Oh, internets, help me with a Teaching Tuesday quandary.
I'm teaching a large intro-level course, mostly to non-majors, and mostly to freshmen. They recently had an assignment due. The directions were given on Blackboard, and they were supposed to submit their work on Blackboard. The nature of the assignment was conducive to submitting digitally, plus I didn't want forests clear-cut unecessarily.
Recognizing that some students come to university decidedly un-tech -savvy, I repeatedly told them that they need to make sure they can access Blackboard. I referred to the university tech support line numerous times. I told students having difficulty that they need to call the tech support people or try a different (campus) computer. Any student that emailed me prior to the night before the assignment was due was also given step-by-step directions from me or other help in getting their assignment properly submitted. (Usually it's just been a matter of them not figuring out the blackboard interface.)
So, why am I not surprised that the morning the assignment was due, my in-box was clogged with submissions and a few people tried to turn in a paper copy in class. Freshmen, sigh, they just can't seem to follow directions.
So, my question is whether and how much I should penalize students who turned in the assignment to my email or on paper. I didn't specifically say that I *would* penalize them, but I also did say (in bold on the syllabus) that the assignment needed to be turned in on Blackboard.