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 Exams loom large in the lives of students and I’m writing this to bring some attention to the unhealthy and outdated term structure in our universities …” (more)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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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]


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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