Study suggests overhaul of how maths is taught at primary level

Posted in Teaching on October 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Children’s progress in maths at the age of nine has a major influence through to Junior Certificate preparations and suggests a need to overhaul how it is taught at primary level, a leading education researcher says …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 19 October]

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The UK’s Cautionary Tale of Teaching Excellence

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on October 18th, 2017 by steve

“Higher education in the UK, and in England in particular, has undergone more than two decades of continuous reform, in its governance, structures, funding and quality assurance mechanisms. Among these reforms has been the imposition of research assessment as a mechanism for distributing research funds, which has acted as a huge and successful incentive to improve the quality of research …” (more)

[Bahram Bekhradnia, University Times, 17 October]

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The philosopher’s stone

Posted in Teaching on October 10th, 2017 by steve

“Outside of the world of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter, little attention is probably paid these days to the philosopher’s stone, or indeed the study of alchemy from which it derived. Even if we don’t now want to focus on the ostensible chemical transformation suggested by the concept (of base metals into gold or silver), alchemy provided an interesting framework for the study of life, enlightenment and perfection …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 9 October]

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Students Are Frustrated and Angry. They Need Places to Air Their Concerns

Posted in Teaching on October 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“When a group of third-year chemistry students in Trinity found themselves experiencing mental health problems as a result of a severely high workload, meeting little or no support from their school, they decided to take action. Compiling and submitting a report to the School of Chemistry that detailed the impossibly high academic standards set for them and the stress and upset for students, they received a muted response …” (more)

[University Times, 1 October]


Note this, Students

Posted in Teaching on September 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“I read with interest the post by the ever-excellent Eugene O’Loughlin on student note taking. He notes, pun intended, a reluctance and resistance from students to taking notes, relying instead on the handed out powerpoints he creates. I agree, this is a common experience …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 26 September]


 Students Don’t Take Notes Anymore?

Posted in Teaching on September 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“While taking my usual perusal through the very funny Waterford Whispers News this morning I had a giggle at one of their latest posts: Fucking Loser In Front Of You Actually Taking Notes During Lecture. In this post a student who doesn’t take notes thinks others who do are ‘losers’ while scribbling rude drawings and checking out Snapchat and Netflix. Funny – maybe, but real? …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 26 September]


The ideal PhD researcher has no baggage

Posted in Teaching on September 26th, 2017 by steve

“The way institutions conceptualise doctoral candidates – as individuals without baggage, able to devote all their time to their research – has very real consequences for those who do not fit this profile. Marie-Alix Thouaille reports on recent research into the professional development behaviours and experiences of doctoral and early-career researchers …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 26 September]


Professors Have Taken Over the MOOCs

Posted in Teaching on September 26th, 2017 by steve

“We need to revise our thinking about MOOCs. The old story was that MOOCs are just another overhyped educational technology, one more example of interests outside of the academy (investors, technologists) seeking to ‘disrupt college’ without any true understanding of how higher education actually works. The new MOOC story may be about the professors …” (more)

[Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, 25 September]


Do students have any feel for maths?

Posted in Teaching on September 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Many times in my lectures I derive an equation and I ask my students how they would linearise the equation in such a way as to inform their data analysis …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 25 September]


Qualifications and the future of work

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on September 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Further to the article ‘Irish workers most “overqualified” in Europe’ (News, September 22nd), those concerned about the future of work recognise that the rate of technological progress is exponential. As a result, we are already in an era when jobs and entire industries are being transformed …” (more)

[Ned Costello, Irish Times, 25 Septmeber]

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National Maritime College signs German deal

Posted in Teaching on September 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A major deal struck by the National Maritime College could signal Ireland’s arrival as world-leaders in safety training for personnel involved in the offshore gas and oil exploration sectors. The National Maritime College of Ireland, and its joint venture Irish partner SEFtec, have landed a major contract to build a marine safety training centre in Germany …” (more)

[Sean O’Riordan, Irish Examiner, 23 September]

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Employers Giving Lectures – whatever will they think of next?

Posted in Teaching on September 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Katherine Donnelly writes in yesterday’s Irish Independent in an article entitled ‘DCU invites employers in to lecture its students’ about an interesting idea to get employers to ‘to deliver master classes to undergraduates about the realities of the fast-changing workplace’ …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 22 September]

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STEM: from harmless acronym to dangerous idea?

Posted in Research, Teaching on September 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Before I start I want to mention something about the School of Biotechnology because it has had an impact on a lot of my thinking around STEM. The signature programme of our school is the BSc in Biotechnology …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 21 September]


DCU invites employers in to lecture its students

Posted in Teaching on September 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Dublin City University (DCU) is to hand over lecture theatres to major employers to allow them to deliver master classes to undergraduates about the realities of the fast-changing workplace. The move is aimed at ensuring that third- and fourth-year students on technology-focused degree programmes are up to date with current thinking and equipped for what lies ahead …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 21 September]

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Trinity Hall Consent Workshops See Record Turnout

Posted in Teaching on September 20th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The organisers of the consent workshops in Trinity Hall have been forced to put on extra workshops and call in more facilitators due to the large numbers of students turning up to participate in the classes. With 400 people participating in the workshops as a whole last year, over 200 people turned up to the workshops on the first day alone …” (more)

[Kathleen McNamee, University Times, 20 September]

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DIT brews up industry-backed beer and whiskey degree

Posted in Teaching on September 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Ireland’s future brewers and distillers may well arrive with academic qualifications following the launch of a new degree programme at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). The BSc course at the college’s new Grangegorman campus is aimed at helping fulfil the drinks industry’s ambitions of making Ireland a global leader in research, development and innovation …” (more)

[Mark Hilliard, Irish Times, 19 September]

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Students given opportunity to cheat as mobile phones allowed by lecturer in Psychology summer exam

Posted in Teaching on September 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Trinity’s Department of Psychology allowed students to bring mobile phones into an examination in lieu of online scientific calculators following a change of venue due to Luas construction works. As a result, students were able to use the internet to find answers to the examination questions …” (more)

[Niamh Lynch, Trinity News, 18 September]


Rethinking the Leaving Certificate

Posted in Teaching on September 12th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A chara, – While Peter Heeran (Letters, September 4th) is certainly not the first person to call for a rethink of the Leaving Cert exam, it is disappointing that this convincing and challenging account of his recent experience has not evoked a response from your readers. This silence prompts us to question why …” (more)

[Jim Gleeson, Irish Times, 12 September]


Cambridge University set to scrap written exams because students’ handwriting is so bad

Posted in Teaching on September 10th, 2017 by steve

“Cambridge University is seeking to scrap exams written with a pen and paper due to the deterioration of students’ handwriting. A growing reliance on laptops has led to students’ writing becoming increasingly illegible, academics said …” (more)

[Harriet Agerholm, Independent, 9 September]


Can students write?

Posted in Teaching on September 1st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“This article in the Guardian is pretty scathing about Irish university students’ ability to write, especially essays. I teach all years of a four-year science degree and my thinking about writing skills is this …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 1 September]