I recent had the opportunity to talk with several business people, mostly managers. I asked them about what skills they look for in new employees. They mentioned the usual 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, and problem solving. One stated that a critical skill is that of timeliness or meeting deadlines. She explained that numerous young employees do not meet deadlines. They see these deadlines as the beginning of the deadline, not as the final date for the deadline. The other business people added that they had fired new employees for not meeting critical deadlines.
I have noticed in many of my college students the attitude of “if I get it in before the end of the semester, it’s OK” even though there are fixed deadlines throughout the course and penalties for handing materials in late. My course is a cumulative course in which each unit builds on the previous one so that it is crucial that students do work in a timely fashion.
We can help prepare students for the 21st century by teaching them about meeting deadlines.
What is your class policy about deadlines?
My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.
Also, my book, Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.