A period of readjustment …

Posted in Life, Teaching on August 15th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“It’s been a rather busy weekend as I’ve tried to complete the grading my repeat examinations. I’m almost done but I have six more scripts to do, which I will finish tomorrow morning. Once again I’ve set a bad example by being later than everyone else, but at least I’m not going to miss the deadline …” (more)

[In the Dark, 15 August]

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Thoughts of Return

Posted in Teaching on August 4th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“So here I am sitting at home supervising my first online repeat examination supplemental assessment. I’ve only had a couple of minor queries so I’ve been able to get on with other things, among which I noticed that according to the news Universities and Colleges in Ireland have announced that ‘The rapid progress in the Covid vaccination programme has injected a new level of confidence about maximising the return to higher education …'” (more)

[In the Dark, 4 August]

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Repeat Message …

Posted in Teaching on August 4th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Back to work after yesterday’s Bank Holiday and almost immediately it’s the repeat examination period at Maynooth University, which starts tomorrow. My first is tomorrow afternoon, actually. I have another on Thursday and three next week. All these papers are to be held online as has been the case for the past year and a bit. Perhaps the next set of examinations in January 2022 will be back to normal, but we have to wait and see about that …” (more)

[In the Dark, 3 August]

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Online learning should change the way that exams work

Posted in Teaching on June 29th, 2021 by steve

“As university students wait on their mid-year exam results, some will no doubt be thinking about more than just passing. Since COVID-19 pushed teaching and testing online last year, the issue of cheating has come into sharper focus …” (more)

[Linda Rowan and Fiona Murray, University World News, 26 June]

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No More 3-Hour Exams?

Posted in Teaching on June 25th, 2021 by steve

“Traditional three-hour university exams may soon be a thing of the past as leading British institutions eye a switch to online and more ‘authentic’ forms of assessment post-pandemic. The University of Cambridge said that over the next academic year it would ‘draw on the lessons learned’ from the COVID-19 pandemic and respond ‘to the desire of many faculties and departments to move away from the traditional three-hour written examination format as the primary means of assessment for such programs’ …” (more)

[Anna McKie, Inside Higher Ed, 25 June]

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Boards of Examination

Posted in Teaching on June 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“We’ve at last staggered to the end of a week dominated by Examination matters. For myself that consisted of preliminary Examination Boards for Theoretical Physics and Engineering (for which we teach modules in Engineering Mathematics) followed by Final Examination Boards in both subjects with External Examiners present. Those final meetings both took place today so it’s been a particularly busy end of the week …” (more)

[In the Dark, 11 June]

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Union urges Trinity against reopening of Book of Kells during exams

Posted in Governance and administration on May 3rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) is urging Trinity against reopening the Book of Kells next month as students sit exams. Under the government’s phased plan to lift Covid-19 restrictions, cultural attractions can reopen from May 10, which also marks the start of two weeks of assessments for students …” (more)

[Lauren Boland, Trinity News, 30 April]

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Spring Return

Posted in Life on April 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“After a few days off last week following the Easter Bank Holiday weekend it’s time to get back into the swing of things for the four weeks of teaching term that remain. It’s back to school today for all school students in Ireland too, so good luck to them on their first day in the classroom since Christmas! …” (more)

[In the Dark, 12 April]

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NUIG Rules out Waiving Resit Fees

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 17th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“NUI Galway has come under criticism by students and NUIGSU for not waiving their €295 resit fees despite their purpose being questioned in light of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. This comes in the wake of myriad other Irish third-level institutions waiving this fee, including University College Cork, NUI Maynooth, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, Athlone IT …” (more)

[Jack McGee, College Tribune, 17 February]

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Third- and Fourth-Year Students Will be Able to Resit Assessments

Posted in Teaching on February 16th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Students in third and fourth year will be able to resit semester-two assessments that count towards their degree, even if they pass them the first time, senior lecturer Kevin Mitchell said today. Mitchell told students in an email yesterday that no mitigating measures would be introduced for the semester-two assessment period, but this morning clarified that this was incorrect …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 16 February]

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Higher Education Minister says DkIT exam results being withheld is ‘unacceptable’

Posted in Governance and administration on February 13th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has said DkIT students having their exam results withheld due to industrial action at the college is ‘entirely unacceptable’. The Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) Branch at Dundalk Institute of Technology – which represent lecturers and researchers …” (more)

[Michelle O’Keeffe, Dundalk Democrat, 12 February]

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NUI Galway under fire for €295 exam repeat fee

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 10th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“NUI Galway has once again come under fire for its €295 exam repeat fee. Students who need to repeat an exam have to pay a flat fee of €295, and repeating one exam costs the same as repeating six. NUI Galway Students’ Union has criticised the fee, saying that the majority of the repeat exams will take place off-campus and students will be using their own laptops …” (more)

[Aine Kenny, Irish Examiner, 10 February]

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The Spiel of Repeat Fees

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“During the first week of the current Students’ Union term in July, the issue of repeat fees emerged much like every issue, it started by raising it with university management. Before our term, it had been sought several times with the indication that the fees wouldn’t be charged. We believed that NUI Galway would be like nearly every other institution in the country and waive repeat fees. This wasn’t the case and they planned on charging them …” (more)

[Pádraic Toomey, SIN, 9 February]

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NUIG defends its repeat exam fee policy

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 27th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The university has released a statement following calls from Students’ Union leaders to remove such repeat fees and also to give students the option to repeat exams if they feel they could have achieved better grades in normal circumstances. In a statement released by the University, it says students who are in the most need of financial support can apply for a fee waiver …” (more)

[Galway Bay FM, 26 January]

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Galway to show compassion to students sitting exams

Posted in Governance and administration on January 26th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Union leaders are appealing to NUI Galway to show compassion to students who are sitting exams. Students’ Union leaders from GMIT, UCC, Trinity College Dublin and the Union of Students in Ireland have written to the NUIG President and Vice President to voice concern’s over the university’s opposition to the introduction of policies aimed at supporting students …” (more)

[Galway Bay FM, 25 January]

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Grade Inflation ‘Likely’ Down to Shift to Online Exams, Says College

Posted in Teaching on January 23rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Inflated grades observed in last year’s exams were ‘likely’ due to the shift to online assessments, Senior Lecturer Kevin Mitchell has said. Percentage marks, he said in an email to this newspaper, were ‘slightly inflated last year, based on a comparison of average yearly grades from 2019/20 to the previous year’ …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 22 January]

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Interviewing Anderson: UCD Made SU ‘Fall Guy’ For No Detriment Failure

Posted in Teaching on January 19th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“UCDSU President Conor Anderson took to the ‘No Detriment’ Facebook group on Monday night in light of the recent news that both UCC and Trinity have brought in new accommodations to assist students during the ongoing pandemic …” (more)

[Rosie Kuntz, College Tribune, 19 January]

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NI universities urged to follow GB and protect student grades

Posted in Teaching on January 13th, 2021 by steve

“Northern Ireland’s two main universities have been urged to follow the lead of their counterparts in Great Britain and introduce a ‘no detriment’ policy to protect student grades against the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson said he has written to both academic institutions, asking them to follow the policy …” (more)

[Mark Bain, Belfast Telegraph, 13 January]

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Mitigation Measures Are A Win For Students, But Communication Came Too Late

Posted in Teaching on January 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“In the midst of escalating case numbers and yet another lockdown, it would have been easy to miss the nugget of good news for students last week. After third-level students were yet again ignored in the announcement of lockdown restrictions, Trinity students had reasons for small celebration. College announced in an email that some of the mitigation measures, introduced last summer for exams, would remain in place for the upcoming examination season in recognition of the current ‘extremely difficult and stressful situation’ in which students have to try and study …” (more)

[University Times, 10 January]

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Exam Mitigation Measures Should Not Continue Past Pandemic, Says IFUT

Posted in Governance and administration on January 10th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Trinity’s branch of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has said that mitigation measures for assessment should only be introduced in ‘exceptional’ circumstances and should not continue past the coronavirus crisis …” (more)

[Sárán Fogarty, University Times, 9 January]

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