Students to complete Leaving Cert exams online

Posted in Teaching on January 4th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert students over the coming years will complete more of their exams online under plans to modernise the education system. Computer science, which is being introduced as a new subject from this September, is set to be the first exam which will be completed fully on computer. Minister for Education Richard Bruton said he expected this will be the first of many subjects where exams will take place online … (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 4 December]

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Post-Christmas third-level exams

Posted in Teaching on January 4th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Perhaps the powers that be might take pity on and have sympathy for all of those students (and their parents!) who have to suffer the torture of post-Christmas exams and the stress that accompanies them …” (more)

[Dee Delany, Irish Times, 4 December]


The End is Nigh for Hand-written Exams?

Posted in Life on December 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“In the age of emailing letters to Santa instead of writing physical letters, Laura McInerney of The Guardian asks ‘why must students write exams with a pen?’. Hardly any of us write letters anymore. Indeed, other than signing your name – when is the last time you actually wrote by hand? I note very few students in my classes actually taking notes with pen and paper …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 21 December]

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Students given opportunity to cheat as mobile phones allowed by lecturer in Psychology summer exam

Posted in Teaching on September 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Trinity’s Department of Psychology allowed students to bring mobile phones into an examination in lieu of online scientific calculators following a change of venue due to Luas construction works. As a result, students were able to use the internet to find answers to the examination questions …” (more)

[Niamh Lynch, Trinity News, 18 September]


Cambridge University set to scrap written exams because students’ handwriting is so bad

Posted in Teaching on September 10th, 2017 by steve

“Cambridge University is seeking to scrap exams written with a pen and paper due to the deterioration of students’ handwriting. A growing reliance on laptops has led to students’ writing becoming increasingly illegible, academics said …” (more)

[Harriet Agerholm, Independent, 9 September]


Blind marking ‘does little’ to reduce student attainment gaps

Posted in Teaching on August 29th, 2017 by steve

“The anonymous marking of exam scripts has little impact on closing the achievement gap between students of different genders and ethnicities, new research suggests. Many universities have introduced blind marking in recent years in response to the underperformance of undergraduates from ethnic minorities and male learners in assessment …” (more)

[Holly Else, Times Higher Education, 29 August]

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Irish student wins support in legal battle over exam script

Posted in Legal issues on July 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) is facing another possible defeat at Europe’s highest court in an eight-year legal marathon over an exam script. In a referral from the Supreme Court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg has been told by its Advocate General that Ireland’s DPC was wrong to say an accountancy trainee had no right to access the script of a failed exam …” (more)

[Derek Scally, Irish Times, 20 July]

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Exam stress is not a mental illness

Posted in Teaching on July 13th, 2017 by steve

“There has been a surge in the number of undergraduates demanding special consideration during examinations due to mental-health issues. The Sunday Times has reported that the University of Cambridge approved requests for 218 students to have alternative exam arrangements last year – triple the amount of students allowed special measures five years ago …” (more)

[Frank Furedi, Spiked, 12 July]

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Why not give back to students their marked examination scripts?

Posted in Teaching on July 6th, 2017 by steve

“Well, the examination period is over and we’re now in that curious interregnum in the academic year that lasts until graduation, when we get to congratulate students properly and send them on their way into the big wide world. I hope the weather is a bit cooler for that event …” (more)

[In the Dark, 6 July]


NUIG to drop students’ names from exam papers amid bias concerns

Posted in Teaching on June 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“NUI Galway will no longer require students to put their names on exam papers amid concern over marking bias. The college’s academic council has approved a proposal to introduce anonymous marking which will commence in the new academic year …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 26 June]

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Dogs help calm Ulster University students ahead of exams

Posted in Governance and administration on May 22nd, 2017 by steve

“Dogs have been bringing relaxation and calmness to students revising for sitting exams at Ulster University (UU). The university’s students union is behind the scheme, which has been running across a number of its campuses …” (more)

[BBC News, 22 May]

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Students count cost of failed exams as colleges make millions from resit fees

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Universities are earning millions of euro in exam ‘resit fees’ charged to students who fail to make the grade first time round. As exam season gets under way, new figures reveal third level colleges enjoy a huge annual cash boost from a range of ‘fees’ …” (more)

[Mark O’Regan, Independent, 21 May]

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Lecturer suing National College of Ireland called 10% reduction from reassessement ‘unbelievable’

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on May 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A lecturer told the High Court it was ‘unbelievable’ that grades on eight dissertations for a Masters programme in his college would be marked down by 10% across the board …” (more)

[Ann O’Loughlin,, 16 May]

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University exam stress: ‘I’ve seen many of my friends turn to ADHD drugs’

Posted in Life on May 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Your university years may be the best of your life, but they will also be peppered with exam stress. Exams loom large in the lives of students and I’m writing this to bring some attention to the unhealthy and outdated term structure in our universities …” (more)

[, 14 May]

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UCC student leaves thoughtful note and gift for hardworking library staff

Posted in Life on April 30th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Many students around the country are going mad for studying at the moment as they face into end-of-year exams next week – and UCC students have been filling the campus’s main library every day …” (more)

[Denise O’Donoghue,, 29 April]

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Trinity students call for halt to Luas works during exams

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

Ireland“Late-night Luas construction works are disrupting Trinity College Dublin students study ahead of their final exams in May. Students who live in campus accommodation by the front entrance of the college have said the Luas works noise is making it impossible to sleep, or study for their upcoming exams …” (more)

[Jack Power, Irish Times, 24 April]

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More university students are using tech to cheat in exams

Posted in Teaching on April 10th, 2017 by steve

“A growing number of UK university students are cheating in exams with the help of technological devices such as mobile phones, smart watches and hidden earpieces. Data obtained by the Guardian through freedom of information requests found a 42% rise in cheating cases involving technology over the last four years – from 148 in 2012 to 210 in 2016 …” (more)

[Sarah Marsh, Guardian, 10 April]

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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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