Rest days after exams – A note from the President of the Education Committee
18 Mar 2021
I hope you all are well!
It’s the President of the Education Committee speaking here today. We are currently working to investigate whether it would be possible to implement rest days after exams, as this is consistently requested by many of you students. It is a difficult question due to the requirements posed by CSN in terms of semester length and so on, but together with the Scheduling Coordinator and the Academic Support and Records department, the Education Committee has now been able to identify a couple of alternatives of how this could potentially be done. However, all of them come with some sort of trade-off, so I need your help to identify the best possible solution!
There are three possible alternatives:
- Alternative 1 is to always end exam periods on a Friday in order to guarantee the students a free weekend before their next course starts. However, the trade-off here would be that the exam period would be more compressed, which implies the possibility of main exams for the same cohort taking place two days in a row. It would also mean an increased risk of exams taking place at the same time when students are taking exams for courses from different years, so when they are taking re-exams. In order for the exam periods to fit in all the exams, they may also have to start earlier, which could mean exams taking place on weekends at the beginning of the exam period, less time between the last teaching session and the first exam, and/or fewer days available for teaching and thus a more intense teaching period.
- Alternative 2 is to make it impossible to schedule class time during the first two days of a new teaching period. The trade-off here would be that it would mean a more compressed teaching period, that is, the schedule would be more intense throughout the courses as the same amount of teaching hours would have to take place during two fewer teaching days. However, as the schedule many times is not that intense in the middle of a teaching period, the impact the implementation of Alternative 2 would have would be limited to a few lectures being moved to other days during the teaching period when little or nothing is scheduled.
- Alternative 3 is to only allow retake exams to take place on the last one or two days of an exam period, so that students only taking the main exams are guaranteed one or two rest days before the next teaching period starts. One day would probably not be too much of a problem, except for in the October exam period, as no re-exams are scheduled in that period, but two days could be more difficult. This solution would mean a trade-off in that students who actually have re-take exams would not benefit from the it. Furthermore, this solution would mean an increased risk of exams being scheduled at the same time, especially for students with more than one re-exam. It would be up to the student in question to solve this, which could potentially prolong their degree time. It would also mean that main exams for the same cohort would sometimes have to be scheduled two days in a row, and/or that the exam period would have to be longer, which would affect the teaching schedule and/or how many days there would be between the last teaching session and the exam.
If you have any thoughts, questions or ideas regarding this, I would love to hear them! You can either respond to the story posted on sasseofficial today (19/3), shoot me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for the Education Committe’s Focus Session on the topic next week: https://www.sasse.se/focus-session-rest-days-after-exams. In order to find the best possible solution, I need to hear your opinions and I would be more than grateful if you wanted to help out! I will then make a suggestion of the next step to the Academic Support and Records department. I will keep working with them to reach the best possible solution for as many students as possible, and then I will get back to you all. Thank you, everyone, for helping me out with this important question!
All the best,