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8:25pm on Friday, 25th May, 2018:

Two Strikes


One of the regulations at Falmouth University says that if a student misses two pieces of coursework for a module, it's an automatic fail. It doesn't matter whether they're worth 5% or 50%: if they miss two, that's it. They have to resit the entire module the next year if they want to carry on their degree.

This seems rather cruel to me, and some good students have been hit by it over the past couple of years. I'm intending to write in my External Examiner report a recommendation that they consider relaxing the regulation.

I wonder, though: is this common or uncommon? At Essex you wouldn't fail for non-submissions. You wouldn't get any marks, but if the marks are only 2% and there's a 40% assignment looking for a different module, you can see why students might decide to put their priorities elsewhere. At Falmouth, though, to get the same effect you'd have to hand in a blank document. Handing in something with no content gets you zero; handing in nothing gets you zero and a strike. Two strikes and you're out.

Is this something other universities do or can I claim that not only is it a cruel punishment but it's an unusual one, too?

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Copyright © 2018 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).