I am an education reporter, reporting for the local daily. My objective is to find a story on Bournemouth university semesterisation.
Here I write about the experience and the process I went through in talking to relevant sources and the questions I asked.
My process commenced when I went to the Student Union (SU) office and talked to the SU President, Toby Horner. I asked him first of all what semesterisation was in order to give me a clear definition. We then discussed which courses are affected by this and who will be in the future. Toby being a fellow BACOMM student (BA Communication and Media), informed us that the university is going through changes. Several courses are making alterations to their units due to feedback channelled from the course leaders, lecturers, and students.
While in the SU office, Ko Leech, Vice President Representation, informed me of the feedback she had received in the meetings she had attended on the subject. The disadvantage for the lecturers is that there is less time allocated to marking assignments. Ko stated that she had heard mixed reviews from the students. Some found it hard to absorb so much information in such a short period of time, and struggled with January exams. Other students preferred semesterisation as they knew longer modules meant a stressful end of the year with deadlines and exams.
Talking to the members of the SU team was supportive in finding my story as they informed me the positives and negatives of semesterisation, talking from their own experience and from students who have voiced their opinions. After speaking to the members of the SU team, I decided that I wanted to concentrate on getting the angle for my story from the point of view of the students of Bournemouth.
Ko had informed me of particular courses that were fully semesterised, such as BA Advertising and Marketing. Students of this course became a valuable source to me as I intended to question them on their experience and opinions of this way of learning. From my own knowledge I knew that some of the units from BACOMM were semesterised while others were long modules spread over the academic year. From there, I decided to talk to BACOMM students in Level H as well as BA Advertising and Marketing. These students like myself, have experienced the course before semesterisation and through its introduction in a number of the course’s units. And therefore should have some valuable comments on the situation.
I also posed the question “how do you feel about semesterisation”, to a random selection of students found in the library, canteen, and Dylans bar. It was interesting to note that many students did not know what it meant or were even aware that it happened at this university. It became apparent that the Level H (final year) students were the ones that had most to comment on about the situation.
This experience was extremely valuable to me. It was an opportunity to talk to fellow students. I was able to overcome the communication barrier by approaching people and asking intriguing questions. As I was only given an hour to gather information from relevant sources, it gave me a chance to experience the pressure of real life journalism