It's that time of year, when poor students crawl out of their semester-long slumber to complain about grades. Here are a list of questions that I (should) ask of students before addressing any bellyaching they might impart:
- Did you thoroughly read the syllabus at the beginning of the semester?
(Indeed, have you read the syllabus at all?)
- How would you characterize your attendance this semester?
- How much of the assigned class reading did you actually complete?
- What specific behaviors have you changed in order to improve your grade in class over the semester?
(Indeed, have you changed behaviors at all or have you repeated the same steps expecting different results?)
- Have you been reading the comments I've returned with your writing assignments?
- Did you go to the campus writing center to get help with any issues noted on your papers?
- How often did you come to my office hours to discuss your performance?
(Indeed, have you ever come to my office hours?)
- How often did you email or otherwise contact me about strategies to improve your performance prior to the end of the semester?