Missing Class

Missing Class (PILOT Reflections)

Preface: Did I Miss Anything, a short poem by Tom Wayans.

Amusing: A FAQ page that I put up is the top Google hit for “missed class“.

Students sometimes miss class for extended periods due to illness.

I once had a student who was a group leader in a technical writing class. She passed out assignments to her team members, then didn’t show up for six weeks. This student was in regular contact with me, but her group members had little reason to believe that she would actually come back. I think I can understand why they wouldn’t feel particularly motivated to work on their group project.

Whenever a student mentions a health problem, or a problem with a family member’s health, even before I ask for documentation, I typically tell the student that their grade in my class should be the least of their worries. I don’t mind making exceptions for students who miss class for reasons beyond their control.

Obviously, asking a dependable student to take notes, encouraging the student to keep up with the readings as much as possible, and inviting the student to participate in online activities as much as possible is a way to keep the student from dropping completely out of the classroom community. And since I design the in-class activities to reinforce the concepts that will become even more important in final projects and term papers, missing even a “fun” class can affect a student’s grade later on.