It’s final exam time, and my office is packed with a few of the 520 students in my bigger class. Although I’m pleased by their interest, I ask why they’re spending so much time on my course. The answer is that it’s the only final exam they have.
In their sociology, government and some other introductory courses, the instructor either gives no final exam or gives an hour exam the last day of class. Apparently this is fairly common in some departments, but I am outraged – what a pathetically lazy bunch of faculty! Worse still, their malfeasance imposes a negative externality on me. Because mine is the last (only) final exam for some of my students, even though my exam is early in exam week I’ve gotten numerous requests for an early exam from students who want to go home early. I say no, but why should I have to be the “bad guy” because other faculty are shirking?