Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What Would You Do Wednesday: Scenario 16

Each week we will bring you a short scenario to address issues that you, your colleagues and students might face. How would you respond to these scenarios? Would you file a report, or do something different? Talk to your colleagues about these situations - the classroom should be a safe learning environment for students AND instructors!


Student Excuses – Isn’t this the time of year that we start to hear the whole list?

  • I was locked out of my apartment all night.
  • I had to visit my grandmother, who was having surgery.
  • I slept through my alarm clock because I was up all night studying.
  • I had the flu, then I had bronchitis, then I had a bad reaction to the antibiotics they gave me.
  • I had two other exams the day the paper was due.

I think I heard someone say that this is “The Week of Dead Grandmothers.” Which of these excuses would you allow? Does it depend on who uses the excuse and how many other excuses you’ve heard from them? Deciding how to respond to students’ excuses can be a major challenge. No single policy is perfect - inevitably, some deserving students will be unfairly punished for life’s inconveniences and some manipulative students will be unfairly rewarded for creative excuses. The best you can do is have a policy, let students know about it at the beginning of the quarter, and retain the right to be accommodating if the situation merits it. What are your policies for dealing with student excuses like this?

Post your comments below!

If you'd like someone from the 5 Star Consortium to follow up with you regarding this scenario, please email

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