Could traditional subjects become a thing of the past in Irish schools?

Posted in Teaching on March 19th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Are secondary schools preparing students for life? Or are they just preparing them for the Leaving Cert points race and ignoring the kind of skills they will really need? With a review of the Leaving Cert curriculum under way, it’s a question that comes up again and again …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 19 March]


Students’ on Leaving Cert reform: ‘We’re being pushed to breaking point’

Posted in Teaching on March 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The pressure of the Leaving Cert is causing stress, burnout and mental health problems among students, according to an official review of senior cycle education in secondary schools. With the assistance of the Irish Secondary Students’ Union, we asked pupils to share their views on what they want to change about the senior cycle system …” (more)

[Irish Times, 13 March]


Why tech success rates have turned around

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Recent headlines about high dropout rates in technology courses probably caused a wobble among some students currently considering their CAO choices. There are graduate jobs aplenty out there right across the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) spectrum, and they are very well paid. But are they only for a select band of maths geniuses? …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 13 March]

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College Can’t Solve TEP by Parachuting ‘Assessment Fellows’ into Departments

Posted in Teaching on March 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Trinity Education Project has received far more criticism than praise this year, and, for students, anger has primarily been directed at the increased workload they have experienced under the changes. Converging deadlines, imbalances between subjects and overassessment have left students floundering. At Christmas, students reported ‘massive stress’ and pulled back from extracurricular activities …” (more)

[University Times, 11 March]


New ‘Assessment Fellows’ to Examine Students’ Workload Under TEP

Posted in Teaching on March 9th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“After concerns over increased workloads associated with the implementation of the Trinity Education Project, the College has appointed Trinity ‘assessment fellows’ to help guide departments to better assessment practices …” (more)

[Robert Quinn, University Times, 8 March]


University teaching grades invalid, statistics body says

Posted in Teaching on March 7th, 2019 by steve

“The Royal Statistical Society has attacked the way in which teaching standards are measured in universities in England – the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) – calling it ‘invalid’. Urging the statistics regulator to intervene, the society said it was ‘likely to mislead students who use TEF to inform their university choices’ …” (more)

[Robert Cuffe, BBC News, 6 March]

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Junior Cycle Reform

Posted in Teaching on March 2nd, 2019 by steve

IrelandJan O’Sullivan (Limerick City, Labour): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will include other subjects such as geography in the context of the review being carried out on the decision to remove history as a core subject in the junior cycle; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 28 February]

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Student Literacy, The Function of University, Truth about Poor Degrees

Posted in Teaching on March 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“There were two alarming pieces about decline in university standards in the The Irish Times recently. The paper did not facilitate readers’ comments but here are some brief points that the articles ignored …” (more)

[Colum McCaffery’s Weblog, 28 February]

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Universities and colleges must provide training on consent – Archibald

Posted in Teaching on February 26th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said it is important that education and training on consent is provided by universities and colleges alongside appropriate support for those who are victims of sexual crime …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 26 February]

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Student literacy levels: ‘It is almost as if they are word blind’

Posted in Research, Teaching on February 26th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Lecturer Greg Foley could scarcely believe what he was seeing when marking his students’ lab reports recently. ‘Some of the stuff I was grading was the worst I’d ever seen – even from good students. They just couldn’t see the rubbish they were handing up’, says Foley, an associate professor at Dublin City University’s school of biotechnology …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 25 February]

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Poor literacy levels: could smartphone use be part of the problem?

Posted in Teaching on February 25th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“I’m quoted a bit in this article on literacy levels within the Irish third level student population. It’s been a very frustrating academic year and I’ve been hugely disappointed by the quality of the work I’ve been getting. The reason the work is so bad this year is that I decided, in the interest of my own physical and mental health, to stop spoon-feeding my students so much …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 25 February]


Feedback as part of Learning

Posted in Teaching on February 21st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“I am not often asked by students to give feedback on an exam paper – just a handful over the past few years. Almost always in my experience, when a student requests a feedback session they want to know ‘where did I lose marks’. Students also may feel that they should have got a higher mark – and want to question their grade …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 21 February]

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‘Huge drop’ in literacy levels of Irish university graduates – OECD study

Posted in Research, Teaching on February 21st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Up to 6% of Irish university graduates are functionally illiterate, according to latest international research. These rates, contained in an OECD study, are significantly higher than in Finland (2%) or the Netherlands (3%), though are similar to the UK (7%) …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 20 February]

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Why lack of knowledge is at the core of third level’s problems

Posted in Teaching on February 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“I think it’s fairly obvious from my last post that I’ve found the last few weeks quite stressful. I’ve been really disappointed with the quality of work I’ve been getting from students and not just work that has been done under the pressure of the exam hall. The continuous assessment work has been the big disappointment …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 17 February]

The Leaving Cert, signalling and third level non-completion rates

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The fact that completion rates in university and IoT courses are closely correlated with CAO points has been known for some time. However, the fact that this is still newsworthy is interesting and probably has to do with the prevailing narrative, a narrative in which the Leaving Cert is deemed to be unfit for purpose and inadequate as a preparation for the rigours of 21st century higher education …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 14 February]

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New Data from the Higher Education Authority

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The HEA have produced a major study on An Analysis of Completion in Irish Higher Education: 2007/08 Entrants, which makes for interesting reading. As with many HEA reports there is a lot of detail and mountains of data (this report is 220 pages long!). It does not include the National College of Ireland nor the likes of the Dublin Business School which is a big pity and a major omission in my view …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 14 February]

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THEA Reaction to HEA Analysis of Completion Rates in Irish Higher Education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) very much welcomes this first extended completion analysis across the entire higher education sector. We compliment the HEA for engaging in such a longitudinal study and for the attendant analysis. As a sector, we have been examining progression and successful completion in this manner for the best part of a decade …” (more)

[THEA, 13 February]

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Four in Every Five Irish Students Complete their Degree

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Major Study of Higher Education Completion Rates Finds that Leaving Certificate Performance is Strongest Predictor of Completion. The Higher Education Authority today published a study on the rates of completion of 34,059 students who entered Irish Universities, Institutes and Colleges full time at undergraduate level in the 2007/8 academic year …” (more, download)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 14 February]

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Some third-level computing courses have 80% drop-out rate

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A majority of students are dropping out of third-level computing and engineering courses with low CAO entry points, official figures show. These high non-completion rates are a source of ‘huge concern’ to education authorities, according to a major new study. The findings are contained in a study by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) which has tracked a cohort of more than 34,000 students who started third-level courses in 2007/08 over a 10-year period …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 14 February]

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Leaving Cert grades linked to finishing college

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Students with higher Leaving grades and CAO points are significantly more likely to complete higher education than those with lower grades, according to a new report from the Higher Education Authority. The study, which tracked 34,059 full-time undergraduate students who entered Irish universities, institutes of technology and colleges in 2007 across ten years, found that the lowest completion rates were in computing courses, where 45% of students dropped out …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Examiner, 14 February]

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