've never really liked "all components of the course must be completed to pass the class" as a course policy. What is the pedagogical rationale?

How clear is it that "completing" this component (the reflection papers) comprises submitting all the reflection papers, versus just one?

Also, what level is this class?  Freshman?  Graduate?


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