The crunch begins

I have resolved that this year, I will get all student assignments graded within 24 hours of their scheduled due date. Guess what? First formal assignment was turned in yesterday for cell bio. I also had to compose a practice exam for Fundamentals of Genetics, Evolution, and Development, which was posted this morning and will be due on Monday.

I can tell already that my discipline is going to be murderous, requiring intense bouts of activity, since I won’t allow myself to drag things out over several days. Periodically intense pain vs. chronic pain? Which is worse? I’ll find out.


  1. robro says

    Seems like having a professor post an exam on the Friday before a holiday weekend and due on the holiday would be painful. But hey, the term just started and those youngins don’t need to spend the long weekend partying, drinking and hooking up. I mean, if we call it “Labor Day”, they should get to work. Crack that whip.

  2. NitricAcid says

    Weird. Classes start next week here in the Great White North.

    This year, I’m going to stay on top of my marking (it’s not going to be 24 hours, though- I can’t ever remember an assignment where everyone handed them in on time). If I don’t, I know my son (who is in my class, and is practically a clone of me) will be nagging me to catch up.

  3. raven says

    OT because it is amusing.

    Elon Musk says progressive LA school has turned daughter into ‘communist’ who thinks ‘anyone rich is evil’

    Well, it is Elon Musk so I already don’t believe she said that.

    I also don’t believe his oldest kid is a commie.
    That word just means, “someone who Elon Musk doesn’t agree with or like.”

    The number of people who don’t like Musk is a lot.
    A recent poll has it that 110 million Americans don’t like Musk.

  4. gijoel says

    @Raven 5 I wouldn’t be surprised if Elon was a deadbeat dad that only turns up now and then, and is a completely unsupportive dad.

  5. hemidactylus says

    @5- raven
    I do believe having Elon Musk for a dad could be enough to turn someone into a committed Leftist who gives rich people like him the evil eye. The LA school may have had little to do with that rebellious coming of age tale. Bully for them if so. Fight the power Elon spawn! You do you.

  6. says

    I propose an experimental design. Which, unfortunately, PZ can’t carry out because he has neither large lecture courses, nor graduate assistants to supervise.

    Divide the graduate assistants for a large lecture course into three groups: I, who grade “immediately” (within 24 hours of the due date/time); D, who defer grading for up to a week depending upon their own workloads; and C, who randomly do both.

    Run the experiment over a sufficient period, and/or a sufficient cohort of large lecture courses, until I, D, and C all present statistically significant samples not just in numbers of assignments graded, but in numbers of graders. Gather data on the pain inflicted, using some arbitrary but carefully calibrated scale; perhaps “mg Ibuprofen consumed”?

    Analyze the data without any p-hacking.

    Then we’ll know… vbeg

  7. heartwood says

    Did it ever occur to you that you give too many assignments? When I was a prof, 1 weekly 2-3 question quiz on the recent material to let me see how well the students were absorbing the lectures, lab assignments due weekly or every 2 weeks depending on the course, a mid-term and a final exam, and that’s it. The painful marking were the mid-terms and final. Keeping the quizzes short meant I could get through them in about 1.5 hours.

  8. fishy says

    I think there’s a reason why I read wonderful books like, “The Wager.” It’s simply to say to myself that, “it could be worse.”
    Sure, I could complain about the recent announcement of working on the production line not for 10 hours a day 5 days week, but for 11. I choose not to.

  9. says

    I don’t give too many assignments — I give as many as I and the students can manage.
    Re the current assignment: I’ve already got email from students requesting more because they want more practice with the material.

  10. seachange says

    We’ve seen you lecture for one of your classes, so you’re a good teacher.

    Is there a compelling reason to do such a quick return? From what you have told us your students seem to trickle in their assignments, so they’re not following this same rule.