A lot of students are terribly optimistic about the grade they'll be getting in a course. They start out imagining that they're going to do very well, especially if they've decided it's an easy course. And when they miss an early assignment or get a grade lower than what they expected on the first assignments, they tell themselves there's plenty of time to recover. If they do finally get things going in the right direction, it's often too late with only a small percentage of points left to earn in the course. For teachers, the question is how to get students doing what they need to be doing when they need to do it.