Most Leaving Cert students opt to sit written exams in June

Posted in Teaching on April 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The vast majority of Leaving Cert students are opting to sit written exam papers in June in addition to receiving accredited grades. It follows a Government decision earlier this year to give students a choice between exams, accredited grades, or both, in individual subjects. Students will be credited with the highest result …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 12 April]

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Why Did it Take a Pandemic to Reasonably Accommodate Everyone?

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 10th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Trinity adapted quickly in March 2020 when coronavirus restrictions closed the university. As classes moved online, so did annual examinations. Mitigating measures were introduced, including the option to defer assessments – without explanation – before or after sitting them, or resit modules students had passed alongside greater latitude in marking of assignments and assessments …” (more)

[Declan Treanor, University Times, 9 April]

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Recent Student Behaviour Could Delay Return to On-Campus Learning

Posted in Teaching on April 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris has spoken to University Chiefs over COVID-19 outbreaks amongst college students in Galway and Limerick which may delay the return to on-campus learning. Minutes released by Department officials after the meeting have outlined that the return of college students to on-campus accommodation with no face-to-face contact hours was a major concern, with recent behaviours having the potential to influence the policy that will be implemented in the coming academic year …” (more)

[Doireann O Sullivan, College Tribune, 6 April]

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Third-level model ‘has placed appalling levels of pressure’ on young people – Simon Harris

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Higher Education Minister Simon Harris has described Ireland’s third-level sector as ‘elitist’ and vowed to introduce a fully integrated system which caters for all. Mr Harris said the lack of an integrated system has led to skills shortages, inequality and high drop-out rates from higher education …” (more)

[Amy Molloy, Independent, 6 April]

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Student nurses hit out at ‘cynical’ HSE work placements

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Student nurses will leave Ireland once they graduate as a result of the ‘horrific treatment’ by the Irish Government, according to a student nurse who has worked on the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic. The issues facing student nurses have come to the fore in recent months, with calls for financial and educational supports for nursing students growing …” (more)

[Darragh Bermingham, Irish Examiner, 6 April]

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Harris’s Rapid Testing Plans Acknowledge that COVID isn’t Going Anywhere Fast

Posted in Teaching on April 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Last week, students for the first time received some indication of what campus may look like next year, after Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris announced plans to introduce rapid antigen testing in universities in September. The plans are the first concrete acknowledgement from the government that the coronavirus will still be a prominent feature of higher education come September …” (more)

[University Times, 5 April]

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Survey: Half of Students with Autism Say Trinity Supports Inadequate During COVID

Posted in Teaching on April 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Some 52% of students with autism in Trinity said College is not doing enough to support them during the pandemic, according to a survey carried out by the Trinity Ability Co_op. Of those surveyed, 34% said that Trinity was also not providing enough support to students with autism before the pandemic …” (more)

[Mairead Maguire, University Times, 5 April]

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Policing online cheating is adding to workload, lecturers say

Posted in Teaching on April 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Lecturing staff in third-level educational institutions have experienced a significant increase in workload following the move to remote teaching during the pandemic, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has said. Survey findings released by the union ahead of its annual conference next week found 92 per cent of lecturers saying they were spending more time preparing and providing remote classes and carrying out associated work than they would have spent on face-to-face delivery …” (more)

[Martin Wall, Irish Times, 2 April]

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‘First year university students’ perception of autonomy: an individualistic approach’

Posted in Teaching on April 2nd, 2021 by steve

Abstract: Autonomy has been considered both as a precondition and a crucial learning outcome of higher education. Recent research has been focusing on measuring university students’ autonomy or its development. However, whether and how students’ autonomy can be measured quantitatively is still debatable. Although autonomy is known as a changing process and varies among individuals, it is agreed that students’ learning behaviours are largely affected by their perceptions; very few studies, however, have examined students’ own perception of autonomy. This study, therefore, adopts a longitudinal qualitative approach to investigate the changes in students’ own perceptions of autonomy over five different times during their first-year study in a Hong Kong University, and examine the relationship between the perceptions and behaviours of their autonomy. Using in-depth semi-structured interviews with eight first-year students, the study found that although the participants held some common understanding of autonomy, they also demonstrated various interpretations of this concept. They also had a slightly different focus on different dimensions of autonomy, which were affected by their own individual experiences. An individualistic approach is therefore proposed to understand students’ development of autonomy.

Feng Ding and Baohua Yu, First year university students’ perception of autonomy: an individualistic approach, Journal of Further and Higher Education, Received 10 August 2019, accepted 12 March 2021, published online: 1 April 2021.

Does education kill creativity?

Posted in Teaching on April 1st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Ever since the late Sir Ken Robinson gave his famous Ted Talk, ‘Do schools kill creativity?’, educators have grappled with various issues around critical thinking and creativity. On the one side, there are those who would suggest that without knowledge, meaningful creativity is impossible, while others seem to suggest that acquiring knowledge impedes creativity. I’m pretty much in the knowledge-is-good camp but I do think that the way we assess students seems to impede their ability to think – creatively and otherwise …” (more)

[Tales from Academia, 1 April]

Nursing students who refuse Covid-19 vaccine banned from taking up clinical placements with HSE

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 1st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Nursing and other healthcare students who refuse to be vaccinated against Covid-19 are now banned from taking up clinical placement in HSE facilities. The HSE decision could see some students fail the clinical placement module of their course or require them to repeat a year. The new rule relates to unpaid clinical placements and does not apply to fourth-year nurses considered part of the HSE workforce …” (more)

[Eavan Murray, Independent, 31 March]

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Drop-out rates in some third-level STEM courses hitting 80%

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 29th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Between 60% and 80% of students in some third-level computing and engineering courses are dropping out, new data shows. Young men with low Leaving Cert points are at a particularly high risk of failing to complete their college courses. The findings are contained in a study by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) which tracked the progress of thousands of students who started third-level courses over a 10-year period …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 29 March]

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Is our obsession with college degrees setting up too many students to fail?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 29th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Are we sending too many school leavers to higher education who would fare better in hands-on options such as further education or apprenticeships? It’s a question begged by the findings of a major study by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) into the volume of students who are failing to complete third-level courses …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 29 March]

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Concern student outbreaks could affect on-site learning

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on March 26th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon has told university chiefs that he is concerned Covid-19 outbreaks among students could have a negative impact for on-campus learning in the next academic year …” (more)

[Éilís Sheehy, RTÉ News, 26 March]

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Students likely to be back on campus in September, Harris says

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on March 25th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Third-level students are likely to be back on university and college campuses next September, according to the Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris. Plans were already in place for such a possibility, the Minister told Newstalk Breakfast. The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine programme means ‘we will be in a different place’ …” (more)

[Vivienne Clarke,, 25 March]

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Second-Year Physics Students Return to In-Person Lab Practicals

Posted in Teaching on March 23rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Second-year physical science students return to in-person practicals today, after being informed in an email from College on Friday that laboratory practicals ‘are going ahead’. The labs will now be an hour and 45 minutes long as opposed to the original three hours. First year labs remain entirely online …” (more)

[Jody Druce, University Times, 22 March]

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Minister Harris announces €5.2 million to support Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme

Posted in Research, Teaching on March 23rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today (Monday) announced €5.2 million in funding to support 49 projects as part of Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme. The funding will support a number of exciting projects including supports for deaf and hard of hearing people who wish to learn Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths, or Girls Coding which seeks to address imbalance by encouraging, facilitating, and providing opportunities to teenage female students to engage with Computer Science …” (more)

[DFHERIS, 22 March]

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Students are sticking with college during the pandemic

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Life, Teaching on March 19th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Students are persisting with college courses despite the challenges posed by remote learning and Covid-19. The pandemic has not triggered a rise in drop-out rates, new figures show. Students have generally stuck with their courses and, in some cases, retention figures are well up on previous years …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 19 March]

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College Cancels In-Person Lab Practicals for Chemical Science Students

Posted in Teaching on March 17th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Trinity today cancelled all in-person laboratory practicals for chemical sciences students for the rest of the year due to new coronavirus restrictions. In an email to students, the School of Chemistry’s Undergraduate Head of Teaching and Learning …” (more)

[Jody Druce, University Times, 16 March]

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80pc of Leaving Cert students signed up for accredited grades or to sit exams with 24 hours to go

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 16th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Four in five Leaving Cert candidates have registered to receive accredited grades and/or sit the June exams, with 24 hours left to the deadline. All students entered for Leaving Cert 2021 have been asked register on the Candidate Self Service Portal (CSSP) on before 6pm on Tuesday March 16 …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 15 March]

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