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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Online exams prove traditional formats to be arbitrary

Posted in Teaching on January 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“It is no secret that online learning has proven to have both advantages and disadvantages. Having the classroom ripped away from students has left many hunched over their laptops at home for what seems to be hours on end …” (more)

[Shannon McGreevy, Trinity News, 9 January]

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Remote Exam Time

Posted in Teaching on January 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“It’s the day before the start of the January examination period at Maynooth University so I thought I’d do a quick post on the topic of examinations or, as they are right now, online timed assessments. First, for readers elsewhere, full-time undergraduate students at Maynooth what is called 60 ‘credits’ in a year, usually split into two semesters of thirty credits each …” (more)

[In the Dark, 7 January]

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UCC reintroduces No Academic Disadvantage exam policy for winter examinations

Posted in Teaching on January 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“University College Cork (UCC) has reintroduced the No Academic Disadvantage measures for their upcoming examinations this January. All students received an email from the Interim Registrar Stephen Byrne on Wednesday stating that ‘in recognition of these exceptional circumstances’ the University has ‘reinstated the additional No Academic Disadvantage” policy and these measures “will apply for the full academic year 2020/2021’ …” (more)

[Fiona Keeley, University Express, 6 January]

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Exams after Christmas are a necessary evil

Posted in Teaching on January 1st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“For people who are in their fourth year of college or have been in Trinity for four years, they will have now studied under a total of three different exam structures; the most recent being exams after Christmas. This new exam structure was implemented after the coronavirus pandemic shut college down a number of weeks early last year and forced the majority of teaching and mentoring online …” (more)

[Phoebe Otway-Norwood, Trinity News, 1 January]

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Online exam monitoring can invade privacy and erode trust at universities

Posted in Governance and administration on December 4th, 2020 by steve

“The health risks posed by COVID-19 mean most Canadian university classes are online this year. As a result, some students will write exams online via remote proctoring platforms that surveil their activities. These tools go by names like ProctorU, Examity, Respondus and Proctorio, among others. Designed by for-profit tech startups, they monitor students’ laptops, tablets or phones during the course of an exam …” (more)

[Bonnie Stewart, The Conversation, 3 December]

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Lack of Student Anger Contributed to No More ‘No Detriment Policy’ – Conor Anderson

Posted in Teaching on December 2nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A lack of student support and anger around the ‘No Detriment’ policy is the the reason the University College Dublin Students’ Union (UCD SU) will no longer push for the Covid-19 Assessment Guidelines to be extended into this exam season, according to SU President Conor Anderson …” (more)

[Stephen Kisbey-Green, College Tribune, 1 December]

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No Need for Emergency Exam Measures This Year, Says Senior Lecturer

Posted in Teaching on November 25th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Trinity’s Senior Lecturer Kevin Mitchell is proposing that College does not bring in any emergency measures for the upcoming exam period similar to those introduced for last year’s summer exams. Mitchell said that College ‘will certainly employ a sympathetic approach and increased level of flexibility’ for individual cases due to the ongoing pandemic …” (more)

[University Times, 25 November]

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UCC reverts to pre-pandemic exam measures, despite little relief in sight

Posted in Teaching on November 24th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The sudden onset of Covid-19 in early March required a rapid re-think of how normal assessment processes would work from home. Temporary measures were put in place to address the added pressure of the pandemic to the summer exam season, but UCC has made the decision to rescind such measures for this academic year …” (more)

[Maeve McTaggart, University Express, 24 November]

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UCD Grading Approval Process to Change

Posted in Teaching on November 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“In light of Covid-19 disruptions to the college calendar, University Management have made the decision that the previous provisional results period will not be held allowing students to freely repeal their grades in a formal two week window before final results …” (more)

[Eve Moore, College Tribune, 17 November]

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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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