Q: Your syllabus late work policy is quite strict. Do you find that’s important for an intro level course like this?

Corser: cs116 teaches college and professional discipline as well as programming. People often say they want college to match real life. Can you turn in late work in real life? If I show up late for an interview or file my taxes late, is there not a penalty? Often excuses that students come up with are barely believable. This sort of behavior needs to be nipped in the bud.

In practice there are situations where lateness is justified. I negotiate with students when this happens, but I almost always impose some small penalty, maybe 1 point off a 4 point program. I do not feel too bad about this because I provide all of the assignments at the beginning of class. They had plenty of time to work on them. They just did not prepare themselves for minor emergencies that pop up from time to time. College helps prepare people to become adults, who must have backup and contingency plans for things, though I admit this is fairly advanced behavior for a college freshman. I have never seen this situation result in a change of grade.

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