Virtual Thesis Defense

Posted in Teaching on March 27th, 2020 by steve

“PhD students defending their dissertations must do so remotely right now. Could videoconference defenses become the new normal? ‘Can you move the computer closer?’ asks a disembodied voice. ‘Because we see a lot of roof.’ ‘Ah, I think it looks much better’, another invisible person says a few minutes later …” (more)

[Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 27 March]

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NUIG to host majority of summer exams online

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on March 26th, 2020 by steve

“NUI Galway will hold the majority of summer exams online to avoid bringing thousands of students to exam halls around the city. The university’s exams are due to begin at the end of April and will continue up to the 15th of May – with results expected in July …” (more)

[Galway Bay FM, 25 March]

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How to make the switch to online teaching more effective

Posted in Teaching on March 25th, 2020 by steve

“As a result of the new coronavirus epidemic most universities in China have encouraged their professors to apply online teaching instead of in-class teaching and this is likely to continue for the indefinite future. Some professors and students have complained about problems with online teaching and lack confidence in its effectiveness, but many are still new to the whole online experience. Here are some of the problems and some potential solutions …” (more)

[Huili Han, University World News, 21 March]

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IT President: Come off WiFi to allow students to study online

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on March 25th, 2020 by steve

“The President of IT Sligo has said people need to come off their household WiFi to allow students to continue their studies. This comes after reports of many secondary and third levels students across the North West are struggling to study and access online resources due to poor broadband connectivity …” (more)

[Ocean FM, 24 March]

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Going online: it’s not about us

Posted in Teaching on March 22nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“I’ve always felt that a big part of the reason that many unproven teaching innovations gain traction is that they tend to they make the job of teaching more enjoyable. I love teaching laboratory classes because it is quite a social way of teaching. I like to call it ‘teaching by walking around’, my version of the well-known concept of ‘managing by walking around’ …” (more)

[Education and other Things, 22 March]

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On Virtual Meetings

Posted in Governance and administration on March 19th, 2020 by steve

“We’ve now had almost a week of campus closure here at Maynooth and it has now become clear that there will be no more face to face teaching for the remaining half of the Spring Semester. That does not mean that everything stops, just that all teaching from now on will be delivered remotely. There won’t be any in situ exams in May either. These will be replaced by assessments to be submitted online …” (more)

[In the Dark, 19 March]

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Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus: Which is best for me?

Posted in Research on December 3rd, 2019 by steve

“Being able to find, assess and place new research within a field of knowledge, is integral to any research project. For social scientists this process is increasingly likely to take place on Google Scholar, closely followed by traditional scholarly databases. In this post, Alberto Martín-Martín, Enrique Orduna-Malea, Mike Thelwall, Emilio Delgado-López-Cózar, analyse the relative coverage of the three main research databases, Google Scholar, Web of Science and Scopus, finding significant divergences in the social sciences and humanities and suggest that researchers face a trade-off when using different databases: between more comprehensive, but disorderly systems and orderly, but limited systems …” (more)

[LSE Impact Blog, 3 December]

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Posts of Professors Holding Babies in Class Often Go Viral. Is That the Reality of Students With Kids?

Posted in Life on December 20th, 2018 by steve

“The story is always the same. A professor tells a student with a young child that she (it’s always a woman) can bring her baby to class. The professor invariably holds the child, someone shares the image on social media, and the post goes viral …” (more)

[Cailin Crowe, Chronicle of Higher Education, 19 December]

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Elsevier Gets Blocked in Sweden After it Legally Requires Internet Providers to Make Sci-Hub Locally Inaccessible

Posted in Research on November 26th, 2018 by steve

“As the largest player in the journal publishing market, Elsevier is significantly exposed to the risk that illegal file downloading, such as of its paywall-protected articles through Sci-Hub, a platform for illicit sharing of copyright-protected content …” (more)

[AlphaGalileo, 26 November]

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Queen’s University students targeted in fake email scam

Posted in Life on November 17th, 2018 by steve

“A large number of Queen’s University Belfast students have been targeted in a tax refund scam. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said that students across the UK were being targeted by scammers with fake tax refunds in an attempt to steal money and person details. HMRC confirmed that a large number of scams had been reported involving students at Queen’s …” (more)

[Belfast Telegraph, 17 November]

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‘Essay mills’ offering bespoke assignments to students to be made illegal

Posted in Governance and administration on October 29th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Websites offering bespoke essays to those in third level education are to be made illegal. New laws are being introduced to make cheating more difficult for students who are ‘gaming the system’. It will also be an offence if a person or company advertises the provision of these essay mill services …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 29 October]

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Archibald writes to universities and further education colleges on cyber protections

Posted in Governance and administration on September 18th, 2018 by steve

“Speaking after reports that universities and further education colleges in the north suffered 16 serious cyber-attacks in 2017/18 Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald said: ‘The findings by Jisc (the organisation which provides digital infrastructure and services to universities and colleges) that there has been an increase in the number of cyber-attacks on universities and further education colleges in the north in the past year is very concerning …'” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 18 September]

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The academic life – student emails

Posted in Life on August 28th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“When I began any lecturing career in 1980, in the days before the internet or even mobile phones, it would have been totally impossible for a student to reach me outside of normal working hours. By the time my active teaching came to an end (in 2000), I was beginning to get both emails and phone calls into the night …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 27 August]

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UCC-based developer of Ireland’s first webpage logs off

Posted in Life on August 24th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Tributes have been paid following the retirement of the man who developed Ireland’s first webpage. UCC president Patrick O’Shea, described Peter Flynn, who worked at UCC for more than 30 years and who has retired as manager of the IT Services Unit’s Academic and Collaborative Technologies Group, as a ‘true pioneer’ …” (more)

[Eoin English, Irish Examiner, 24 August]

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Who Cares About University rankings?

Posted in Governance and administration on August 18th, 2018 by steve

International“A paper by Ludo Waltman and Nees Jan van Eck asks what users of the Leiden Ranking are interested in. There’s some interesting stuff but for now I just want to look at where the users come from …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 18 August]

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Fake university degree websites shut down

Posted in Governance and administration on January 4th, 2017 by steve

“More than 40 fraudulent websites have been shut down in a major crackdown on the sale of fake degrees. The sites closed included those selling authentic-looking certificates using the names of real British universities …” (more)

[BBC News, 3 January]

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New website aims to simplify CAO process for students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 30th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A new site to search third-level college courses has received more than 20,000 hits in its first week. is a interactive search tool that enables applicants to easily access detailed information about third-level college courses …” (more)

[Aine McMahon, Irish Times, 29 December]

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Socializing Academia

Posted in Research on December 15th, 2016 by steve

International“Maybe you have joined or ResearchGate in the past to find out what they’re all about. Maybe you haven’t, but you keep getting spammy invitations to join. (They can be nearly as persistent as LinkedIn when it comes to unwanted invitations.) Or maybe you were googling around and saw a paper that looked interesting, and landed on a site that told you to click here to ask the author for a copy …” (more)

[Barbara Fister, Inside Higher Ed, 14 December]

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Spam me once, shame on you. (Academic) spam me 3000 times …?

Posted in Life on December 15th, 2016 by steve

International“Every year, academics get thousands of spam emails inviting them to submit manuscripts or attend conferences — but don’t bother asking to ‘unsubscribe’ for Christmas. Spoiler alert, for those of you planning to read the rest of this post: It doesn’t make much of a difference …” (more)

[Retraction Watch, 14 December]

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Libraries ‘becoming invisible’ to junior scholars

Posted in Research on December 8th, 2016 by steve

“A report detailing the rise of the Google search among young academics has prompted debate about the future of libraries. The research, funded by the Publishing Research Consortium, looks at the attitudes to publishing of early career academics and suggests that libraries have ‘little to offer’ the next generation of academics …” (more)

[Holly Else, Times Higher Education, 8 December]

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