College Life


The first day of school is tomorrow-what do I do now? College Life

Hello everyone: Watching school buses pick up their children this morning, I began wondering what my students in college are planning for their first day of fall semester tomorrow. Have they visited our class webpage and read my first announcements, including the one that tells them to bring a copy of the syllabus to class with them, or do they figure that I printed it...

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Before you fail read the instructions College Life

Hello everyone: I received an email from a student today. Her note made it very clear that she had not read the announcements or the syllabus before posting her first assignment. While I am the first to agree that a syllabus will probably never make the Best Seller list with Amazon, there is important information in it that could dramatically affect your grade. First, she...

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Graduating Somma Latte College Life

Hello everyone: Today’s blog is about how not to get a higher grade. I had a student recently who asked me to curve her grade by a half letter grade, so she could graduate “somma latte.” After I figured out that she meant “summa cum laude,” we were in better shape. She still didn’t get her 1/2 grade level curve, but at least I understood...

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Extra Credit Woes College Life

Hello everyone: As an instructor, I offer undergraduates the opportunity to earn extra credit throughout the semester. However, that opportunity is dried up two weeks before the end of the term. Why? Because I am a grading machine at that point in time and I don’t have the time or desire to take a student who has goofed off all semester and add to my...

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Excuseitis and other diseases of college students College Life

Hello everyone: I recently had a student who had inflammatory excuseitis. She gave excuses, and I became inflamed towards her. This lady had every excuse in the book to not come to class.  The key here is to remember we are talking about an eight week course. Week one to week one and a half: She had the flu (Hey, it’s an online course. It’s...

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Why do college book publishers release new editions? College Life

Hello everyone: Why do you think college book publishers release new editions? Can there really be that much new stuff since their last edition? Well, guess what? College professors usually don’t like the new editions any better than you do. Why, you might ask? Because, while you cannot sell your textbook to your friends coming up through college after you, we have to re-do all...

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Planning Backwards College Life

Hello everyone: I had some students ask me recently how to plan their group project. I would suggest that they begin at the end result and then plan backwards. For example, let’s say you have a group project due in one month. Today is the 1st, in this example. When do you want to have the document finished? (I suggest at deadline of two or...

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When you do what you do, make sure you do it right College Life

Hello everyone: As you know, I teach at three different colleges. My students range from first year freshmen to graduate students and everything in between. No matter their year in college, they sometimes share a common problem: they don’t follow the directions. One thing about college, and about work life, it is important to give your boss what he or she is looking for. It’s...

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I Can’t Post My Assignment: What Do I Do Now????? College Life

Hello everyone: Every once in a while, it is difficult or impossible to post an assignment to your online course. What are you to do? The first thing is to email the professor a copy of your assignment BEFORE the due date, even if it is just a few minutes before the due date. That way, the instructor will know that your assignment is ready...

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