Reframing Assessment #2

What is a deadline?

Considering the notion of deadlines in the context of the purpose of assessment almost seems an ironic contradiction… but let’s just look at what a deadline is – or isn’t:

What a deadline is not:

  • it is NOT when you start your submission
  • is NOT to be ignored
  • you do NOT wait until after it’s passed to request an extension
  • you will NOT die if you do not submit on time (you may get penalised – but it’s not fatal – probably!)

Who are deadlines for? A couple of perspectives:

  • deadlines provide milestones to manage progress through subject matter,
  • feedback to encourage,
  • guidance for further development
  • must be adhered to for your marks to be processed and submitted to the greater administrative systems


  • deadlines allow us to manage our time allocations / workloads (that’s when assignments are submitted on time)
  • provide the lecturer/educator some feedback on how students are grasping the content being studied
  • is a compulsory part of the adminstration tasks

So – why do students not submit assignments on time?

  • too busy? (doing.. something more interesting?)
  • conflict between workloads – work versus studies
  • lazy?
  • not motivated?
  • fear of failure? Or not achieving?
  • don’t understand the task clearly enough?
  • not engaged with the content of the subject?
  • don’t care?

When was the last time you, as an educator, heard a student say how much they enjoyed an exam?
Although – I have had some students admit to really enjoy some of their projects that are assessable at the end of semester…
But – the final answer to the original question is clearly more complex than some of the tongue in cheek comments I’ve observed here! 😉

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