Semesterisation and Lessons Learned

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsConference Presentation


In 2021, the University moved to a semesterised delivery model for undergraduate programmes. In 2017, we experimented with condensed delivery (Exall & Sneddon, 2017), and used the results from this to help shape our approach to semesterisation. Here, we reflect on the issues that have arisen for both staff and students in implementing semesterisation and how we might overcome some of the unexpected consequences of semesterisation and to enhance fundamental teaching practice.

Mindful that COVID-19 continues to have an impact, it is hard to isolate out issues that are more directly related to semesterisation. We also have a student demographic that requires many students to work and a significant number of our student commute.

This talk will focus on the issues which appear to have intensified over the last year, including:
•The impact of missing workshops and catching up. Semesterisation has increased the pace of delivery, so missing one calendar week through late enrolment or other absence has a more marked impact on students;
•Non-attendance and poor engagement. Non-attendance rates are higher this year, even with the online ABL activities. Many students who do attend are more reluctant to engage with either preparation or in-class activities. We are not along in finding this (see Rowell, 2022). The impact is particularly apparent at Level 6, with record numbers of extensions being granted and students reporting that the pace of study is difficult to maintain.

As a team we are reviewing our delivery schedules, revising our content and considering what we can do based on our demographic and the need to prepare students for a graduate career. We will be holding a CAIeRO to help facilitate this and will be comparing performance with previous cohorts
Period23 Jun 2022
Event titleUniversity of Northampton Learning and Teaching Conference 2022
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionRegional