When I was at my SLAC, essays were generally due to the professor’s department mailbox at 4pm or 5pm on a Friday. So Fridays were always full of people frantically rushing from computer lab to the faculty office building, worried that turning it in at 4:02 would carry a penalty, or, if it was due at 4:30, that the office would close. (Small college: I think most of the social sciences and humanities were all in one or two buildings.)

Later, I realized that was a trick. The SLAC only had a thirteen-week semester. Professors couldn’t afford to give up a day to a class full of brain-dead students who had their essays to turn in but brought nothing else to class. My graduate university, with a fifteen-week semester, never did this.

So, now when I teach twice-a-week classes, I borrow this technique. But I do “upload to Blackboard by 5pm”, which is a bit easier, and doesn’t assume a residential college where everyone lives within three blocks.

Students seem to appreciate it, even.