Improvements are usually seen as a positive step; changing the way students are taught for the better is something that everyone welcomes. However, when improvement is badly thought through – then it becomes detrimental to the course.
It is not good enough to just excuse the problems with the new first-year modules because they are just that – new. Structuring the examination period in Biology so there are six exams within four days causes a hectic schedule. Furthermore, with two practicals due in on the first day of examination, even though only one is being marked, surely the Biology Department could have moved this deadline back?
The way that the organisation and structure of the deadlines around this period has been constructed is simply flawed. The Biology course representatives are right when they say many students feel like guinea pigs and although the Department have said that they are going to look at this situation next month – it is too late for those taking exams this week.
Although the first year in Biology does not count towards the final degree, students naturally want to do the best they possibly can and the department’s job is to facilitate that. But in this instance the Biology Department has failed to provide the best examination schedule and then compounded it with two practicals due in as well.
Students should be marked on the best possible work they can produce, rather than just a poor, tired piece of writing that is not a true reflection of their abilities; the crammed scheduling of these exams is helping no one.