I'm teaching a course where coursework is submitted online. Recently, an important group project assignment was due. The students are required to submit a project report, which contains a link to a video produced by the students, usually uploaded onto a site such as YouTube, Google Drive or Dropbox. We had announced that for every day that an assignment is late, students will lose 10% of their score for that assignment.
As you might have predicted, there were several student groups who submitted their assignments late. The problem is that some of these students have sent me e-mails begging me not to impose the penalty for late submission. They gave reasons such as:
- The original PDF file which we submitted was corrupted, so after the deadline, we had to submit the PDF again
- There were some technical problems with the original video link, such that it is not possible for the video to be viewed at that link, so we had to upload a new video and are now sending you the new link
- The project was due at 9 PM, and we submitted it at 9 PM (see our screenshot!) but the system marked it as late
Initially, I told them that they will be penalized as specified in the policy, in order to be fair to the students who did submit their work on time. However, the students continued to say that I should be more considerate or fair.
In my mind, I want to say to these students, "Stop wasting my time arguing for marks!" But this doesn't seem to be the right way for me to respond to the students. How should I respond to these students who keep on asking me not to penalize them when the penalty is deserved?
The University's policy on late submissions and extensions.
Late Submission of Work
- Late coursework will only be accepted without penalty if you have provided a good reason and have been granted an extension in advance or exceptional circumstances prevented you from doing so. See section below on Extensions.
- Late coursework submitted without an authorised extension will be recorded as late and the following penalties will apply: 5 percentage points will be deducted for every calendar day or part thereof it is late, up to a maximum of 7 calendar days. After this time a mark of zero will be recorded.
- These penalties follow the University's Taught Assessment Regulations, regulation 28.
- You are expected to plan your work to meet the published deadlines for submission of coursework.
- If exceptional circumstances arise which may prevent you from meeting these deadlines it is essential that you apply for an extension - in advance of the deadline where this is possible.
- An extension up to a maximum of seven calendar days may be granted.
- A Coursework Extension Request Form, also available on the University Forms for students webpage, should be submitted.
- In addition to the information requested on the form please also include details of the piece of coursework an extension is being requested for and the original submission deadline.
- Pre-honours extension requests should be submitted to the course administrator for the course as listed in Learn / Euclid / Path.
- Honours extension requests should be submitted to the Student Support Office.
- Please remember that you do not have an extension until authorisation has been confirmed.
- The usual late penalties will apply to all work not submitted by 12 noon on the authorised extension date.
- Details of reasons that are considered good reasons and those that are not are contained in the University's Taught Assessment Regulations, regulation 28. In general good reasons are unexpected short-term circumstances which are exceptional for the individual student, beyond that student’s control, and which could reasonably be expected to have had an adverse impact on the student’s ability to complete the assessment on time.
- If the circumstances for which you require an extension extend beyond seven calendar days you should submit the coursework when able to do so and apply via the Special Circumstances process for the Board of Examiners to disregard the penalty for late submission. Details of the Special Circumstances process are available via the Special Circumstances page of the intranet.