How Do I Get An “A”?

Last summer, when building LMS sites for my fall semester undergraduate courses, I inserted a link titled “How do I get an ‘A’,” assuming it would get students’ attention. The link was to this short video about the importance of deadlines.*

I decided to expand on this idea for the spring semester and beyond, with an LMS page that contains the link to the video and this advice:

  • The due date is not the do date. Instructions and deadlines for all course assignments are available in the syllabus and on Canvas from the beginning of the semester. Plan ahead and complete assignments several days before they are due.
  • See the syllabus for the location of reading assignments. Ask librarians how to access these materials at no cost. There are computers available for this in the library and at other campus locations.
  • Revise your writing to eliminate as many unnecessary words as possible. Bad writing is an indication of sloppy thinking. If you are not familiar with the revision process, use the Writing Center.
  • Read the feedback on the quality of your work that is contained in assignment rubrics and my comments. It is not possible for me to care more about your learning than you do.
  • Sleep, eat, and exercise. Sufficient quantities of each are necessary for learning.

While the above can be construed as facilitating more learned helplessness among students, I’m finding that my syllabus quizzes just aren’t doing the job of communicating some of the most basic academic aspects of being a college student.

*Courtesy of TikTok via Reddit. Not something I created.