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When Students’ Work is Disappointing

In a commentary about to be published in College Teaching, author and teacher Ellen Ballock writes about a set of student papers she found disappointing. I’m guessing that will resonant with most of us. Teachers regularly get work from students that just doesn’t measure up. Not surprisingly, we respond with emotion. Disappointment turns into anger and that morphs into frustration, which is followed by confusion and self-doubt. We know they can do better than that, most of them are coming to class, discussions of the content used in the assignment were good, and we’ve been feeling positive about the course. So, what in the world is going on?

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