solutiontech writes: "As an instructor at a community college, teaching Software Engineering Technology (SET) to mostly recent graduates from high school (with some adult learners in the mix). We have the traditional 2 semester per academic year, with 4 month (15 week) semesters, where students typically take 4 or 5 courses pertaining to SET, with 1 to 4 hours per week for a given course. There are exams, and assignments/projects with due dates. There are always those students who can easily master material in under 15 weeks, but there is a growing subset of students who need more time (distracted, disinterested, poor work habits, work outside of school, or simply they need more time to digest topics, etc.), and thus, end up doing a poor to mediocre job of proving their understanding in 15 weeks of time. Can the slashdot community (educators, students) offer their opinions on how to solve this situation? Is it right to give these students D's or F's after 15 weeks, or can these students get A's or B's by simply allowing more time to learn? Is it even possible to run a "Montessori" style approach where students learn and advance at their own pace, within the rigid confines of a traditional college 2 semester per year environment?"
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