Universities are beginning to introduce semesterisation to some courses, in order to help students manage their time more effectively. Semesterisation, in its simplest form, is the organisation of one unit being condensed into one term.
Being a final year student myself, I have experienced semesterisation first hand, in one of my units. At first, I found it quite daunting because it was within the first term and the work load was already starting to get intense. In hindsight, I have realised that it was beneficial to me to have one of my units out of the way, as there is a lot else to concentrate on. With the extensive pressure of a dissertation and other demanding units to follow, another to deal with may have just been disastrous. I am certainly one of the guilty students that falls at the hurdle of good time-management, so semesterisation has been beneficial to me personally. but enough about me, I went out and about around the University too see what others thought.
First of all, I approached some of my fellow Communication and Media students and asked them if they thought semesterisation worked for them or not. Lucy Tyler, had some interesting points when I spoke to her : “I think at the time I didn’t really get the point. In uni all hours trying to meet the deadlines and not having time to think about the dissertation waiting for me, but then recently I’ve had deadlines haunting me left, right and centre. So, I have appreciated having the weight of one unit off my mind”. I agree with Lucy on this particular case, but to get a more balanced opinion I asked students on other courses to see if they felt the same way.
When proposing to talk to some students about the subject, I found that many people didn’t have a clue what it was. However, when semesterisation was explained I received some simultaneous nods which gave me hope. Dionne Barr, a final year Advertising and Marketing student says she has recognised semesterisation creeping into her course year-by-year. In her first year, Dionne felt that her course eased her into the workload. But the following year saw things heating-up, meaning stress levels rising. “Obviously it goes without saying that each year in your university career you expect it to get harder and strained, but this year has been the most tense so far!”. When I made an enquiry to Dionne about how much semesterisation has affected her time, she also agreed that she is glad to have a couple of the units behind her, although it meant some very busy weeks at times. However, it by no means she will be relaxing anytime soon with her dissertation to think about.
All in all, I agree with the girls that semesterisation is an effective way to help students manage their work and time accordingly. At the end of the year is where it counts, especially for the apprehensive final years’. So, even if it means a couple of busy weeks at the beginning term it is worth not having to think about at the busier end of the year. I enjoyed gathering opinions on the matter of semesterisation, I felt I was confident in approaching people which be of use for my next assignment- the patch report.