News

Reading day reduction receives mixed feelings

The changes to the academic calendar for the fall semester proved to be a double-edged sword for students and faculty.

Students were given a weeklong Thanksgiving break at the expense of a reading day that provides time for students to review for final exams. Last year, students had two reading days before the beginning of finals week.

In a poll conducted by The Miami Hurricane, 75 percent of students feel that one reading day is not enough time to prepare for exams; 13 percent of students felt that one reading day is sufficient, while 12 percent of students did not care either way.

A total of 61 students were polled as of 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Senior Daniella Sanchez, who has relied on the two-day reading period in the past, now has to change her study plan. She is worried about finishing classes in addition to starting to prepare early for exams.

“It just means I have to start preparing earlier, studying for finals in between going to classes,” she said. “But luckily, my finals this year are toward the end of the finals weeks so I’m able to have plenty of time to get my stuff done.”

The poll also asked students when they plan to study, and 80 percent of students said that they are following Sanchez’s study plan –study before the reading day but after Thanksgiving. Another 15 percent of students said that they will study only on the one reading day.

During fall 2012, the Faculty Senate voted to approve the changes to the academic calendar that made fall break two days instead of one and Thanksgiving break a week. The committee sent a survey to full-time faculty who teach undergraduate courses to gauge their thoughts about changing the fall calendar and final exam schedule, according to the proposal created in November 2012.

About 61 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the proposed shortening of the final exam schedule. Final exams begin on Thursday next week and end December 18.

Though there is only one reading day, students have a weekend between the five days of exams.

Faculty like Jennifer Durocher, a clinical assistant professor of psychology, have had to change their plans as well. Durocher usually assigns students a take-home written exam during reading days. Because the reading day period is shorter, she pushed back the date of the exam to give students more time to work on the test, but as a result, leaving her with fewer days to grade.

“It was a balance between giving my students enough time to actually complete an exam in a meaningful way and me enough time to grade,” she said. “I do feel a little extra crunch time but not unnecessarily so, but it is a small enough section luckily that it won’t be super challenging.”

To retain the same number of class days as last year, the Faculty Senate ended classes two days later than the previous semester. This change causes the final exam schedule to be pushed back by five days. The winter break is then shorter – three weeks instead of a month.

December 5, 2013

Reporters

Alexander Gonzalez

Assistant Editor

Ashley Martinez

Ashley Martinez is a senior majoring in journalism and psychology, which have sharpened her people-watching skills. She has worked as a staff writer, copy editor, assistant editor and is now the Edge arts and entertainment editor at The Miami Hurricane. She serves as the president of UM's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Her work has been featured in The Hurricane, Distraction Magazine, The Communique, Gables Home Page and The Miami Herald. When she's not working on a story, she loves going to the theatre and singing show tunes.


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Miami couldn’t in-bound the ball. When the host Hurricanes’ women’s basketball team looks back at Su ...

Offensive line is always one of the biggest needs for the Miami Hurricanes on the recruiting trail a ...

When Manny Diaz briefly left the Miami Hurricanes to become the coach of the Temple Owls, Keshawn Wa ...

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic has been through more trauma in the ...

The words “Sweet 16” may never have been uttered as the Miami Hurricanes were laying out their prese ...

The School of Nursing and Health Studies’ global research training program for minority students is ...

The University of Miami community gathered to remember the victims of the deadly New Zealand mosque ...

Culminating "an awesome, institution-wide effort," the Miller School of Medicine is celebr ...

Activist Claudio Rojas was featured in a documentary film, “The Infiltrators,” which is critical of ...

Associate professors William Pestle and Kathleen Sullivan Sealey traveled with students over spring ...

The fourth-seeded Miami women's basketball team will play fifth-seeded Arizona State in a top-2 ...

A ninth inning rally pushed No. 5 NC State past the Canes on Sunday afternoon. ...

Miami's stellar season came to end Sunday, as the Hurricanes fell to ASU, 57-55, in the NCAA To ...

Despite Estela Perez-Somarriba logging a top-five triumph for the 100th win of her career, the No. 2 ...

Facing No. 11 North Carolina on its home court, the University of Miami men's tennis team got o ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.