And This Week’s Topic

And Now for Something Completely Different

Since January 2014 I have a policy where all homework assignments (of which I have two types) are all due on the last day of classes. So this semester that will be at 5:30pm (local time in Guadalajara) on May 6th, 2015.

Are you Serious?

Another Boromir meme.
Another Boromir meme.

Yes, this works and here is Why

I’ve thought a lot about why students do not hand in homework early (well humans in general). The answer lies in following the incentives.

In most classes (including mine until about 5 years ago) there was no reason to hand in assignments early. Let us list the advantages:

  • You feel good about yourself
  • The teacher (if she notices) thinks you are amazing.
  • ummm. can’t think of anything else

Now, let’s list the reasons students wait until the last minute:

  • That physics/calculus/computing teacher that always screws up the homework problem and it turns out the problem was impossible to solve. Haha, that funny teacher #someoneShootMeForWastingHours
  • The teacher that always extends the deadline when they notice that nobody has done it yet (vicious cycle anyone?)
  • If I wait until all of my friends do it, they can help me
  • I get a buzz off that last minute rush
  • I could think of more, but this blog post is due soon……

Let’s Flip the Due Dates

See what I did there? Yeah, I’m hilarious under a #flashBlog time crunch.  Instead of having students base their schedule on “What’s due tomorrow so I can start today?”, I want them to move towards “What is available that I can work on now?”

That’s It?

Well yeah and it works pretty well. I want to talk about this in much more detail at my FlipCon15 talk in Michigan so I’m saving all of the “good stuff” for then.

I sure hope that gets accepted. Details, details.

Your Turn

So, am I nuts? Are my students lining up to lynch me for yet another serious of crazy experiments from their Canadian teacher here in México? Let me know!


3 thoughts on “FlipClass FlashBlog – Part Three

  1. That’s an intriguing idea! We have occasional campus debates about the crush of deadlines at the end of the semester and the negative impact it has on student welfare and their academic achievement. In our debates, the answers always seem to be “my method is fantastic; all y’all need to shape up.” But what could be a better solution than not saying it’s about my schedule or your schedule, but about the student’s ability to manage their own schedule?

    1. Thanks for stopping by Joe. The key really is teaching the Ss to manage time as you say. My big challenge is incentivizing getting work done early which seems to be happening over the last couple of years applying these policies of rewarding early delivery by giving feedback that they actually read and use.

  2. Reblogged this on learning along the way and commented:
    This is a really interesting idea. I wonder if this will become more mainstream over time. I can see younger age classes having an “end of the week” or “every two weeks” policy as an introduction to time management and self-paced learning.

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