When Students Ignore Feedback II

This semester I am teaching fifty-four undergraduate students in two courses. At present, ten of these students have D or F averages. One of them has previously stated that he will withdraw. While it’s not my responsibility to ensure that he actually follows through on this before the semester ends, I will limit my analysis to the remaining nine students.

Both courses have had six assignments so far, so fifty-four separate opportunities for the nine students to receive feedback on their writing. But only forty-one of these assignments, or approximately 75%, were submitted.

Students saw my feedback, in the form of brief comments and a marked rubric, on only nine of the forty-one submitted assignments — approximately 20%. How do I know this? The “student viewed” time stamp feature of Canvas, discussed previously and shown below. If there isn’t a “Student Viewed Document” message, the student didn’t look at the assignment after I graded it.

Six of the nine students have not looked at any of my feedback on past assignments, despite earning failing grades. I will now email them to explain the likely relationship between their grades and their unwillingness to take advantage of the feedback I provide. This action on my part assumes that students will read the email, which isn’t guaranteed. But if this doesn’t catch their attention, mid-semester grade reports might.