IT Carlow students resit exam after marking scheme mistakenly attached to original exam paper

Posted in Teaching on May 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Second-year students in IT Carlow had to resit an exam on Tuesday after it emerged that the marking scheme for the original exam paper had been mistakenly attached to papers distributed to exam students …” (more)

[Conor Heneghan,, 15 May]

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Universities told to refund half of students’ tuition fees for failing to make up missed lectures during strikes

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on May 14th, 2019 by steve

“Students should be refunded at least 50% of their tuition fees for lost teaching time by universities that failed to minimise the disruption caused by last year’s lecturer strikes, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator has said. The independent body which looks at complaints across higher education, said that was the ‘starting point’ for those affected …” (more)

[Eleanor Busby, Independent, 14 May]


The Threat of the Mega-Providers in Higher Education

Posted in Teaching on May 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“‘In the long run we are all dead’. I can’t remember who said that but I’m wondering how much more time we have in higher education before the world-scale mega-providers of education and training put us out of business. This is a ‘lightening talk’ I’ll be delivering at the EdTech2019 in Dundalk at the end of May. As there is no time for discussion at the end of each talk I’d be happy to discuss this over a drink after the conference dinner. Or you could join the debate in the comments below …” (more)

[Well I wouldn’t start from here anyway!, 9 May]

History and the Junior Cycle

Posted in Teaching on May 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Over recent days no less than eight items relating to history, education and commemoration have appeared in your opinion, analysis and letters pages. It is a measure of the importance of history that your newspaper has chosen to place it at the centre of public discourse …” (more)

[Deirdre Mac Mathúna, Irish Times, 13 May]

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How UCC’s Bystander Intervention Training Empowers Students

Posted in Teaching on May 10th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“In a university context, we have the privileged opportunity to facilitate and support student development both academically and beyond. Traumatic incidents of sexual harassment and violence, unwanted advances and unsolicited abusive comments are a deeply ingrained societal reality and are no less prevalent among third-level students …” (more)

[Louise Crowley, University Times, 9 May]

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Thoughts on ‘Rote learning’

Posted in Teaching on May 7th, 2019 by steve

IrelandExamples of rote learning. A student writing ‘menagerie lion’ while explaining what the equator is. A student saying ‘5.cerivisiae’ instead of ‘S.cerevisiae’ when answering a question on yeast biology …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 7 May]


Is there a role for rote learning?

Posted in Teaching on May 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“So here we are, then, back to work here in Maynooth for the last week of teaching. Or, to be precise, the last four days – yesterday was a Bank Holiday. With university and school examinations looming, it is no surprise to find an article griping about the Irish Leaving Certificate examinations …” (more)

[In the Dark, 7 May]


Examiner shortage poses ‘challenge’ to State exam standards

Posted in Teaching on May 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A shortage of teachers prepared to work as examiners is posing a ‘significant challenge’ to the maintenance of standards in correcting the State exams, according to internal records. The State Examinations Commission, which has responsibility for organising the Junior and Leaving Cert, has been struggling in recent years to recruit teachers to correct exam papers …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 7 May]

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‘Students are under so much pressure – they’re like zombies’

Posted in Life, Teaching on May 6th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“It’s midnight outside UCD’s James Joyce library and hundreds of bleary-eyed students are trailing out the main door. Some have been here since first thing in the morning in order to grab a coveted seat with a socket to plug in their laptops …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 6 May]

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Dependence on rote learning costs Leaving Cert students marks, say State examiners

Posted in Teaching on May 6th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert candidates continue to rely on rote learning to get through exams rather than showing a necessary understanding of topics, according to reports from state examiners. In some cases it is costing the students marks because they are not delivering ‘high quality’ answers …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 6 May]

CAO courses need a revamp to make them attractive again, warns report

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on May 6th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“CAO courses taken by thousands of school leavers every year are ‘losing their attractiveness’, a new paper warns as it calls for a makeover. The paper, ‘The Future of Undergraduate Technological Higher Education’, says if no remedial action is taken, ‘”it is not impossible that both qualifications will gradually disappear’ …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 6 May]

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The Leaving Certificate

Posted in Teaching on May 2nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Further to Barry O’Callaghan’s article of April 30th (‘The Leaving Cert is failing our children – here’s how to fix it’, Education Opinion, April 30th), could I suggest that the next time a column appears in The Irish Times in which the writer puts forward the proposition that the Leaving Cert is not fit for purpose …” (more)

[Greg Foley, Irish Times, 2 May]


Does Google kill creativity?

Posted in Teaching on May 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“I set a number of assignments to my students (at first and second year) in which I challenge students to think outside the box. I actively reward creativity. For example, in my first year course I challenge my students to come up ways of performing various processes on a large scale, for example, extracting sugar from sugar beet …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 1 May]


UCD professor reports students ‘mortified’ by farm visits

Posted in Teaching on May 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A leading UCD professor has reported a drop in popularity in his Food Safety Masters students attending curriculum farm visits as they are ‘mortified’ by everyday farm practices such as cows calving. Professor of Public Health at UCD Dr Paddy Wall told farmers at the IFA Smart Farming Seminar that he brings his Masters in Food Safety students on visits to every level of the supply chain …” (more)

[Claire Fox, Independent, 1 May]

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Making history compulsory may damage junior-cycle reform, review finds

Posted in Teaching on May 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education Joe McHugh is set to be told by the State’s curriculum advisers that making history compulsory for junior-cycle students could undermine recent education reforms. Mr McHugh last year sought a review on whether history should be an optional subject in the junior cycle after concerns that some students would never learn about key moments in national history …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 1 May]

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College Must Learn From This Year’s Exam Chaos

Posted in Teaching on May 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“After the stressful and chaotic first-ever set of College-wide Christmas exams, Trinity students could have hoped for a smoother exam period this term. Yet even those paying little attention would have known that this exam season has sent students into a frenzy, leaving them grappling with both a new exam system and a College seemingly unable to co-ordinate it …” (more)

[University Times, 30 April]

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Yet more thoughts on the Leaving Cert

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on April 30th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“This is an analysis (fisk?) of this article in the Irish Times by Barry O’Callaghan, former principal and chair of the National Association Association of Principals and Deputies (NAPD) leading for learning committee …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 30 April]


The Leaving Cert is failing our children – here’s how to fix it

Posted in Teaching on April 30th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Anna sat the Leaving Certificate in the summer of 2017 and secured a place in Trinity. She got 580 points, was pleased with her results, yet her next words nailed the problem: ‘If I was to sit it today, I wouldn’t get 200 points’. Four months on, she had forgotten what she had memorised …” (more)

[Barry O’Callaghan, Irish Times, 30 April]


‘Review junior cycle before Leaving Cert is changed’

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 25th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A second-level teachers union leader said the junior cycle reforms must be properly evaluated before any changes are made to the Leaving Cert. Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) president Seamus Lahart said while a senior cycle review was under way there was no evidence of the positive and negative consequences of the radical overhaul of the Junior Cert …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 25 April]

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UCD develops digital-policy programmes to keep up with tech changes

Posted in Teaching on April 20th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A series of qualifications to improve the understanding of officials in digital policy creation are being developed by University College Dublin with support from Microsoft. The Republic’s first academic digital policy programme is going to be developed in partnership with senior policy officials in the public sector, industry representatives and with Microsoft’s backing …” (more)

[Peter Hamilton, Irish Times, 20 April]

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