Changes to Academic Year Structure now Include Revision Week Before Christmas Exam Week

Posted in Teaching on March 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The end of each of Trinity’s teaching terms will now include a revision week to avoid the new Christmas exam week coming directly after a teaching week. The change was approved by University Council as part of the latest adjustment to the academic year structure …” (more)

[Eleanor O’Mahony, University Times, 16 March]

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Trinity College breaks with 400-year exams tradition

Posted in Teaching on February 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin is to break with almost 400 years of tradition by introducing Christmas exams and an earlier start to the academic year for its students. The changes, approved this week by a majority of the university 200 fellows or senior academics, will bring Trinity into line with most European and US universities …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 23 February]

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62% of Fellows Vote in Favour of New Academic Year Structure, Including Christmas Exams

Posted in Teaching on February 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“In a vote that could have vetoed the introduction of a proposed new academic year structure, 62% of Trinity’s Fellows have voted in favour of the introduction of a Christmas exam week and a two-week earlier start to teaching …” (more)

[Sinéad Baker, University Times, 22 February]

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Calls for ‘Reasoned Debate’, as Fellows Vote on Trinity’s Transition to Christmas Exams

Posted in Teaching on February 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Trinity’s Fellows will have the potential to veto plans for a Christmas exam week and a two-week earlier start to the teaching term when they vote this week on the newly proposed academic year structure …” (more)

[Sinéad Baker, University Times, 2 February]

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Head2Head: Should Trinity introduce Christmas exams?

Posted in Teaching on January 30th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“When exams seem so far away they may as well not be there at all, it is all too easy to forget that we actually have them. In the past three months I have not seen enough of the Trinity libraries, and I know I am not the only one. Increasingly, colleges are switching to a semester-based system, where the academic year is split into two semesters …” (more)

[Fiachra MacCanna and Niall Maher, Trinity News, 29 January]

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It all started with puppy rooms …

Posted in Governance and administration on January 25th, 2017 by steve

“It all started with puppies and over the past few years there have been more and more unusual ways to help students relax during the stressful period of examinations. Beyond puppy rooms we have seen petting zoos, bubble wrap and colouring …” (more)

[Paul Greatrix, Wonkhe, 25 January]

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The Pros and Cons of Take-Home Exams

Posted in Teaching on January 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“As an exchange student abroad this year, I’ve noted that most of my exams were in an unusual format, one that could be an interesting alternative to traditional exams for Trinity. The ‘take-home exam’ is a mix between homework and an open-book exam …” (more)

[Loic Delorme, University Times, 19 January]

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From Video Games to Pretend Pharmacies, Lecturers are Finding New Ways of Assessing Students

Posted in Teaching on January 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Prof Virpi Timonen says it was last year when she realised that giving her students exams was a fruitless exercise. ‘As I went through yet another season of students sweating in overcrowded rooms and finding the whole experience traumatic and trying to decipher handwriting, the absurdity of the system of assessing people through exams was really brought home to me …'” (more)

[Sinéad Baker, University Times, 16 January]

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Head to head: Against capping – an argument on behalf of human error

Posted in Teaching on January 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Capping is but the latest in a series of crackdowns on the freedom of students here at NUI Galway. In the last two years, the capping of repeat examinations at 40% has been gradually phased in and received by the student body in general with all the warmth of a limp handshake …” (more)

[Eoin Molloy, SIN, 11 January]

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Head to head: an argument in favour of capping repeat exams at 40%

Posted in Teaching on January 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“So since last year, if you have to repeat an exam in NUI Galway in the summer, the best result you can get is a bare pass, 40%. And this is only fair. The repeat exams are a safety net to stop people having to repeat a year, or fail a course. But they were never meant to be a get out of jail free card for people who didn’t feel like putting the work in during the year. Don’t pretend that isn’t a thing …” (more)

[Briain Kelly, SIN, 11 January]

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Leaving Exams Early

Posted in Teaching on January 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“I always tell my students never to leave an exam early. My exam papers are designed to take the time allocated to respond to my exam questions. I often half joke with my students that if I was standing outside the exam hall and pointed a gun at their head telling them to go back in and write some more – they would be able to do it …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 5 January]

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NUIG students given answers with economic exam paper

Posted in Teaching on December 9th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“NUI Galway is investigating an issue which arose with an exam paper this week.The university has not confirmed the nature of the problem, but according to Galway Bay FM, the answers to the questions were included on the paper …” (more)

[Connacht Tribune, 8 December]

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If Students Want Christmas Exams, They Should Make it Known

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on December 7th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“When it comes to change, Trinity is probably a lot like other 400-year old universities with a collegiate ethos. Sometimes very complicated things can be done relatively quickly, because nobody ever thought to define them …” (more)

[Chris Morash, University Times, 6 December]

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GMIT issues apology over unsubstantiated exam cheat claims

Posted in Legal issues on October 18th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) has apologised for the ‘hurt’ it caused to staff during an investigation into exam cheating claims, which were not substantiated. Jim Fennell, GMIT Financial Controller, issued the ‘unreserved apology’ to all schools and departments via email last week …” (more)

[Dara Bradley, Connacht Tribune, 17 October]

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Is the UK’s external examining system past its sell-by date?

Posted in Teaching on October 13th, 2016 by steve

UK“In the UK’s quality assurance system, there’s one feature – the external examining system – which is assumed to be an immutable object. But does assuming that ‘well, we’ve always done it, so it must be right’ blind us to other options? …” (more)

[Katie Akerman, Wonkhe, 13 October]

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A Brief History of Exams

Posted in Teaching on October 5th, 2016 by steve

Canada“Written exams are such a major part of our schools and universities that we forget sometimes that they are not actually native to the western system of education. How did they become so ubiquitous? Well here’s the story: …” (more)

[Alex Usher, HESA, 5 October]

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Repeat fees hike to boost NUIG coffers by €200,000

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 13th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The cost to students of NUI Galway who fail exams and have to repeat has increased by more than 50% this year. Students repeating examinations this summer were hit with a €100 increase in repeat exams’ fees – the new rate is €295 …” (more)

[Dara Bradley, Connacht Tribune, 12 September]

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GMIT students offered examination resit after cheating allegation

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 21st, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Students at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) have been given the option of resitting an examination after questions on the paper were allegedly seen in advance by at least one student. Some 124 final-year students of the Bachelor of Business Studies (Hons) course are affected …” (more)

[Ronan McGreevy, Irish Times, 21 May]

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Dear student, I just don’t have time to mark your essay properly

Posted in Teaching on May 20th, 2016 by steve

UK“In an ideal world, your work would be read by an engaged, enthusiastic professional – but the reality is very, very different …” (more)

[Guardian, 20 May]

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New exam cheating scandal rocks GMIT

Posted in Legal issues on May 20th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The examinations process at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) is again clouded in controversy as the college confronts another serious cheating scandal. Management at GMIT launched an investigation into claims that an exam paper came into the possession of one or more final year students, prior to the test last week …” (more)

[Dara Bradley, Connacht Tribune, 20 May]

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