Academic calendar problems

Academic calendar problems

Academic Calendar


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It’s obviously easier to suggest problems rather than solutions, but here are some concerns about the current schedule:

  1. Although 12 weeks seems about right in terms of teaching material and contact hours, by the end of term, and particularly at this point in term 2, both students and staff are exhausted, just a the time when many assessments are due and marking is required.
  2. The lack of alignment with school holidays at Easter (and especially the lack of a University break around Easter) causes particular problems for students with children or younger siblings (and for staff).
  3. The lack of an Easter break means the NUS conference coincides with coursework deadlines, which is hard on the delegates, and staff cannot attend the many CPD conferences traditionally held at this time of year.
  4. The timing of PABs gives students insufficient time to prepare properly for resits, while the lack of time between exams and SAPs means that some staff are spending their Spring Bank Holiday weekend every year flat out marking and moderating exam scripts.

Some of these problems may be insoluble but having a break in March would significantly reduce the pressure on both students and staff and allow them to achieve their best work.  A later resit period would give students more time to prepare while perhaps allowing more time for marking in May.  If resit PABs could be held as soon as possible after the resit period (with hopefully few students having resits and therefore no need for a long time for marking) then that will help students make arrangements for the following session.

One comment on “Academic calendar problems

  1. migfarinas

    If we do return to Easter breaks then it is essential that the exam schedule is pushed back to allow time for students to revised. For example, if Easter falls early then we migh have 9 weeks of teaching in term 2, two week Easter break and then 3 weeks of teaching – currently the PAB dates mean that the immediate week after the twelth teaching week the students start their exams. Suggest that after the final teaching week students have 3 weeks gap before exams start and then push back all the PABs and only run one set of PABs (no resit PABs as per my comments under other questions).

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