So once again it is the end of the semester and I find myself tabulating marks. It always astounds me how some students just seem to give up, or not complete activities as required by the course. Blogs would be the perfect example of this. Here is a quote from the handout all the students received on how the blogs would be evaulated:
You will write approximately one entry per week (minimum 12 entries) with a minimum of 200 words for each entry. Students are encouraged to write more.
You are also required to read and make comments on two other student or teacher blogs every week for a total of at least 24 comments. Students are encouraged to make more comments.
The final due date for the blog project is Friday December 1 when you should have a total of at least 12 blogs and 24 comments. You need to do at least 12 blogs and 24 comments in order to get full marks. Your blog contributes to your final participation mark.
Please note that you are only allowed to write one blog entry per day. Multiple entries made on the same day will be counted as one entry.
I went over these parameters with the students in class. They all had the handout, so they could have read the requiements. However, many students didn't write the requisite 200 words per blog! It was right there in black and white! Also, many students missed the requirement that they only write one blog per day. How depressing. I think some people are going to be shocked by their blog marks. 12 blogs x 200 words per blog = 2400 words. That means if you only wrote 1200 words over the course of the semester, you only received 50%. That mark is then calculated as part of the final participation mark.
The most interesting aspect of all of this is that many of the students who received low marks on their blogs, also are receiving low marks in class. There seems to be a direct correlation between the amount of effort students put into their blogs and the grade they receive on their essays and exams. The irony of all of this is that students come to me a week or two before the final exams, and they ask me "what can I do to get a better mark". Well, you could have blogged at least 200 words every week like you were supposed to.
I'm so curious . . . don't the students see a connection between doing homework and getting a high mark on the final exam? I guess not. That is why they end up failing. My job is to try and get them to see the connection. You can't expect to be a great pianist if you never practice. You can't expect to be a great writer if you never practice.