I am teaching a course in a college and assignment homework on a regular basis. Usually I collect all homework in the class and later my student secretary grades all the homework and return them to the students through the mail room. If a student did not turn in the homework at all, a zero will be given.
There is a student who claims to have turned in two homework but got zero for both. I am checking with my secretary and is awaiting for his reply. Likely he will tell me that he does remember anything about her homework. Also I have asked the student to check her mailbox, and it is quite likely that she could not find her homework there.
Another piece of information: I suspect the student is dishonest as sometimes her quiz answer is identical to the student sitting next to her. But since I never caught her red-handed, this should not be used as an evidence.
Now assuming that no evidence can be found regarding whether she turned the homework or not, there are at least three opinions for me:
- Give her full marks for the homework, assuming that it is I or my secretary who misplaced them.
- Give her zeros, ignoring her claims.
- As a happy medium, change her homework status as "excused" so these two particular homework will not be counted toward her grade.
I have done Option 1 in the past, but only to find out later that the student who made the claim turns out to be a very dishonest student and likely she lied to me and benefited from lying. What would you suggest me to do in this situation?