I’m mired in the middle of my weekly grading for the tech class I teach at University of Phoenix Online and I’m amazed that the easiest part of their grade is declining, week by week. Here’s the deal: in a given seven day period, students are required to post in the main discussion group five of seven days, 2-3 postings per day. They should be at least a paragraph of new material and it’s all on-topic for the class. It’s also 20% of their grade.
So you’d think “gosh, that sounds like the easiest part of the grade: just natter on in the group and 1/5th of my grade is guaranteed?” but, surprisingly, students don’t actually post very much.
I realize that students have lives and other things that take their time, but surely a one-paragraph posting even just once per day would take no more than 5-10 minutes total, right? That’s ‘waiting for your coffee to cool’ time. But the grades tell the story…
Week one: 90%, 100%, 60%, 100%, 100%, 100%
Week two: 40%, 100%, 75%, 100%, 100%, 60%
Week three: 80%, 100%, 60%, 80%, 100%, 60%
A strange trend. And one that astonishes me because, of all people, I have always assumed that students have plenty to say…