Implementing a “Late Bank” Can Reduce Student Stress
What is this Research About?
Assignment deadlines are a common source of stress for university students. Flexible assignment deadlines have been shown to improve the quality of student work and the overall learning experience. One type of flexible deadline is a “late bank” policy, where students can submit an assignment late without having to request permission or explain the reason for the late submission. In this study, the researchers tested students’ perceptions of a late bank in online graduate-level courses.
What did the Researchers Do?
The researchers surveyed 78 students in 5 online graduate-level Psychology courses at a large university in Western Canada. Students had access to a “late bank” where they could choose to submit one of their course assignments up to 5 days late without penalty. Participants completed a survey about the usefulness of the late bank, their stress levels during the course, their reasons for using the late bank (if they chose to use it), and their attitudes toward the course instructor.
What did the Researchers Find?
The researchers found that approximately half of the respondents (51%) used the late bank. Most respondents reported that having access to the late bank helped reduce their stress. Reasons for using the late bank included the need to balance other coursework, unexpected personal situations, and school-life balance. Most students (62%) reported that the late bank policy had a positive impact on their attitude toward the course instructor.