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Pythia

Assignment Extensions

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2 hours ago, thebadwife said:

Is there any merit to argument that there is abuse of academic accommodations, or is it just talk from people who are mad that some people get "more time" on assignments and exams? At my school, you typically need actual doctor's notes or other proof to even have a chance of accommodations. 

I don’t know how it works at other schools. However, at Queen’s Law, I was once accommodated internally (i.e. without medical documentation) but all other accommodations occurred on the basis of documents provided by my family doctor, who knows I’ve had difficulties with anxiety since my late teenage years onwards. 
 

As to the question of abuse, I’m sort of split about this. I know that, in my case, it’s not as though the extra time was spent polishing up an assignment which I had been working on during the normal time set out for the assignment. I had a hard time working on those assignments to begin with and I didn’t end up getting great grades on those assignments ultimately. I’ve never deferred an exam or gotten extra time on my exam, but I could see how misuse of exam accommodations could create some fairness issues, although my experience with this past set of law exams makes me a bit skeptical of the extent to which accommodations that aren’t meritorious will seriously improve marks (QL exams were written to be three hours but we were all given six hours to complete the exams; people seem to have gotten the same sorts of grades which they always got as far as I can tell and I didn’t notice anything particularly aberrant).

Edited by Pythia

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19 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

I've always taken the attitude that people who concern themselves with others academic accommodations are just too insecure in their own ability to compete and do well in the course. Even if someone is unjustly getting accommodations, I'm confident enough in my own abilities that I don't need to worry about what they're doing. 

@Pythia, the LSO has a member assistance program which can provide you with short-term counselling and other supports. It sounds like you could use some help dealing with these intrusive thoughts and I would encourage you to reach out to them. They offer counselling both over the phone and online (via either secure chat or email platforms), as well as in person counselling once restrictions have lifted. You're eligible if you're a law student, articling candidate, or a practicing lawyer. Best of luck :)

Thank you for this suggestion! I was a bit uncertain about what to do, given that my mom’s insurance (which I have used to access counselling services before) no longer covers me. I’ll try this out and hopefully it will help.

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4 minutes ago, Pythia said:

although my experience with this past set of law exams makes me a bit skeptical of the extent to which accommodations that aren’t meritorious will seriously improve marks (QL exams were written to be three hours but we were all given six hours to complete the exams; people seem to have gotten the same sorts of grades which they always got as far as I can tell and I didn’t notice anything particularly aberrant).

Sure, if everyone got the extra time, then everyone's exam response would improve, and grades would generally stay the same (given it is graded on a curve or average). The issue is when one student gets the accommodation but others don't. In that case, one exam response would improve while the others remain constant. I know I'm always stressed on exam time. Doubling the exam time would certainly make my response better. I think this applies to most people as well.

At the end of the day, I don't see a good solution to this. If the school scrutinizes accommodation requests too much, then those with disabilities may be denied accommodation which they should have been entitled to. It doesn't help that everyone can get a doctor's note if they want one.

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To your concern OP, you had a genuine issue and needed accommodation as a result. You didn't cheat the system. You got here legitimately. Don't be concerned.

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If you're really facing problems in life (happens to the best of us), there's nothing wrong with going straight to your professors and ask if accommodation can be made.  Just like going to Court, and asking for an extension of time to file a document.  If you have a genuine reason and not abusing the system, there's no reason not to grant an extension.  It's just a balancing exercise - granting you an extension for an assignment (with good reason) isn't going to cause "injustice" to everybody else.

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