When I teach a small (at most 40) students I often have the dead-cat policy for late HW:
HW is due on Tuesday. But there may be things that come up that don't quite merit a doctors note, for example your cat dying, but are legit for an extension. Rather than have me judge every case you ALL have an extension until Thursday, no questions asked. Realize of course that the hw is MORALLY due Tuesday. So if on Thursday you ask, for an extension I will deny it on the grounds that I already gave you one. So you are advised to not abuse the policy. For example, if you forget to bring your HW in on thursday I will not only NOT give the extension, but I will laugh at you.
(I thought I had blogged on this policy before but couldn't find the post.)
Policy PRO: Much less hassling with late HW and doctors notes and stuff
Policy CON: The students tend to THINK of Thursday as the due date.
Policy PRO: Every student did every HW.
Caveat: The students themselves tell me that they DO start the HW on Monday night, but if they can't quite finish it they have a few more days. This is OKAY by me.
I have always thought that there is NO correlation between the students who tend to hand in the HW on Thursday and those that do well in the class. In the spring I had my TA keep track of this and do statistics on it.
The class was Formal Lang Theory (Reg Langs, P and NP, Computability. I also put in some communication complexity. I didn't do Context free grammars.) There were 43 students in the class. We define a students morality (M) as the the number of HW they hand in on Tuesday. There were 9 HW.
3 students had M=0
12 students had M=1
9 students had M=2
5 students had M=3
4 students had M=4
4 students had M=5
1 student had M=6
1 student had M=7
2 students had M=8
2 students had M=9
We graphed grade vs morality (see here)
The Pearson Correlation Coefficient is 0.51. So some linear
The p-value is 0.0003 which means the prob that there is NO correlation is very low.
1) The 5 students with M at least 7 all did very well in the course.This seems significant.
2) Aside from that there is not much correlation.
3) If I tell my next semesters class ``people who handed the HW in on tuesday did well in the class so you should do the same'' that would not be quite right- do the good students hand thing in on time, or does handing things in on time make you a good student? I suspect the former.
4) Am I surprised that so many students had such low M scores? Not even a little.