When has misunderstanding a due date led a student to submit something EARLY?

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Not often at all.

But when I do get them, I treat it as though the student met with me for to review their work. I don't give them a full grading, but I give them feedback and turn the paper back to them. They can choose to use the feedback to edit, or leave it as is and hand it right back to me. Most students who turn things in *early* by accident tend to be the type who will edit and turn it in again on time.

I see this quite often - at least once or twice a semester. 

Sometimes it's a student with a lot of other things (child care, jobs, etc.) going on, and they do the assignments when they know they have the time, and turn the assignments in as soon as they're done so they don't forget.  Given that most of my courses have a "no late assignments accepted" policy, this seems like smart planning to me.

Sometimes it's someone who misread the due date as the 12th instead of the 21st. 

This term, I had a student finish all of the on-line parts of a hybrid course in the first two weeks of the course.  The student did them well, so I have no complaints, but I do think it's a little odd.

Once a year or so for me.  It's not that rare. 

Quite often. I give one extra point (2500 point class) for anything turned in early.

When I was studying abroad (as an undergraduate), I never had the sense that I knew for sure when assignments were due, partly because there were no written syllabi in these classes, partly because I was dealing w/ a foreign system in a foreign language, and partly because I kept receiving conflicting answers about due dates. So I just worked my butt off all the time, then found out about 2 months into the semester that I'd already fulfilled all the requirements for all my classes (and could take the next 1 and 1/2 months off).


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