Covid-19 Pandemic – Third-Level Exams

Posted in Teaching on December 3rd, 2021 by steve

IrelandÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if it is planned to introduce health regulations in relation to the holding of in-person third-level examinations between the end of November and Christmas 2021 in view of the risk that they might become super-spreader events and cause Covid-19 to be reintroduced by students returning home for Christmas to households throughout the country including parents, vulnerable family members and grandparents; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 1 December]

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Third Level Examinations

Posted in Governance and administration on December 2nd, 2021 by steve

IrelandRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if students will have a remote option for end of semester exams; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil debates, 30 November]

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Unfair to expect third-level students to defer exams due to Covid – Rose Conway-Walsh TD

Posted in Teaching on December 1st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sinn Féin spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Rose Conway-Walsh TD, has labelled the department’s response to rising Covid numbers as ‘completely inadequate’. After raising the issue in the Dáíl with Minister Harris, Teachta Conway-Walsh said …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 1 December]

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Calls to Cancel In-Person Exams Again Should not Claim to be Representative

Posted in Teaching on November 29th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Students are heading into the fourth consecutive assessment period impacted by the coronavirus. We should know what to do at this stage, but there persists a lack of joined-up thinking among representatives …” (more)

[University Times, 28 November]

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Maynooth University to hold majority of exams online after 4,000 students sign petition

Posted in Teaching on November 26th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Maynooth University has announced that they will hold the majority of January exams online after a petition calling for in-person tests to be scrapped received thousands of signatures. The petition was set up by the University’s Students’ Union who said on-campus exams cannot go ahead due to the ‘uncertain public health situation nationwide’ …” (more)

[Emma Nevin, DublinLive, 26 November]

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Third Level Christmas Exams

Posted in Teaching on November 26th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“University College Cork has become the first third-level institution to announce that all of its mid-year December exams are to be held online next month. But other colleges are pressing ahead with their in-person exams, some involving thousands of students …” (mp3)

[RTÉ – Drivetime, 25 November]

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NUIG Student Union slams university for ‘playing Russian roulette with the health of students’

Posted in Teaching on November 25th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“NUI Galway has been strongly criticised by its Student Union for the decision to continue in-person examinations this year, despite rising Covid cases. Other institutions around the country such as University College Cork are providing options for students to take exams from home, but NUIG has shared no such plans …” (more)

[Hugh Carr,, 25 November]

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Student’s union calls on NUI Galway to move upcoming exams on line in light of latest Covid figures

Posted in Governance and administration on November 24th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The President of the student’s union at NUI Galway has accused the college of putting students at risk by holding in house exams before Christmas. In a statement to Galway Bay FM news, a spokesperson for NUIG says the college has advised students that they can request a deferral if they cannot come to campus for in-person examinations …” (more)

[Galway Bay FM, 23 November]

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UCC to Hold Exams Online Due to Rising Case Numbers

Posted in Governance and administration on November 23rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“University College Cork (UCC) will move the majority of its exams online this semester due to concerns over rising coronavirus cases. A small number of exams will still be held in person for courses that need to meet certain accreditation or professional body requirements …” (more)

[Mairead Maguire, University Times, 23 November]

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GSU Co-Signs Open Letter Calling for In-Person Exams to be Scrapped

Posted in Teaching on November 23rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“An open letter to Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly calling for Christmas exams to be held online has garnered more than 2,600 signatures …” (more)

[Jody Druce, University Times, 22 November]

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UCD Module Co-ordinators Can Decide On In-Person Exams

Posted in Teaching on November 23rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Module co-ordinators in University College Dublin (UCD) can decide whether students will need to sit in-person exams. Speaking to The University Times today, UCD’s Director of Communications Eilis O’Brien said …” (more)

[Jennifer Ní Chiara, University Times, 22 November]

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Exam Period to Involve Online and In-Person Sittings

Posted in Teaching on November 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Trinity has said that the upcoming assessment period will involve a mix of in-person and online exams. College is working on contingency plans for students who have to self isolate when they are due to sit an exam in person, but for now, no major changes to assessment timetables are planned as public health advice for universities is ‘unlikely to change’…” (more)

[David O’Connell, University Times, 19 November]

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Students demand online exams amid surge in Covid-19 cases

Posted in Teaching on November 21st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Students are demanding more online exams amid concerns over the safety of reopening exam halls due to a surge in Covid-19 cases. Most universities are planning a combination of in-person exams for the first time in two years as well as online assessments next month …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 21 November]

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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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Remote Exam Time Again

Posted in Teaching on May 14th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“It’s Friday 14th May 2021 which means that it’s the first day of the Summer examination period here in Maynooth, so let me begin by sending my best wishes to everyone taking examinations today and over the next few weeks, wherever you are. It’s a lovely morning in Maynooth. It seems to be a law of Nature that examinations always take place when the weather outside is nice …” (more)

[In the Dark, 14 May]

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What should universities keep after Covid?

Posted in Teaching on May 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“On the last day of teaching for this academic year, with reasonably encouraging signs of some form of reopening of campus education being possible in September, it will shortly be time to think about how we proceed next academic year. It seems obvious to me that although university staff have worked very hard over the last year the Covid-19 restrictions have meant that we have not been able to provide the level of education we would have liked and most of us are longing to get back to some form of face-to-face teaching …” (more)

[In the Dark, 7 May]

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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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A few things I’ve learned from a Covid semester

Posted in Teaching on November 29th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“At the start of this semester, our big issue, apart from safety, was student engagement. How could we keep students engaged when most of their learning was online? One of our ‘solutions’ was to introduce lots of assessments; small, medium and large. We now have so many assessments that we’ve had to develop codes for them: OE, MCQ, LA, MA etc. While I’m in favour of diversity of assessment in general, I think we’ve overdone it …” (more)

[Tales from Academia, 29 November]

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‘Higher risk of students cheating in online assessments’

Posted in Teaching on August 24th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The qualifications standards watchdog has alerted colleges to the greater possibility of students cheating because of the reliance on online assessment due to the impact of Covid-19 …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 24 August]

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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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