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7:55pm on Saturday, 12th January, 2008:

Examination Time


So, Monday and Tuesday I was preparing my lectures for next week (mainly EE224, which has a assignment that's rather time-consuming to set up and operate). Wednesday there was a workshop for research grant applications; Thursday there was an away day to work on the new curriculum (we didn't go away on the away day, we just got free sandwiches so we could work over lunch); Friday was a departmental meeting.

This is one reason why I had to spend this afternoon working on exam papers, the deadline for the handing in of which is a week on Friday. I have to do EE114, EE224 (again a lot of effort), half of EE214 and half of EE314. Oh, and I have to do them twice, because there are resit papers, too — even if it turns out in July that there are no students who need resits. Great.

The reason we have to hand them all in so far ahead of the actual exams is so that the external examiners get to look at them to send them back if they're rubbish. This is something a declining number of universities seem to bother with; at Portsmouth, where I'm senior external examiner for their games course, they don't send the papers out at all — the first I see them is when I'm looking at how the students did at them. Portsmouth is also able to create and can entire modules on a whim — no months of anguished wrangling for them over whether units are 30 credits or 15 credits, nor whether exams are 2 hours or 3 hours, nor whether resit papers will be needed half a year in advance of their being asked for.

I managed to do one question (a 25-part multi-choice) of the 4 questions needed for one EE114 course.

Looks like a busy 2 weeks ahead...

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).