Minister urges students to ‘keep studying’ as he awaits advice on Junior and Leaving Cert exams

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“A decision on whether the State exams will go ahead is due in the coming days. It’s understood that the main priority of Education Minister Joe McHugh is that the Leaving Certificate should sit as normal, but the decision will ultimately rest on the advice of the National Public Health Emergency team …” (more)

[Aoife Moore, Irish Examiner, 8 April]

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Student Asks on No Detriment ‘Not Fulfilled’ by Exam Proposals, Says TCDSU

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) has called on College to implement further ‘safety net’ policies to ensure students’ grades are not negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic. TCDSU education officer Niamh McCay yesterday sent an email to several members of University Council, which met this morning, writing that students’ wishes are ‘still not fulfilled’ …” (more)

[Aoife Kearins, University Times, 8 April]

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‘No Detriment’ Petition Gathers Thousands of Signatures

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“A petition calling for UCC to mitigate the upcoming Summer exam results has been circulating on social media, having gained almost 5000 signatures as of April 3rd. Launched by UCC student Conall Williamson, it calls upon UCC to introduce measures that prevent any student from being having their grades lowered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic …” (more)

[Samantha Calthrop, University Express, 8 April]

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Trinity rejects ‘no detriment’ policy but approves other measures

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“Trinity’s University Council has approved several measures designed to ‘ease pressure’ on students completing assessments during the coronavirus pandemic, but declined to implement a ‘no detriment’ policy. The approved measures include allowing students to defer assessments until the end of the summer and discretionary powers granted to the board of examiners to consider final year students’ overall profile of marks throughout their time at Trinity when marking their work from this term …” (more)

[Finn Purdy, Trinity News, 8 April]

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What works with Online Teaching?

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“Since the cancellation of in-person lectures and tutorials at Maynooth University a few weeks ago, we’ve all been trying – without much a priori knowledge – how to teach students using exclusively online methods. In the Department of Theoretical Physics we’re all trying different things and trying our best to learn from student feedback how to improve …” (more)

[In the Dark, 8 April]

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Thoughts on lectures and lecturing

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“Those of us who have been lucky enough to pursue higher education will have had experiences of lecturers who were just so dire that being in class was almost like living through a real-life Monty Python sketch. When I studied chemical engineering in UCD in the 1980s, we had one lecturer who just told anecdotes about his career in the metallurgical business, while leaning back in his chair, legs crossed, staring at the ceiling …” (more)

[Tales from Academia, 8 April]

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Trinity to Reject ‘Unworkable’ No Detriment, But Offer Backup Options

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“Trinity will not implement a no-detriment policy – which it has called ‘unworkable’ – in this year’s summer assessments, proposing instead a raft of alternative measures for students whose exam performance is compromised by the coronavirus pandemic, The University Times has learned …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 8 April]

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EU science chief resigns and criticises bloc’s coronavirus response

Posted in Research on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“The EU’s top scientist has resigned and criticised the bloc’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Professor Mauro Ferrari, president of the European Research Council, said he was ‘extremely disappointed by the European response to Covid-19’ …” (more)

[Jon Stone, Independent, 8 April]

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Minister Ignores Calls for No-Detriment Policy in Public Announcement

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor has announced that further and higher education institutions will not be holding written, oral or practical assessments in examination centres during the COVID-19 health crisis …” (more)

[Conor Capplis, College Tribune, 8 April]

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Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor thanks the tertiary education sector for implementing alternative examination arrangements

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“The Minister also announces a student-focused initiative to safeguard integrity of qualifications for 2020 graduates. Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor today (8 April 2020) announced that further and higher education institutions will not be holding written, oral or practical assessments in examination centres during the Covid-19 emergency …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 8 April]

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How are Academic Institutions Innovating Under Pressure

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“Over the past month, the world has changed rather rapidly. Organizations have had to close their physical facilities and move to virtual operations, practically overnight. We are fortunate to have the technology in place to be able to do this, something that would have been unthinkable a few decades ago. And yet with all of these tools, we are still scrambling …” (more)

[Todd A Carpenter, The Scholarly Kitchen, 8 April]

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Landlords Say They Won’t Refund Students Until UL Does

Posted in Governance and administration on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“Private landlords in Limerick say they won’t refund student rents until University of Limerick does the same. The third level institution says the on-campus accommodation has remained open at the facility, with 600 out of around 2,800 beds filled …” (more)

[Clare FM, 8 April]

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Students’ qualifications will not be undermined by cancellation of exams

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“Students have been reassured that qualifications they achieve this year will be valued and regarded exactly the same as in any other year despite the cancellation of traditional exams this year. All further and higher education institutions are replacing assessments in exam centres with alternatives including online exams and written assignments as a result of the coronavirus threat …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 8 April]

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Students reassured they won’t be penalised if they can’t take part in assessment replacing traditional exam

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“Students in higher and further education are being assured that they will not be penalised if they cannot take part in an alternative assessment that is replacing a traditional exam this year. New guidelines make clear that such students can progress, as expected, and will have opportunities to complete assessments at a later point …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 7 April]

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Countries across globe postpone or cancel state ‘Leaving cert’ exams

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

International“‘We will always be the ones who didn’t pass our Bac’, so reads a headline in France’s Le Monde newspaper this week. On Friday the country became the latest to cancel its final exam for second level students – the equivalent of our Leaving Certificate – and Le Monde notes that the response from students has been mixed …” (more)

[Emma O Kelly, RTÉ News, 8 April]

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Coronavirus: Third-level students will not have to sit traditional exams

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“Third-level students will not have to sit traditional end of year exams, with alternative arrangements being put in place by colleges and universities. Confirming the move on Tuesday, Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor said that instead of written, oral and practical assessments in exam centres, students will be offered online tests, written assignments or rescheduling …” (more)

[Mark Hilliard, Irish Times, 8 April]

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Time for a university rankings furlough?

Posted in Governance and administration on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“These are challenging times for all parts of higher education not least for the vital operation of university league table development. We all know how vital and serious these accurate university rankings really are and how fundamental to measuring institutional performance …” (more)

[Paul Greatrix, Wonkhe, 6 April]

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Getting on with the Leaving Cert

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“Sir, – While I have no doubt that Dr Áine Hyland is a fine and decent person and a respected educationalist, I have to take issue with her recent statements in the media that the Leaving CertIficate 2020 must go on as it is best selector for third-level entry …” (more)

[Mark Ryan, Irish Times, 8 April]

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Giving Leaving Cert students predicted grades: Why it is a bad idea

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“These are strange and uncertain times. The Covid-19 crisis has had a detrimental effect on many areas of society, none more so than education. Schools and universities have closed. Third-level students will not return to college this semester. It is looking likely that second-level students will suffer the same fate. What is to become of the Leaving Certificate examinations? Will they go ahead? What are the contingency plans? …” (more)

[Ryan Carrick, The College View, 7 April]

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Biochemistry School ‘Strongly Against’ No-Detriment Policy

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“The School of Biochemistry and Immunology is strongly opposing the introduction of a no-detriment policy for final-year exams, citing concerns about the policy’s effect on the prestige of the degree …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 7 April]

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