Yes, I have that student.
But surely this should be celebrated! A student who broke free of their helicopter parents! (otherwise, mom or dad would have looked over the assignment, told them they weren't following instructions, and re-written it for them.)
In life, you will encounter people who squash your creativity just because you aren't following their rules.I am one of those people.
You just underestimate their special gifts.
Fine with me as long as you don't argue about the effect on your grade. What you do with your time is your business. It's entirely possible that, in the long run, your time would be better spent learning about something you're more interested in in your own way (it would almost certainly not be better spent recycling a paper you already wrote or buying one someone else wrote, but that's another scenario. We'll assume for the moment the student is sincere). The one hitch is that you have to pass my class to graduate, and to pass my class, you need to produce work that reasonably resembles what is described in the assignment. You've got considerable freedom within those parameters (e.g. choice of topic), but the parameters exist, and I'm grading based on them, and the university is awarding diplomas based on its own parameters, which include passing my class. So it goes. Life is full of choices, and consequences. Have at it.
Oh, I know. Geez, I don't build these assignments willy nilly. Some are designed a certain way to satisfy learning outcomes that I'm paid to enforce - yes, not a sexy job.So when students go their own way, they are simply saying the course material doesn't apply to them and that's fine with me. Like Cassandra so eloquently states above. Have at it.
I have so many that do this, and I do think as Cassandra implies, it is often because they are recycling. I find that handing out the assignment as a rubric, assigning points for each section, helps. I just take off points for everything they did not do, and it is right on the assignment sheet.I take off ten points for each type of source they neglect to use, too. I often have students fail to use all six of the required sources, explaining with a smile that they found the information quite easily elsewhere! I smile back and take off sixty points, as it says right on the assignment sheet. This course is not on a certain topic. I am teaching them HOW to use different kinds of sources! It is maddening, it really is!
In my limited experience with this, recycling work from another course was the reason for the deviation from the assignment.
I often like to think of them as starting with zero points and earning points for each thing they do right. I understand that deducting for things done wrong is often fewer steps or more practical, but when I can, I like to avoid playing into their thinking that they are entitled to a perfect score and anything less is because we deduct at our whim.
It actually states in my syllabus that I don't accept recycled assignments. Most are not smart enough to remove the evidence either. I love assignments with cover pages dedicated to another course and professor. So easy to grade.
I don't see it as easier, OPH, just clearer. The assignment sheet does, in fact, describe the perfect assignment. I suspect in practice we are doing nearly the same thing.
I had a colleague who would write in the directions for any given exam "Answers to questions I did not ask will get zero credit". Fine, as far as it goes, but that implies the students read the directions. I've been tempted to insert "so and so has been known to consort with wolves" just to see if anyone notices or cares.As they slide down the banister of life, they can think of me as the splinter they got in their backsides if it makes them feel any better.
I've been tempted to insert "so and so has been known to consort with wolves" just to see if anyone notices or cares.That's the very reason the band Van Halen had the "brown M&M clause" in their contracts with venues they performed at.
"I did all sorts of extra and just threw it in to show you how excited I was about the assignment!"Uh...yeah. So where's the part concerning what I wanted you to do?
She's just succeeding in ways you don't understand.
I later found out she was homeschooled.And dropped the course a few weeks later after I reprimanded her for chronic, intrusive tardiness.Schedules and instructions just weren't in her wheelhouse, I suppose. LOL(Saddest part is she wasn't half-dumb, just unfocused.)
Well, she's spe-shul! Why shouldn't she be able to do what she wants?
Far too often, though, they aren't fully aware of what the actual assignment is (because they didn't read the syllabus, they didn't read all of the handout, they were absent most of the semester, etc.)
And now I'm hearing Lindsey Buckingham and the rest of Fleetwood Mac, singing:"You can go your own waaaaaaayyyyy, go your own waaayyy, You can call it another lonely day [etc.]"
Great. Now how long am I going to be hearing that too, I wonder.
Anything to drown out the one with:"Happy....Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.Happy....Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth [etc.]"Oh. Fuck.
Blasphemy!! That's the Dean of Student Mollification's favourite song!