1. CCP says

    “Entitled,” no. Still, most of my Fs are going to people who chose NOT to attend. Even the ones who show up but just sit there learn something.

  2. Bokanovsky Process says

    I was told by a student a couple years ago that I was a bad teacher because I didn’t “validate” him. I nearly laughed the water I was drinking straight out my nose.

  3. Steve LaBonne says

    You should have validated him with a hole punch, the way stores or museums do with parking receipts.

  4. says

    Surely attending every single class would entitle you to … a D? Otherwise, how do you distinguish between those and the ones who can’t be bothered to show up at all?

  5. says

    That comic strip could be a series of stills with accurate captions of something that happened to me. (I even sort of look like that prof, except my hair’s longer and curlier.)

    …except in my case, the student asked me if she could have an A because she hadn’t missed a class all semester.

  6. says

    Otherwise, how do you distinguish between those and the ones who can’t be bothered to show up at all?

    We have a grade of “W/F” … “Withdrawal / Failure”. This means the student was administratively withdrawn from the course (almost always for non-attendance), and carries the same weight on GPA as a plain old “F”.

  7. Grumpy Physicist says

    Otherwise, how do you distinguish between those and the ones who can’t be bothered to show up at all?

    yes, there needs to be a special grade for that. How about an “F-“? For those students whose method of failure deserves special distinction.

    One will occasionally come across a student that earns a “D”, but asks for an “F” so that they can take the course again (the second time doesn’t erase the first grade, but without an “F” they can’t retake it at all). For this special purpose, I suggested an “F+”.

    The administration, of course, ignored my suggestion.

  8. floedout says

    It is probably not a surprise but this behavior is common in high school as well…in our district it seems to stem from the middle school’s “puppies, rainbows, and your self esteem” curricula, where it doesn’t matter what you know and how you express it, it only matters how you feel about it.

    As a introductory biology teacher, our course is the litmus test for high school, which makes my job more of a customer service operator for the parents rather than a teacher.

  9. QrazyQat says

    yes, there needs to be a special grade for that. How about an “F-“?

    We have a grade of “W/F” … “Withdrawal / Failure”.

    I suggest a new grade, WtF.

  10. says

    My colleagues and I are in the throes of final exams and our students have finally discovered the location of our offices (although showing up during scheduled office hours is still foreign to most of them). Their visits are occasioned by their desire to know how to get the grades that they want. (A little late for that, no?) The “extra credit” question keeps coming up (sorry, kids, this is a college) and they also want to know “How well do I need to do on the final?” This question is always being asked by students who don’t know enough math to compute it themselves, so it bodes ill for their actual final exam performances in math.

    This morning a couple of my fellow math teachers were playing word games with collective nouns (such as “a pride of lions” or “a gaggle of geese”). They were making some up for their students and colleagues: “a deviation of statisticians,” “a borg of math nerds”, “a limit of calculus students”. My offering: “a futility of algebra students.”

  11. Troublesome Frog says

    My econometrics professor has statistics on class attendance versus grades that he puts up at the beginning of each term. It’s not too surprising to see what the regression line looks like. It’s something that should probably be shown to freshmen.

    As for extra credit, my freshman physics professor answered the question most clearly, “Why would I raise your grade for producing *more* sub-standard work? Just do better work to begin with.”

  12. Azkyroth says

    My position on this issue is kind of contextual. On the one hand, I have absolutely no sympathy for people who think they’re owed a good grade whether they can be bothered to learn the material or do the work or not. On the other hand, I have had the misfortune of encountering some professors who seemed to be under the impression that they were doing me a favor by giving me the education for which I or my benefactors had forked over a sizable chunk of money, and that I should be grateful to be allowed to take their classes at all, no matter how many absurd hoops they expected me to jump through or how perversely inflexible they were about this policy or that schedule. So I’m a little worried about possibly being tarred with the same brush as students who think they shouldn’t have to work for a grade… x.x

    One item: Whatever you do, don’t grade by attendance. It rewards people for not having anything more important (medical appointments and such) to do, while discriminating against people who may have difficulty always getting to class, and on time, but make a sincere and successful effort to learn the material. And if a student can not show up to a single lecture and still pass all the tests, you’re probably doing something wrong.

  13. wb says

    I would just like to point out that I worked *very* hard for every F that I ever received.

    What? You think all night binges and sleeping till 3 in the afternoon is easy?

  14. says

    I would never grade on attendance. Participation, yes.

    As for the regression on attendance vs. grades, that seems to be about the only reason to take attendance …