I received a F grade in a class I was doing pretty well in throughout the semester. I had a B up until I got a C on the final which brought my overall grade to a C, not ideal but not horrendous either. On Christmas Eve when the semester was over I checked my grade and spit the cereal I was eating all over my laptop. I checked my grade through the class website and my last assignment still said "upcoming" with regards to my grade. I was so shocked by the F I received that I immediately shot off an email to the Prof, letting him know the grade he gave me was wrong... big mistake. The Prof told me I got a zero on the last assignment (even though it said upcoming not 0) which was worth about 20% of my grade because my project which was turned in 100% correct and on time was not configured correctly. My project was on GitLab and I had added him as a guest by accident not a developer to the project; thus making it impossible to grade.

I could tell he was angered by my unintentional accusation and he said we were done talking about it, and my grade was final. I failed at a 58% with an assignment worth 20% of my grade and took weeks to complete being worth nada. So I had a unbelievably bad Christmas to say the least. I waited a week and wrote an email to the professor apologizing for my rude behavior and to propose a compromise. Take as much points as you want off, (I could get a 10% on the assignment and still pass). This made sense to me, the Professor accepted late work for up to a week with 5% deducted per day. If I got a D at least I didn't have to retake the course. No response, I must've emailed at the worst possible time or really ticked him off.

Just some more background. This is by far my most disorganized, forgetful and laid back Professor I have ever taken in college. He's also the funniest, most caring and fair instructor I've met so far. He will personally tutor students outside office hours, clear and fair in grading and will bend over backwards to hear you out. I really think I just pissed him off at the worst possible time. The downside to his laid back attitude is that we didn't get out first program back for two months, it was due week 3. We didn't get program 2 back until week 9. And the last two assignments, due a month and a month and a half before the semester ended weren't graded until after our final. Which would explain why I spat cereal all over my lab top on Christmas Eve. There was no opportunity for recourse. No way for me to speak with him in person about why I shouldn't fail for selecting the wrong entry on a drop down menu.

Anyways before I embarrass myself any further with a grade appeal do I have any standing, any case to make? The instructions on adding the Professor as a developer is clear on the first assignment, not on any of the subsequent assignments. Not disputing that, I made that mistake he literally couldn't grade it because of that. All I'm saying is that it is in line with my computer science department policies to deduct points for silly mistakes regarding submitting code. I Will talk to the department chair first, funny story is I sat next to him all semester last year and didn't even realize it was the department chair sitting in observing some of the classes.

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    It hasn't been a week since Christmas, btw. Anyway, the professor could be on vacation this week. You might want to wait until next week (and no response) before firing off yet another email. – mkennedy Dec 30 '16 at 17:44
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    This sounds like a case of: Instantaneous and likely less than civil reactionary email contributed to somewhat harsh and not desired response by professor. I can tell you one thing that I have noticed: If a professor cannot view/read material submitted, be it due to lack of proper access, or submission in a format they cannot access, they have every right to assign whatever grade they so choose. Onus is on the student to make sure the professor has sufficient access/ability to view submitted assignments. – NZKshatriya Dec 31 '16 at 18:57

Mistakes happen. If the prof couldn't grade your work because of some system problem -- regardless of whose fault the problem was -- it could have easily been resolved at the time with a simple email from the prof to you. You could have resolved the issue, and he could have deducted an appropriate amount for the glitch.

In the meantime, I assume that because you're using a version control system for managing the project, that absolutely everything is time stamped.

I think you'd be in line if you send one more polite email, once again apologizing for screwing up privilege on his access, and asking him to please reconsider the grade, given that all the submissions are time stamped, and that you wish he would have notified you of the problem when it arose, and not surprised you with an F.

If that doesn't work, you might politely approach the department chair.

It goes without saying that I offer this advise assuming that I know the whole story, and that there are no undiscovered surprises such as academic dishonesty anywhere in the mix.

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    "...you wish he would have notified you of the problem when it arose, and not surprised you with an F." If the professor was added as a guest, would he even be aware that a submission was made? Rather than fault the professor for not bringing the error to the attention of the student (especially if the prof wasn't aware of the mistake), the student might be better served acknowledging the oversight and accepting whatever penalty the prof assigned, and politely requesting reconsideration of the F grade. – Inde Dec 30 '16 at 16:54
  • I have only one issue with this answer: It is not the professor/instructors job to email a student about lack of access to a submitted assignment. If a student notices that a grade has been "pending" for an extended duration, said student should take the initiative to recheck viewing permissions, and/or if the work has been submitted in an acceptable format. Students are to do the work, not the instructors. Usually course syllabi will state what formats are acceptable. I have had professors who refuse *.docx and only want *.odf. – NZKshatriya Dec 31 '16 at 19:01
  • @NZKshatriya, I agree, but there are many issues in this particular case that indicate the prof should allow leeway here. The delayed feedback is one of the more major issues, but only one. If the prof wanted a repository that worked, the prof should have set one up with appropriate permissions up front, and provided access to students, not the other way around. This stuff shouldn't become a problem unless the prof is too rigid to allow correction of mistakes. For example, what if the student had simply misspelled the prof's username for access. Would that constitute grounds for an F? – Scott Seidman Dec 31 '16 at 19:11
  • @ScottSeidman I feel an important bit of information has been left out in this question: When was the final assignment due and when was the final day of classes? OP states he had a C on the final exam, and usually a final comes after the last assignment's due date. I am wondering if OP inquired about lack of a grade on the final assignment at any time between its submission and the final day of classes. If OP just sat on his laurels from the submission date until the time his laptop was assaulted with cereal...... – NZKshatriya Dec 31 '16 at 22:45
  • I like this answer. @OmarDonas - I would add, you will get better results with a more neutral, concise way of writing about the problem and your proposed solution. – aparente001 Jan 2 '17 at 8:08

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