The Week Ahead

Posted in Life on August 23rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“On Friday I finished correcting the batch of Repeat examinations that were within my remit. I think the other staff have done likewise. All the marks now get uploaded and cross-checked and before another meeting of the Exam Board the year’s examination process to an end …” (more)

[In the Dark, 23 August]

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NUI Galway urged to reduce ‘unacceptable’ exam repeat fees

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 15th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A Sinn Féin TD has urged NUI Galway to reverse its decision to charge students almost €300 for each repeat exam. Mayo TD Rose Conway-Walsh said that any fees charge must reflect the costs involved and the changed circumstances of students …” (more)

[Michael Malone, Galway Daily, 14 August]

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Examination Shenanigans

Posted in Teaching on August 12th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“So here I am in my office while the first batch of our repeat examinations gets under way here in Maynooth. They seem to have started correctly so I’ve taken a break to have a cup of coffee and catch up on the news …” (more)

[In the Dark, 12 August]

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Universities should learn from assessment methods used during the pandemic – and cut down on exams for good

Posted in Teaching on August 12th, 2020 by steve

International“Timed written examinations continue to dominate university assessment. In most professions, the need to recall and write down specific information from memory under timed conditions is rare. Yet every year across the world students are crammed into exam halls to do just that …” (more)

[Naomi Winstone and David Boud, The Conversation, 11 August]

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13 Students Given Passing Mark After Initially Being Told to Resit Exams

Posted in Teaching on July 25th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Trinity incorrectly informed 13 students studying TSM or joint-honours courses that they would have to repeat exams, after complications arose over the marking of students’ grades this year …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 24 July]

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Third Level Examinations – Repeat Fees

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 23rd, 2020 by steve

IrelandBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason some colleges are charging a repeat exam fee and most other colleges are not (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 21 July]

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No Disadvantage Policy ‘Advisory and Not Mandatory’, says UCD School of Law

Posted in Teaching on July 22nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Despite University College Dublin’s (UCD) and the Students’ Union’s (SU) claim that no students, particularly final year students, would be left disadvantaged by the implications of COVID-19, some students have exited college with below expected grades. One such student, who asked not to be named, spoke to The College Tribune to share his story as a final year law student …” (more)

[Adam O’Sullivan, College Tribune, 21 July]

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Galway TDs Call for Review of NUIG Repeat Exam Fees

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 14th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Galway TDs have called for NUI Galway (NUIG) to review its €295 repeat exam fee, in light of the complications that the coronavirus caused for students sitting exams this year. The university has come under fire from NUI Galway Students’ Union (NUIGSU) over the exam fee, which NUIGSU said should be waived this year …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 14 July]

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Irish students have much higher levels of anxiety over exams

Posted in Legal issues on July 13th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Irish students have much higher levels of anxiety over schoolwork and exam-related stress than other developed countries, according to a report compiled for the Department of Education. The findings are contained in a report by the National Educational Psychological Service …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 13 July]

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NUIG Students’ Union calls for repeat exam fees to be scrapped

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 11th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“NUI Galway’s Students’ Union has condemned the university’s decision to charge a fee for students who are sitting an online repeat exam this year. Students who do not pass an exam when they first sit them in May have the option to sit a repeat exam in August, for which a fee of €295 is charged …” (more)

[Briain Kelly, Galway Daily, 10 July]

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NUI Galway criticised for €295 charge to repeat exam online

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Students from NUI Galway have slammed the university’s decision to charge them almost €300 to repeat an exam online from home. NUI Galway charges a €295 repeat exam fee, regardless of how many exams the student is resitting. This means the college’s repeat fee is already one of the highest in the country, with other universities only charging students a fee per exam …” (more)

[Aine Kenny, Irish Examiner, 10 July]

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Results Released by UCD in ‘Technical Error’

Posted in Teaching on June 20th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“UCD has responded to an issue raised by students earlier today that exam results had been released three days earlier than expected. The College Tribune has now been informed that this early release is due to a ‘technical error’ which has now been resolved …” (more)

[Blathnaid Corless, College Tribune, 19 June]

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Third-Year Medicine Students Receive Warning After Accusation of Cheating

Posted in Teaching on June 20th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Trinity medical students have been warned that cheating in their Ear, Nose and Throat exam today may lead to ‘significant disciplinary consequences’ and possibly prevent them from receiving a grade for the module, after a review of yesterday’s Ophthalmology exam concluded that students had likely cheated on it …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 19 June]

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TD raises concerns about Dundalk IT course issue impacting students

Posted in Teaching on June 20th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“What has been described as ‘serious concerns’ about the future of students on a social care course at DkIT have been raised by Louth TD Ruairí Ó Murchú. Deputy Ó Murchú says that around 42 students, who have just completed third year of the college’s Social Care course, logged onto the examination results system at DkIT last Tuesday to find their results for the year had been ‘deferred’ …” (more)

[David Lynch, Dundalk Democrat, 19 June]

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Marking Time

Posted in Teaching on June 12th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“In among all the other things I have to do I’ve just finished marking my portion of examinations and other assessments in time for next week’s Examination Boards. I have to attend two (virtually), one for Theoretical Physics and one for Engineering Mathematics. You may recall that, this year, along with many other universities, we switched from the usual examination format to online timed assessments …” (more)

[In the Dark, 12 June]

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Stricter plagiarism standards for online exams circulated to staff after end of assessment period

Posted in Teaching on June 9th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A College memo advising staff on standards for plagiarism in open-book examinations, when compared to traditional live examinations, was circulated to academic staff only after the end of the assessment period, Trinity News has learned. The memo, which offers guidelines on marking exams that took place remotely due to College’s closure amid the Covid-19 pandemic, was not circulated to students …” (more)

[Lauren Boland, Trinity News, 9 June]

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Nearly Time for Timed Assessments

Posted in Teaching on May 15th, 2020 by steve

“Friday 15th May is the first day of the summer examination period at Maynooth University. I’ve written posts at the start of every examination period I’ve been involved with over the 11 years or so I’ve been blogging but this is definitely the strangest …” (more)

[In the Dark, 14 May]

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UCD Spent €1.3 Million on Exams Last Year

Posted in Teaching on May 7th, 2020 by steve

“Figures for Irish universities’ expenditure on exams have indicated that UCD spent €1.3 million on exams for the 2019/2020 academic year, according to figures revealed by The College Tribune in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. UCD’s spending on exams per student represented the largest in the country according to these figures …” (more)

[Alex Lohier, College Tribune, 7 May]

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Assignments replacing exams

Posted in Teaching on April 29th, 2020 by steve

“So far, I’m not a big fan of the situation that Covid-19 has forced us all into replacing end of semester exams with assignments/projects. Exams designed to assess learning outcomes are not being used, and it has not been easy coming up with replacements in the form of an assignment to to the same thing …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 29 April]

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College Moves Four Exams Beyond Designated Exam Period Amid Technical Fears

Posted in Teaching on April 24th, 2020 by steve

“Trinity has made last-minute changes to the scheduling of four real-time exams, meaning students in some modules will sit their exams outside of the designated exam period and in a contingency week previously set aside for the return of assignments …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee and Cormac Watson, University Times, 23 April]

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