I received an email from a student today. Her note made it very clear that she had not read the announcements or the syllabus before posting her first assignment.
While I am the first to agree that a syllabus will probably never make the Best Seller list with Amazon, there is important information in it that could dramatically affect your grade.
First, she did not know any deadlines. (They are in both the syllabus and in the first announcement for the class, which I have repeatedly asked students to read.) Key: Read it before you write an assignment.
Second, she was unaware that there were any length requirements on discussion board postings. (Those instructions are at the end of the question, so she obviously did not scroll down one more line, where she would have located it.) Key: If you do not meet the minimum length requirements, you might not get credit for doing anything. Key: If you always post brief postings, your teacher gets very annoyed for your wasting her time. You obviously wanted credit; you just felt like doing a poor job. She notices and makes note that you are lazy. Guess what happens to lazy students if they need a curve at the end of the semester because they are “that close” to the next grade?
Finally, she did not want to participate in the Free Feedback Thursday where she would receive free (what a surprise) feedback that she could use to improve her paper and end up with a better grade. She didn’t want to work that hard. (One student told me “I never do re-writes.” His final grade reflected that attitude.)
The take-away here is…well, you are in college, what do you think?