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How to handle "argumentative" students?


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An approach that has worked well for minimizng regrades (but perhaps not so well as a tool for teaching) is to say that I will happily regrade anything a student wants to give me. But I make clear that I'll go over the assignment with a fine-toothed comb, and they can both earn or lose additional points. I am far more likely to dock credit for unstated assumptions, minor errors, and the like if a student insists that I previously made some error and a regrade is truly the best use of my time. Students quickly realize that most of my "errors" led to higher grades for them, and it is not in their interest to have me going over their assignments twice. By the time I've done 2-3 regrades, word spreads and they stop coming in.

Edited by Usmivka
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I respectfully suggest that whatever one does to handle argumentative students, that graduate students make sure they're on the same page as the professor for whom their working, the department in which they're working, and the school they're attending. To be clear, please make sure you're in step with all three.


One of the loneliest places to be is where you realize that the Powers That Be have a strikingly different approach to difficult undergraduates than what you thought/read/were told.


Or so I've heard.


(But I'm not bitter.)

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