By: Ekansh Agrawal
Have you ever gotten a zero on an assignment you turned in one day late, or maybe a less severe consequence, getting half-credit? Usually, you don’t submit late on purpose; the assignment might have gotten lost in a cloud of thoughts. But a late assignment can hurt a grade depending on how strict the teacher’s late work policy is.
Consider this, let’s say a scientist has a particular deadline to publish a certain paper. They need to meet the deadline and publish their article one day after. Other scientists would need to respect their work and findings. If a group of construction workers finishes building their house one week after the deadline, they shouldn’t have half their pay revoked.
The quite harsh penalties for late submissions are nonsensical. Frequently, late assignments that lose lots of points still have high-quality work, but the penalty takes over, destroying the grade, and disregarding the quality and time that was put into the assignment. Teachers need to remember that students aren’t robots who can do everything perfectly; they make mistakes and forget things, yet students are punished for them.
I think a solution or fix to this would be not to remove points and treat everything on a case-to-case basis. Or a more robust policy could be a 5-10% reduction in points. This policy would still incentivize students to get their assignments on time but not overly penalize them so much and destroy their grades. A mix of small point reductions and treating things on a case-to-case basis is the best way to ensure fair and reasonable treatment of late submissions.