Wrapping up the semester with theme days – Administrative days
The end of our university semester is only finalized by the faculty’s examiners’ meeting and the accompanying reports. This may require a day or two to be spent on administrative tasks including report writing. Friday 11th January 2019 was such a day. All reports had to be prepared for the meeting on Monday 14th January.
Types of tasks for examination matters
- Updating two reports which I had drafted previously.
- Writing one new report for an undergraduate course.
- Reviewing the marksheet of an MSc course.
- Writing the report for the MSc course.
- Writing a report for a course with ‘high’ failure rates (26%).
- Emailing the reports for 3 undergraduate courses to the head of department.
- Emailing the draft of the high failure rate course to the head of department.
- Asking a second examiner to sign the official university marksheet.
- Asking a teaching assistant to compile a report of students affected by the recent floods and their grades.
Other types of tasks for professors
I also had interactions with students and teaching assistants on other matters such as:
- performing academic advising for one re-entry student.
- giving a lesson to two teaching assistants on how to chunk down the teaching and the BOPPPS model for lesson planning and conducting a class.
- emailing a part-time PhD student to meet with the main supervisor and myself.
Problem with theme days – administrative days
The entire day until 6 pm was an admin day. While I like the idea of theme days and performing tasks of one nature on that day, I find it exhausting and tiring. Frankly, I don’t know many professors who like administrative tasks. We all wish for someone else to do them.
Use rewards as a book end for theme days
But, I get to end my day by writing a blog post for 9 January 2019. Having a reward as a book end (at the end of) for administrative days is the best way to get the tasks done. The key is to decide on the reward before hand. If you have something to look forward to you will plow through the tasks and minimize distractions.