In Depth

Students Say Assessment Week Schedule is Less Chaotic, but Keeps Them on Campus Longer than Dean’s Week did

The approaching Assessment Week draws mixed responses from students and faculty. Some students expressed that Assessment Week helps to spread out the work and study load, while others said they prefer the Dean’s Week system. Assessment Week encourages teachers to keep teaching until the end of the term. Many students agreed that Dean’s Week created more stress and pressure than the current system. However, some students emphasized that Assessment Week often keeps students on campus longer than the previous system did. This was one of the primary reasons students had for preferring the former schedule. “[Assessment Week was] not as stressful beforehand,” Kim Kuoch ’09 said, “but [Dean’s Week] allowed us to leave campus earlier and have more free time between exams.” Lucas McMahon ’08 likes the new system. He said, “[The old system] used to separate the written final and projects into two separate weeks so students could pace themselves. Marvin Blugh ’09 dislikes Assessment Week. He said, “[Assessment Week] doesn’t help at all because with Dean’s Week during the week before exams started, final papers and projects were completed on a specific day for each specific period.” Molly Shoemaker ’08 also dislikes the new system. “There’s always going to be a week with a ton of assignments. All it does is pushes it forward,” she said. Hannah Kauffman ’09 said, “It’s better now that there’s two weeks before assessment week instead of last year’s one.” Keryu Ong ’08 said, “It forces us to go to class and teachers feel compelled to give us something to do.” Jake Bean ’08 indicated a similar point. “[In the past], you usually wouldn’t have a final in all your classes, but now you definitely have an ‘assessment’ in all your classes,” he said. Lauren Wilmarth ’09 said, “It would be perfect if they made it so teachers can choose if they want to use the period or not.” A few students and faculty found that Assessment Week was not a huge change from the previous system. Catherine Coppinger ’09 said, “For me, [my schedule’s] exactly the same.” Faculty members, especially those with department exams, share the opinion that the two systems are similar for them. Kevin Cardozo, Chemistry Department Chair, said, “There’s no change at all for chemistry because we still give common finals. It may be good though for other departments if they want to try other modes of assessment.” Andrew Cline, Instructor in Mathematics, said, “Having an exam on Friday is having a huge crunch on grading. We have less than 24 hours after the exam before entering the grades,” he said. Though Cline has not experienced Assessment Week due to being on sabbatical, he said, “[Assessment Week is] not that different because all of my math classes still use the common exam block. It’s not going to be different until I have a period exam.” Mary Fulton, Instructor in English said,“I find it a little less stressful for me. I’m finding it a little better. I do like the flexibility of [Assessment Week].”