Here's the policy:
Students had 48 hours to correct all Fatal Errors and resubmit. It did not matter how the corrections got done: visit the writing center, talk with a roommate, consult a parent, pay an editor. If papers were resubmitted on time, they were graded as if the professors had never seen them before… minus one letter grade . If a paper still contained the threshold of Fatal Errors, the grade could be no higher than a D. If a paper was not resubmitted, the grade would be a fail.The results?
Word got around fast among students. They knew that the Fatal Error Policy existed, knew the consequences, and edited their papers. It's critical to note that just because Fatal Errors no longer occurred, student writing did not substantially improve. Instead, professors were able to focus their feedback on disciplinary issues such as internal logic, quality of information, use of evidence, and audience awareness – rather than nitpicking the annoying grammar and spelling mistakes. Over time, student writing improved due to the improvement in faculty feedback.So by pressuring students toward minimal standards, faculty were better able to give feedback that focused on, well, maximal standards.
Is this fatal error policy a good idea? If so, would you have the same fatal errors for student philosophical writing that the business faculty had for their students?