Missing assignments example


A question was raised coming out the lived experience of one of instructors. She felt there was an issue with her Black male students and not turning in work. Knowing recent trends about male students and males students of color (both are not enrolling or staying in college), I thought it was worthwhile to pull the data and see if there are indeed trends we need to be aware of. If there is a significant pattern keyed to race and gender, then we need to know that and then work toward mitigating it.

The original question posed by the instructor was: why are Black students not submitting their assignments?

We shifted this question to: are Black students not submitting assignments (or turning them late) at a higher rate than other students?

We further limited the question by parameters for the data:

  • Course: ENC 1102
  • Terms: Fall, 2021, Spring, 2022, Fall 2022
  • Data: student performance report for late and missing assignments
  • Other variables
    • gender
    • race/ethnicity
    • final course grade or if the student dropped the course

when we get the data out of USF Writes, we’ll take a look at it to see what it may tell us and then determine our next steps. It may tell us that there isn’t a a significant issue (using the statistical definition of significant) or it may tell us that there is an issue we need to try and address.

Other questions that were raised about the notion of Black students and missing assignments:

  • is the standard curriculum not interesting or applicable to Black students’ lives? (use writes survey of interest even though required?)
  • are Black students busier or have more demands that take them away from classwork?
  • do Black students do less work when taught by a Black instructor (or more defined, a Black female instructor)?