‘Grade inflation’ means 80% more top degree grades

Posted in Teaching on July 11th, 2019 by steve

“The proportion of students in England awarded first-class degrees continues to increase – rising by 80% since 2010-11, the university watchdog says. The Office for Students, warning of grade inflation, says for almost three-quarters of universities such increases in top grades are ‘unexplained’ …” (more)

[Sean Coughlan, BBC News, 11 July]

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New Vice-Provost Faces the Unenviable Task of Rescuing TEP’s Reputation

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on July 8th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“This week, Prof Jurgen Barkhoff officially took over as the College’s Vice-Provost, following Prof Chris Morash’s resignation in April after a turbulent three-year tenure. In some ways, Barkhoff’s position is not an enviable one …” (more)

[University Times, 7 July]


Review focuses on staff workload in Maynooth University

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on July 5th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Issues relating to staff workload management and the availability of informal learning spaces have been highlighted in a review of Maynooth University by the State’s regulator for higher education qualifications. Maynooth University (MU) and Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) are the latest education institutions to successfully complete quality checks known as the Cinnte cycle of reviews …” (more)

[Éanna Ó Caollaí, Irish Times, 4 July]

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Trinity 37th in Times Higher Education Teaching Rankings

Posted in Teaching on July 5th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Trinity is 37th in the Times Higher Education European teaching rankings for 2019, climbing significantly from last year. The 2018 pilot rankings saw College fall into the 51st–75th category …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 4 July]

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Trinity establishes Centre for Middle Eastern Studies

Posted in Research, Teaching on July 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Trinity have announced this morning the establishment of a new Centre for Middle Eastern Studies and a strategic alliance between Trinity and the Al Maktoum College of Higher Education. Trinity is to appoint four new professors in Middle Eastern Studies to work in what will be known as the ‘Al Maktoum Centre for Middle Eastern Studies in Trinity College Dublin’ …” (more)

[Finn Purdy, Trinity News, 1 July]

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Third Level Staff – staff/student ratio

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on June 27th, 2019 by steve

IrelandBilly Kelleher (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated full-year cost for each one point reduction in the academic staff-to-student ratio in universities …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 25 June]

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Concern as students at University of Limerick get ‘wrong’ results

Posted in Teaching on June 24th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A University of Limerick student who has fallen victim to a results mix-up is at fears that he may not graduate if the issue is not rectified. University of Limerick has informed the Limerick Leader that since 75,000 grades were released on Monday, June 17, 13 grade change requests from academic departments have been made – totalling 0.02% of grades given …” (more)

[Rebecca Laffan, Limerick Leader, 23 June]

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Thoughts on Motivating and Inspiring Students

Posted in Teaching on June 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“This presentation is not designed to be an instruction manual on how to inspire/motivate third level students to commit to their studies. I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to think I have all the answers. Instead, I set out to make a number of observations about the broad areas of inspiration and motivation and especially the pitfalls involved in relying on inspiration or focusing solely on making classes ‘engaging’ …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 14 June]

The pain of the Leaving Cert should be spread out over two years

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on June 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“From a sample size of three, I have decided that the Leaving Cert is by far the most punishing way of getting into university. Our children were mostly home-educated and – so far – have all taken different routes to third level: A-levels, QQI-FET courses and, this June, the Leaving Cert …” (more)

[Breda O’Brien, Irish Times, 15 June]

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Copyright – Time to get it right

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on June 12th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Last week I posted about ‘Copyright and Third Party Data’ – there is a heightened awareness about re-using data that is not your own and that is publicly available. I will strive to acknowledge all sources of data that I use in my classes and try as far as is possible to use only data that I have permission to do so …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 11 June]


€5.57m Fund Announced for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Irish Higher Education

Posted in Teaching on June 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Higher Education Authority, in partnership with the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, has announced today a new once-off non-competitive fund for teaching and learning in higher education. The fund aligns strategically the teaching and learning enhancement funding that has been allocated by the National Forum since 2014 …” (more)

[teachingandlearning.ie, 7 June]

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Copyright and Third Party Data #analytics

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on June 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Can you use material on the Internet for personal just because it is there? For example, if someone posts a data file on a web page (eg, on GitHub), is it OK for me to use it without asking permission? Can I use it to explain a data analysis concept in class? Can I share it with my students? Can I use it in an assignment, or an exam? …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 7 June]

Fixing the ‘Leaving Cert’ – I wouldn’t start from here

Posted in Teaching on June 5th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Everyone has a view on the Leaving Cert at this time of year and, if you’re to go by social media, the majority think it is not fit for purpose in some way: whether it’s the stress it causes, or the fact that a lot of memorisation (not rote learning) is required, or that it doesn’t prepare students for third level, very few people seem to have anything good to say about it …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 5 June]


CAO points race is distorting the true meaning of education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on June 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“With this year’s State examinations almost upon us, and a review of the senior cycle underway, it is perhaps timely to consider how that review should proceed. The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) represents second level teachers as well as teachers in further and adult education and third level lecturers …” (more)

[Seamus Lahart, Irish Times, 3 June]

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The junior cycle English course

Posted in Teaching on June 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Matthew Harrison (Letters, May 30th) makes the common mistake of assessing the learning experience of students by looking only at the terminal exam they will sit. He bemoans that junior cycle English, through its two-hour exam, ‘offers our pupils less scope for engagement and depth of analysis than any other subject, except for common-level civic social and political education (CSPE)’ …” (more)

[David O’Donvan, Irish Times, 3 June]

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Teachers say junior-cycle science curriculum being ‘dumbed down’

Posted in Teaching on June 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Science teachers say a new science curriculum for pupils completing the junior cycle amounts to a ‘dumbing down’ of the subject. The finding is contained in a report by the Irish Science Teachers’ Association based on a survey of more than 700 teachers …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 3 June]

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You can’t learn problem-solving from textbooks – allegedly

Posted in Teaching on June 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“In a few months’ time we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. The Apollo missions, especially the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, are arguably the greatest ever examples of human beings’ ambition, creativity, problem-solving ability, teamwork and grace under pressure …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 1 June]

Leaving Cert students who suffer bereavement can defer exams

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on May 31st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert pupils who suffer bereavement of close relatives during next month’s exams will be able to sit alternative papers in July. The new move follows long-standing criticism over the existing system which offered little accommodation for bereaved students …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 31 May]

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State Examinations Commission appeals for teachers to mark exams

Posted in Teaching on May 24th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Education authorities have launched an urgent appeal for teachers to mark the Leaving Cert and Junior Cert with just over a week to go before the start of the exams. The State Examinations Commission has asked principals to assist in hiring teachers – including retired teachers and newly qualified teachers – to mark exams which are due to get underway in under a fortnight …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 24 May]

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Dundalk IT students told to resit test after exam ‘compromised’

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on May 23rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Final-year agriculture students in Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) have been told they all must retake an exam, after a test sat last week was ‘compromised’ due to students gaining access to the exam questions beforehand. About 20 students taking a class on farm management sat their end-of-year exam on May 14th. On Monday the college became aware a number of students had gained sight of the exam questions prior to the test …” (more)

[Jack Power, Irish Times, 23 May]

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