Student Fails Assignment After Professor Insists Australia Is Not A Country

February 9, 2018
So we've all had those teachers or professors that we were convinced were pretty bogus right?  Well we think this one just might take the cake. Ashley Arnold, a 27 year old stay at home mom in Idaho has been working on completing her online degree in Sociology from Southern New Hampshire University.  While working on a project comparing the social norm in America to another country in her final class, she was met with a quite unusual grade and response. Arnold chose Australia to compare with the U.S., but her online professor failed her because according to the teacher, "Australia is a continent; not a country."  Of course like any sane person, Arnold's reaction was that of confusion. "With her education levels, her expertise, who wouldn't know Australia is a country?" Arnold asked.  "If she's just hesitating or questioning that, why wouldn't she just google that herself?"  So again, like anyone else, she wrote the professor and email expressing her concern. "I believe I got zero or partial credit because the instructor said, 'Australia is a continent; not a country. However, I believe that Australia is a country. The research starter on the SNHU’s Shapiro library written by John Pearson (2013) states, that Australia is the 'sixth-largest country in the world' (n.p.). The full name of the country is the Commonwealth of Australia, meaning Australia is both a continent and a country. Therefore, these sections of the rubric should be amended." The professor responded: "I will gladly re-examine your week 2 milestone project report. But before I do I want you to understand that any error in a project can invalidate the entire research project. Research is like dominoes, if you accidentally knock over one piece the entire set will also fall. Australia is a continent; it is not a country. That error made it nearly impossible for you to accurately complete your week 2 research outline correctly. As I mentioned above I will look over your week two paper once again and see if you earned more credits than I gave you." Arnold's response to her professor: "Australia is both a country and a continent. It’s the only country that is both. I provided a resource in the first email that clarifies that for you. If you need further clarification google or the SNHU Shapiro Library has that information you. Again I mean no disrespect but my grade is affected by your assumption that Australia is not a country when it in fact is. Thank you and let me know if I need to provide further resources proving Australia is a country." Eventually the teacher changed the grade after conducting some independent research.  She never apologized for the faux pas but said she had a , "misunderstanding about the difference between Australia as a country and a continent." -source via