Had to share this one. The back story: This semester, I used an online platform to receive and grade student papers. I was told it helped streamline the whole evaluation process, that it was easier for students to receive and implement feedback, and most importantly, that it would help me grade thousands of papers in less time. I used it, and still haven't decided whether I like it or not. But what you REALLY need to know is that it's incredibly easy and user-friendly for students. A knuckle-dragging Cro-Mag could submit an essay on it with no problems. Literally, it's a one-click submission process. And my students have been turning in work on the site for months.
The following email correspondence took place between me and a student last week, the day before the final assignment deadline.
Hey it's Jordan from your 9:30 class. I just wanted to let you know that I've been trying to upload my paper to turnitin.com but it's not working. I've tried everything, including reformatting the document as a different document but the document still won't go through. I just wanted to let you know, fyi.
Thanks for checking in. Since you've successfully submitted all of your previous work this semester on the web site, I'd say go back and see what format you used for those earlier essays. Everything you've turned in so far has made it to me without any problems.
The last time I turned something in to you it was a Word document and I know it was fine but it's not working now. Respectfully I think the problem is with the web site and not with me so you let me know when you fix it and I'll turn in my paper in after that.
I just checked online, and so far, two-thirds of your class has turned in their final essay without any problems. And again, since you've submitted your earlier assignments online without experiencing any difficulty, I'll leave it to you to go back and fix the issue. Remember that the deadline is tomorrow at 9 a.m.
(Two hours later)
I've tried everything. I don't know why it's not working, but I know it's not my fault. I strongly think you should either fix the web site, or let me turn my paper in to your mailbox later this week. I don't have time to do so until Thursday because of my busy schedule. I know the deadline is Wed but I'm assuming you'll make an exception for me due to this difficulty which is out of my hands.
As of now, 85% of your class has turned in the final paper without incident. Are you using the same computer you used to submit past assignments? Are you sure you're online? I'm sure that sounds somewhat patronizing, but I really don't know what advice to give, since you've been able to turn in all previous work online without any problems. Since you live in the same dorm as several of your classmates, maybe you could ask a friend to help you troubleshoot. Beyond that, I'm not sure what to tell you. Do be aware that you're required to meet the same deadline as everyone else. This situation doesn't warrant an exception.
I think you should know that I'm deeply offended by your response. I'm just trying to do the right thing and turn my paper in on time. You are being incredibly unreasonable about your deadline and you've been that way all semester which I think is ridiculous!! You care more about turning essays in on time than about the content of the essays themselves. I consider that to be very irresponsible for a teacher! This paper is a big part of my final grade and the fact that you don't even care is incredible to me. Thanks a lot for nothing. I will remember your disrespect of me for the rest of my college career.
I'm sorry you feel that way. After the holiday break, if you feel the need to register a formal complaint with my department, you can do so by contacting my department chair.
(Two more hours later)
Oops, sorry. I was trying to turn our paper in to a different class by mistake. My bad. Have a happy holiday break!