I'm teaching a course where coursework is submitted online. Recently, an important group project assignment was due. The students are required to submit a project report, which contains a link to a video produced by the students, usually uploaded onto a site such as YouTube, Google Drive or Dropbox. We had announced that for every day that an assignment is late, students will lose 10% of their score for that assignment.
As you might have predicted, there were several student groups who submitted their assignments late. The problem is that some of these students have sent me e-mails begging me not to impose the penalty for late submission. They gave reasons such as:
- The original PDF file which we submitted was corrupted, so after the deadline, we had to submit the PDF again
- There were some technical problems with the original video link, such that it is not possible for the video to be viewed at that link, so we had to upload a new video and are now sending you the new link
- The project was due at 9 PM, and we submitted it at 9 PM (see our screenshot!) but the system marked it as late
Initially, I told them that they will be penalized as specified in the policy, in order to be fair to the students who did submit their work on time. However, the students continued to say that I should be more considerate or fair.
In my mind, I want to say to these students, "Stop wasting my time arguing for marks!" But this doesn't seem to be the right way for me to respond to the students. How should I respond to these students who keep on asking me not to penalize them when the penalty is deserved?