STUDENT SUCCESS & My Policies for Late Assignments & Postings

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 8/27/15.

Sometimes students wonder if they can have extra time for their assignments and postings in my courses. I have created a policy that is flexible, gracious but still fair to those who submit their homework before the due date. 

Here is the “official” policy followed by an explanation of how I have modified this for my courses:

Official Wesley Seminary Late Policy:

Policies
Late Policy

  • No credit is available for postings of any kind made in the discussion forums after a given workshop ends. 

  • If your instructor approves your submission of late assignments, each assignment score will be penalized 10% per day up to six days late. After the end of the sixth day, late assignments will not be accepted. An assignment is a paper, a project, a team presentation, etc., but not a discussion or quiz/test.

  • No late assignments will be accepted after the close of the final workshop.

Here is how I moderate these late policies for my students:

1) My late penalty is only 2% a day and applies to postings and assignments.  The official Wesley Seminary policy (copied below) is 10% a day.  Thus you see, I am very sensitive to working adults and flexibility.

2) If there are extenuating circumstances “beyond your control*:”

> Beforehand you must ask me (via an email to me, even if only hours before the due date) for permission to turn in your work late and include:

a) An explanation why it will be late (due to timing you may not receive a reply.)

b) If you are requesting the tardiness penalty be waived or reduced and why.

> When you submit a late assignment tell me in the “comment box” if an assignment or in the post (if a posting):

a) Why was it late?

b) How late was it?  Tell me the exact number of days (8+ hours late is a full day).

b) Did you request a waiver or reduction of the late penalty and when?  And, was it excused (by me in writing) to be turned in late without penalty or with reduced penalty?

> If you do not ask beforehand or tell me in the comment box the lateness of the assignment/post, it will be assumed to be submitted on the date I graded it.

3)  FINAL COURSE WORK:  All homework, including late work, postings, etc. must be submitted before midnight on the last day of class.  There are no exceptions.  Student Services requires I enter grades shortly after the course is over, so we cannot receive late work after the last day of the course.  Any late work after that date will not count.  (See the official Wesley Seminary Late Policy below).

4) If you think you need to withdraw or ask for an incomplete, read my posting STUDENT SUCCESS & What to Do If You Must Withdraw or Request an Incomplete @WesleySeminary to help you make this decision and to follow the correct procedures.

5)  You may be wondering why do we require these due dates. I follow most of the faculty in adhering to due dates because they ensure everyone reads your posts and your assignments are graded in a timely manner.  Also, because my courses are exercises in leadership/management (and good time management is part of good leadership/management) I usually adhere closely to these deadlines.  Thus, I tell students to not wait until the last minute for then their posts/assignments will be late and many of students will not have read your posts.

6) Finally, familiarize yourself with the official Wesley Seminary Late Policy (below again).  It will be used by most of your professors and all of your adjunct instructors. It is also reprinted in your syllabus.

So you see, there is always room for exceptions. The key is to try and have universal due dates so all students can participate and so you can organize your scholarly life.  For one student (in Kathmandu) this meant she had to adhere to a different deadline and submit her assignments a few days early.  But in the end, she was glad she did for it kept her in sync with her classmates and their comments.

* “Beyond your control” means that even if you had worked ahead and not waited until the last minute, there would still not be enough time to do your work before the deadline. Thus “beyond your control” means that it is not because you left your work until the last minute and something (even an emergency) came up.  Instead, you can control your schedule and should work on your assignments early in the week since something unexpected will always come up.  But if the unexpected event could not be planned for, even by working ahead in the week, then it would meet my definition of beyond your control in your planning schedule.

Official Wesley Seminary Late Policy:

Policies
Late Policy

  • No credit is available for postings of any kind made in the discussion forums after a given workshop ends. 
  • If your instructor approves your submission of late assignments, each assignment score will be penalized 10% per day up to six days late. After the end of the sixth day, late assignments will not be accepted. An assignment is a paper, a project, a team presentation, etc., but not a discussion or quiz/test.
  • No late assignments will be accepted after the close of the final workshop.