Thoughts on semesterisation

Posted in Teaching on October 11th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Most Irish universities are now modularised and semesterised. Modularisation was largely an exercise in repackaging but there are good reasons to believe that semesterisation has fundamentally changed the way students learn and not, perhaps, for the better. There is plenty of evidence in the cognitive science and education literature that we retain content in our long term memory only if we revisit it multiple times. We rapidly forget that which we only study once …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 11 October]


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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Living with semesters

Posted in Teaching on February 7th, 2017 by steve

“Most universities in the English-speaking world (though as we shall note, not all) organise their academic sessions into semesters. A ‘semester’, just in case this needs to be explained, is according to the Oxford English Dictionary ‘a period or term of six months’ …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 7 February]

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Trinity College dons ‘incensed’ by provost’s reform plan

Posted in Governance and administration on February 6th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The provost of Ireland’s oldest university has been accused of trying to turn Trinity College Dublin into a ‘second-rate polytechnic’ by introducing full semesterisation. Paddy Prendergast is also under fire over a plan to offer jobs to the spouses of ‘world-class researchers’ in order to attract top-tier talent to the college …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Irish Examiner, 6 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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Reassessing How We Assess is Welcome, but Christmas Exams are Not the Right Answer for All

Posted in Teaching on December 14th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“As the Trinity Education Project seeks to reimagine how students in Trinity are assessed, there is a strong chance that semesterised assessment, including Christmas exams, could be introduced, particularly as the students’ union has a mandate to advocate for them …” (more)

[University Times, 14 December]

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As Christmas Exams Become a Distinct Possibility, a Union Mandate Becomes Controversial

Posted in Teaching on December 12th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“In light of the Trinity Education Project, which aims to reimagine the Trinity curriculum in terms of teaching and assessment, the popularity of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union’s (TCDSU) mandate to advocate for Christmas exams has been called into question …” (more)

[Sinéad Baker, University Times, 12 December]

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Boole Library Opening Times

Posted in Teaching on December 10th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“University College Cork regrets that it is unable to extend further the opening hours of the Boole Library due to lack of resources. The Library adjusted its opening hours with the introduction of semesterisation based on statistics on usage/demand in pre-exams periods and exam periods …” (more)

[University College Cork, 9 December]

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UCC students stage sit-ins over library hours

Posted in Teaching on December 10th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“UCC students are staging sit-ins at the campus library as they continue to fight for extended opening hours onsite in the run up to exams. Student protests have been prompted by ‘inadequate’ library opening hours this year …” (more)

[Olivia Kelleher, Irish Examiner, 10 December]

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UCC students to continue sit-in over library hours

Posted in Governance and administration on December 9th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Students at University College Cork have vowed to continue a series of sit-in protests until library opening hours are extended. Speaking after a second successive night of sit-ins …” (more)

[Ciaran D’Arcy, Irish Times, 9 December]

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UCC SU protest against library opening hours

Posted in Governance and administration on December 8th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“University College of Cork’s Student Union have staged a sit-in protest in objection to unsatisfactory library opening hours, in the lead up to Christmas exams which started today. The university, which implemented its semesterisation for the first time this year, have not altered library opening hours to cater for this, according to the SU President, Mark Stanton …” (more)

[Ryan Nugent,, 8 December

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Shorter summer for UCC students

Posted in Teaching on June 13th, 2014 by steve

“Summer will be shorter for University College Cork students this year as a result of a restructuring of its academic year …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 13 June]

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The Independent Learning Scam

Posted in Teaching on February 7th, 2014 by steve

“One aspect of the move to the modularised-semesterised system which younger academics may not be aware of is that it was accompanied by a very significant reduction in content and contact time …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 7 February]

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UCC to be semesterised

Posted in Teaching on April 7th, 2013 by steve

“University College Cork is set to join colleges such as the University of Limerick and University College Dublin by introducing semesterisation in the 2014/15 academic year …” (more)

[Roisin Burke, Cork Independent, 4 April]

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My Hunt Report Daughter

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on October 10th, 2011 by steve

“My daughter will finish her third level education in 2028, just before Ireland approaches the new era forecast in the Hunt Report. I’m copying this blog post and republishing it in October 2028 to coincide with her graduation …” (more)

[Bernie Goldbach, Inside View from Ireland, 9 October]

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Semesterisation’s effect on exam results

Posted in Teaching on September 27th, 2010 by steve

“Trinity College will be releasing a report on Semesterisation and its effect on students’ exam results this year next month, according to the college’s Communications Office. Last year was the first year in which all Trinity students were required to familiarize themselves with the new semesterised terms …” (more)

[Leanna Byrne, University Times, 27 September]

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