No Zero Policy

I am somewhat on the fence about this “No Zero Policy” and I thought a blog post might be a good way to hear other peoples opinions. Part of me is against the “No Zero Policy” because it does not teach students how to be responsible. Are we not supposed to work towards preparing students for the workforce or for post secondary education? This policy does the opposite. Students will not get chance after chance in the real world, especially in university. I think it is important for there to be consequences if due dates are not met. Is it okay to threaten giving zeros to students who do not do the work? I understand if a student is missing or has a lot going on in their life and you are able to understand why they are not doing to work, but what about the students that continually do not use their class time properly? Are there no consequences? I know some schools have great homework programs that work, then on the other hand there are some schools that do not have great homework programs. I simply think that giving students several chances with no consequences does not prepare them for what’s to come post-high school. I have yet to hear an argument for the “No Zero Policy” and when I do my research I find more arguments against the policy than in favor of it. If someone out there has a great argument in favor of this policy awesome! I want to hear it!

Then there is the other part of me that kind of gets it. I can understand the idea behind the “No Zero Policy,” no student gets left behind. I know it is good to ensure that every student passes and every student succeeds. It is important to connect with your students and understand why a student is not doing the work. I understand that this policy is meant to focus on the students academic achievement.

I do not agree with simply giving a student a zero when they don’t hand something in. I think we must talk to the student and understand why they didn’t complete the work and then go from there.

With this policy we are basically eliminating due dates, which may be positive in High School, but it not how things are done in University.

Then eliminated the stress of receiving a zero on an assignment gives the students more of an opportunity to show their academic ability.

I am definitely open to other opinions, so please share, I would enjoy hearing what you have to say.


5 thoughts on “No Zero Policy

  1. I agree with you completely. It’s a tough policy to be completely for or against. On the one hand, you’re allowing students to chose to put things off or not do them if they don’t want to. This doesn’t teach students that there are rewards or consequences to their actions or work ethics. In the real life your boss or university teachers aren’t going to be okay with you handing things in late or not having a work proposal done on time.
    On the other hand, you’re giving students the choice to take responsibility of their own schooling and the chose to do good without someone forcing you to do homework. But again, the downside is there will probably always be those students who will choose not to get everything done and then they will not learn full responsibility.
    There has to be a happy medium. For presentations and group work I think there should be a set date. Everyone should have to be done on the date they were given, with exceptions only made when discussed ahead of time with the teacher. For individual work, I think there should be some flexibility. Give some time after the due date before you take away a set amount of marks. After that, if they hand it in at some point take those marks off what you would have given them. This might give students some responsibility and encouragement to hand it in on time or at least before the date you would take marks off.
    I’m sure there are so many different ways that teachers try to make it fair while also giving students some type of flexibility and say in due dates and marks.

  2. I am somewhat in favor of “no zero policy” because I don’t see how giving them a zero help them. It can only make students uninterested in assignments and studies if they start getting zeros. By giving them zeros we are in fact letting the student off the hook. There can be other ways to get the assignments done. As Marley said a date can be fixed for handing in the assignments and students who hand the assignments on time can be given extra marks, which can be deducted for students handing it late.
    This is just one way. There are so many other ways to get the work done in time.

  3. Not only does it hurt them in University, but it does in Real Life.
    If this person has always had lax due dates in school, they will think they can get away with being late on bills and taxes, which have serious financial penalties. Also, if they are lazy in their job, doing tasks at their own pace, they won’t be in that job for long.
    I think that giving out zeroes isn’t a bad thing, albeit tough, because we need to teach our students about life beyond high school.
    However, I believe that we can’t forget that they are just kids and this is their time to learn from their mistakes. I don’t think that we should be extremely strict with late policies (ie. -10%/day), but need to have something that will help make our students aware that lateness does have consequences without becoming extremely detrimental to their final grade (because THAT is what they care about, in the long run). I also think that we need to be compassionate with our students, realizing that sometimes life gets in the way.

  4. Thanks for the comments. You all have shared very valid points. I don’t know if I can get passed the fact that the policy does not prepare the students for real life. I like the idea of setting up some medium. But with the policy we are not allowed to give students late marks, so how do you find a medium? My co op teacher gave students extra marks for handing something in on time, I think that is a clever way to try to beat the system. Something Swati said to me resonated with me, you said: “By giving them zeros we are in fact letting the student off the hook.” This sentence intrigued me and I would love for you to elaborate more. Aren’t we letting them off the hook by not preparing them for life post High School?
    Whenever I try to explain the policy to other people who are not teachers, like my family, I find myself easily explain the negative factors to the policy but I struggle explaining the positive.

  5. Pingback: ECMP355 – Social Learning Review | Expressimental

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