Should we get into a tizzy about students meeting deadlines

April 7, 2024

In a recent paper on extending deadlines for student assignments, researchers point out that it is not an issue we need to sweat about.

“This study uses evidence to debunk common misconceptions about assignment extensions.”
“The extension without penalty system was used by 78% of the students, but half of them only used it once”

My two cents: There is always a happy medium between being strict and lenient. Extending deadlines for everyone is fair—not just for those who ask unless they have a reasonable excuse. Many extroverts get ahead because they ask—are we rewarding behavior or learning? Sure, one should also give a fixed number of unexcused deadline extensions so that private issues are not forced to be exposed.

In LMS, one can set a deadline and then “open until” a date. The two can act as deadlines and extended deadlines, respectively. I did this for a few assignments in a course many years ago, and the “open until” became the deadline, and it was all the same. Students catch up fast, and it makes no difference. Less than 10% of the students submitted on time. The extended deadline bugs students though, as the “open until” does not show up on their calendar, and they must manually keep track of deadlines – oh, the travesty.

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