"Is That Not Your Job?" — Student Says Professor Failed Her Assignment and Refused to Give Feedback

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Dec. 6 2023, Published 4:52 p.m. ET

TikToker @megamindurbusiness revealed that she failed an assignment, but when she emailed her professor for feedback, he refused to help her.
Source: TikTok / @megamindurbusiness

Picture this: You're back in college, channeling your inner genius and crafting your final assignment — complete with blood, sweat, and possibly a tear or two included. Just as you're gearing up for the post-assignment celebration, your professor swoops in and slaps a grade on it just five seconds after you hit the submit button.

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But here's the kicker — there's no feedback at all. It's like getting a mysterious gift; you have no clue why you got what you got. Luckily, you can send your professor an email, and most of the time, they'll toss a few comments your way.

However, if you're in the shoes of TikTok user Emma Flan (@megamindurbusiness), tough luck because your professor is apparently on a mission to guard their feedback like it's a national treasure.

A student is unhappy with his failed exam paper.
Source: Getty Images
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A student was upset after her professor didn't offer her individual feedback.

In the now-viral video, posted on Nov. 16, 2023, which has since been deleted, Emma ranted about her professor who refused to give her individual feedback on an assignment she failed.

"I just had a [professor] fail me for an assignment. And I was like, 'Holy s---. I guess I didn't understand the assignment at all,'" Emma told her followers. "I thought I did OK on it, right? So I emailed him, and I was like, 'Hey, I didn't get any commentary on the assignment. I was just wondering what I missed.'"

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Emma just wanted to know what she did wrong on the assignment, but her professor replied, "I have enough papers to grade. I do not give individual feedback." As one could expect, she wasn't too thrilled with his response.

"What the f--- do you mean? Is that not your job? Is that not your job? Am I just supposed to magically know what I did wrong?" Emma exclaimed to her audience with frustration. "This guy did not put a single ... he just gave me an F. That's it ... Not even a check mark, nothing. What the f--- do you want me to do with that?"

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She continued, "How am I supposed to know what I did wrong? Is that not your job? Did you not go to school to do this? You're supposed to teach me. I'm learning nothing except that you are an a------. You're the one who assigns the assignments. What do you mean you have so many papers to mark?!"

TikTok users urged Emma to raise this issue with the head of the department.

At the time of writing, Emma's video has accumulated over 759,600 views and counting. The clip has also received more than 1,800 comments from fellow TikTokers, many of whom have shared similar experiences and encouraged Emma to address this matter with the department head.

Go to the chair of the department, and if they're no help, go to the Dean. I'm so sorry," one person said.

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A second user agreed, writing, "Go to the head of the department. This happened to me. I ended up with an A when he had to regrade it [because] he didn't even read through the [whole] thing."

"Don't accept that answer. Talk to his boss," a third TikTok user added. "Tell them you aren't challenging the grade. You just want to know what to do better."

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Others agreed that it should be mandatory for professors to give feedback on their students' assignments.

"Unless it's multiple choice, feedback should be obligatory," one TikTok user wrote in the comment section. "Go to the head of [the] department or the dean."

Another user stated, "In the very least, he owes you some sort of explanation, even if it's 1-2 short sentences."

"I had a teacher do this. She refused to give feedback or even tell us which answers were wrong. We all reported her at the end of the semester."
Source: TikTok
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"I can only speak for English [professors], but formative and summative feedback are both required," a third TikToker commented. "Make sure you note that in your student evaluation!"

Someone else expressed, "It is his job. And he should have a rubric that shows how he can justify that grade."

What do you think? Should professors offer their students individual feedback? Let us know!

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