One potential problem with final exams week is that there are too many final exams.
I spent all weekend studying for my Victorian Literature final. The professor set up the exam brilliantly: he gave us five essay questions to study for and we could only reference one author per question. We were forced to go through a semester’s worth of material to make connections between the texts we studied. I learned a ton while studying.
[side note–notice that everything important happens during the studying, not during the exam itself or the grade thereafter.]
I don’t know if I would have learned as much if I had five finals to study for. The problem isn’t the stress per se; the problem is that the overwhelm impedes learning.
But a second potential problem with final exams week is that students today can’t cope with the stress of final exams.
This was the opinion of a student-athlete when I brought the question to her attention. She showed me this video about millennials’ ability to cope with stress, which we spent the next ten minutes watching. It made me think more deeply about the question.
Either way, if you have to bring in “therapy dogs” for your students during final exams week you probably have a larger issue to deal with.
[side note–this isn’t to say that bringing in therapy dogs isn’t a great idea. After all, they’re really, really cute.]