By Carmen Chai
Ryerson’s exam schedule is a mess, and profs are fighting to clean it up. Dave Mason, president of the Ryerson Faculty Association, is battling with school officials to give students more study time between the last class and the beginning of exams.
The proposed changes also include preventing multiple exams in a two-day period, and giving instructors more time to mark.
“Some faculty alter their exams, cancel them or turn them into assignments because they don’t believe they can have them marked on time,” Mason said.
But the changes could be problematic, said Registrar Keith Alnwick. He said if the school was to input grades later than Christmas, it would unavoidably delay the start and end of the winter semester.
“We are committed to end no later than Apr. 30, or there would be conflict with student housing,” he said. Yet Mason maintains the current deadlines are unreasonable.
Mason, who is also a computer science professor, had to use a timer when marking, only giving 30 seconds per question.
“I hoped students gave incomplete answers so I could mark faster,” he said. “It was a nightmare. You’re working on four hours of sleep, and you just got to do it and hope you don’t make any mistakes.”
Some professors have 200 essay exams to mark in 72 hours, he said. “There could be a TA, but there are limited TA hours and you’d still have to spend time reviewing with them,” Mason said.
Rebecca Rose, a student senator, sympathizes with Mason. She learned new material in her last day of class, and then was tested on it the next day.
“It’s pretty unreasonable to ask students to learn material one day and then write an exam,” she said.
However, Alnwick said it’s not a problem for him to solve. “We’re happy to follow through with decisions the university makes, but there is no magic wand here. Every decision has repercussions, so we need to be careful about every decision we make,” he said.
Ryerson currently has a 10-day span for students to complete the exam schedule, and the school already suffers from limited facilities.
Alnwick said this period gets further complicated based on what day Labour Day occurs. Mason’s motion was scheduled to go in front of Senate just after press time.