Last Day of Semester #WhoMakesUpThisShit

Posted in Teaching on December 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“It’s Friday of the last week of semester one and I have now finished all classes – this was the 31st semester that I have completed in NCI. The last week of a semester always gives me mixed feelings in that as each day passes I have a last lecture/tutorial with each class in turn. Some I will see in class again in semester two, others not. They say that time flies if you are having fun …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 15 December]

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Trees, Graphs and the Leaving Certificate

Posted in Teaching on December 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“I’m starting to get the hang of some of the differences between things here in Ireland and the United Kingdom, both domestically and in the world of work. One of the most important points of variation that concerns academic life is the school system students go through before going to University …” (more)

[In the Dark, 15 December]

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Learning Outcomes Part 2

Posted in Teaching on December 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Following on from yesterday’s post here are some additional thoughts that occurred to me overnight. I have often heard it said that arguing against learning outcomes is indefensible because to do so implies that you have some problem with academics being asked to have clearly stated aims for their courses, and clearly stated expectations of their students …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 15 December]

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Learning Outcomes – A confession

Posted in Teaching on December 14th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Over the last three years I have been responsible for guiding quite a few proposals for new academic programmes through the various validation and accreditation processes required in DCU. In all cases, I, along with my colleagues on faculty teaching committee, have carefully scrutinised documents for evidence of strategic fit, viability and academic coherence …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 14 December]

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Modern languages strategy offers exciting blueprint

Posted in Teaching on December 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – One of the most important and far-reaching documents in late-modern Ireland was launched on December 4th, 2017 (News, December 4th). To almost universal indifference. This is an immense pity as Languages Connect: Ireland’s Strategy for Foreign Languages in Education offers an exciting blueprint for the repositioning of Ireland in the wider world …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 11 December]

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University challenge

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on December 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Preparing graduates for complex professional roles in a changing technological world is an increasingly significant challenge for higher education institutions. Brian Norton, President, Dublin Institute of Technology writes …” (more)

[eolas magazine, 1 December]

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Students Want More Engagement With Lecturers, Says New Report

Posted in Teaching on December 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A new national survey indicates that students are not satisfied with the amount of student-staff interaction they receive, with just over half of students surveyed saying they’ve never spoken to a member of staff about potential career paths …” (more)

[Ciaran Molloy, University Times, 4 December]

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Irish students have less contact with lecturers than other countries

Posted in Teaching on December 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Irish third-level students have less contact with their lecturers than in other countries, a new survey indicates. The poll of more than 35,000 students in Irish third-level institutions comes against a backdrop of concern over the impact of large class sizes on the quality of education …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 4 December]

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Teaching science in schools

Posted in Teaching on December 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Chris Shepherd’s article on how to recruit specialist teachers should be read, learned and inwardly digested by the Cabinet (‘Intervention key to getting critical mass of physics teachers’, November 30th). And then acted on in full by the Department of Education, line by line, to help in the recruitment of qualified teachers of maths, physics and chemistry …” (more)

[David McConnell, Irish Times, 4 December]

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Plan for more school pupils to study foreign languages

Posted in Teaching on December 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“An ambitious Government strategy aims to dramatically increase the number of students taking two foreign languages in the State exams despite an acute shortage of qualified teachers for these subjects. The 10-year foreign language strategy seeks to prepare Ireland for Brexit through a series of steps such as potential bonus Central Applications Office (CAO) points for studying foreign languages, boosting the availability of languages in schools and the introduction of Chinese to the curriculum …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 4 December]

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Engineering in the Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on November 29th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“About 6% of those studying Engineering for the Leaving Cert are female. Why is this? First, Engineering is probably not offered in many all-girl schools. Second, the Leaving Cert engineering syllabus is bloody awful. I’m an engineer and I find it boring …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 29 November]

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Science subjects and pay inequality

Posted in Teaching on November 29th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – In launching his department’s policy statement on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) education, Minister for Education Richard Bruton neglected to highlight an ever-growing impediment to his stated goals (‘Only six graduates in training to be physics teachers’, November 28th) …” (more)

[Joanne Irwin, Irish Times, 29 November]

It’s official: STEM is a thing and it’s all about real world problems and stuff

Posted in Teaching on November 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“From the recently launched STEM Education Policy Statement (emphasis mine): ‘STEM is about igniting learners’ curiosity so they participate in solving real world problems and make informed career choices [sic]. STEM is interdisciplinary, enabling learners to build and apply knowledge …'” (more)

[educationandstuff, 28 November]

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Only six graduates in training to be physics teachers

Posted in Teaching on November 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“As few as six graduates are in training to be physics teachers in secondary schools, new figures indicate. The shortage of qualified teachers threatens to undermine Government plans to make Ireland the best in Europe in so-called Stem subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – within a decade …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 28 November]

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Screen them out?

Posted in Teaching on November 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“One morning in 1986 I walked into a classroom in Trinity College Dublin to deliver one of my scintillating lectures. Just as I was about to start, the lecture theatre door opened and a student walked in carrying – no, I’ll say lugging – what turned out to be a so-called a ‘portable computer’ …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Universty Blog, 28 November]

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Universities are failing their students through poor feedback practices

Posted in Teaching on November 28th, 2017 by steve

“Educators and students often struggle to learn from each other through the use of feedback. Our research into feedback practices has found that students and staff find feedback practices largely unsustainable, de-motivating and without opportunity for improvement …” (more)

[Michael Henderson, The Conversation, 27 November]

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Shortage of science and maths teachers threatens Stem strategy

Posted in Teaching on November 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“An acute shortage of teachers in key subject areas such as maths and science threatens to undermine ambitious Government plans to boost uptake of Stem subjects such as science, technology and maths. Minister for Education Richard Bruton is due to launch a policy strategy on Monday aimed at making Ireland a ‘European leader’ in Stem education by 2026 …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 27 November]

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87.8% of students believe consent workshops should take place every year

Posted in Teaching on November 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“87.8% of students who attended the consent workshops organised by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) stated they believe the workshops should take place ‘every orientation’, according to feedback gathered by the Union …” (more)

[Aisling Grace, Trinity News, 22 November]

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Surgical training and the RCSI

Posted in Teaching on November 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Prof Damian McCormack’s description (November 20th) of surgical training at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) as a ‘monopoly’ that ‘degrades the quality … of the end product’ because it has no competition from other Irish universities and medical schools is an interesting perspective …” (more)

[Noreen O’Carroll and David Smith, Irish Times, 22 November]

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UK undergraduates ‘studying less and working more’

Posted in Teaching on November 20th, 2017 by steve

“Students at UK universities are spending less time studying, in and out of class, and more time working for pay or caring, according to a major survey. The UK Engagement Survey, conducted by the Higher Education Academy and based on the responses of 35,927 undergraduates at 42 institutions, found that less than half of students – 48% – said that they spent 11 or more hours a week studying independently. This compares with 52% in 2016 …” (more)

[Chris Havergal, Times Higher Education, 20 November]

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