Large Lectures Should Stay Online for Good, Says Top College Group

Posted in Teaching on November 26th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Trinity students could have all large lectures held online permanently in the future, after a recommendation that lecture theatres with a capacity of over 100 be repurposed for ‘collaborative learning’ …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 26 November]

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Leaving Cert students ‘face burnout’ from constant testing in class

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on November 26th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Secondary students are feeling ‘unrelenting pressure’ as a result of constant testing from teachers who say the results may determine their Leaving Cert grades if exams are cancelled next year. The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union will tell the Oireachtas education committee on Thursday that many exam-year classes are sitting monthly or weekly exams …” (more)

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

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No Need for Emergency Exam Measures This Year, Says Senior Lecturer

Posted in Teaching on November 25th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Trinity’s Senior Lecturer Kevin Mitchell is proposing that College does not bring in any emergency measures for the upcoming exam period similar to those introduced for last year’s summer exams. Mitchell said that College ‘will certainly employ a sympathetic approach and increased level of flexibility’ for individual cases due to the ongoing pandemic …” (more)

[University Times, 25 November]

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UCC reverts to pre-pandemic exam measures, despite little relief in sight

Posted in Teaching on November 24th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The sudden onset of Covid-19 in early March required a rapid re-think of how normal assessment processes would work from home. Temporary measures were put in place to address the added pressure of the pandemic to the summer exam season, but UCC has made the decision to rescind such measures for this academic year …” (more)

[Maeve McTaggart, University Express, 24 November]

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Irish Survey of Student Engagement National Report 2020

Posted in Research, Teaching on November 24th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“More students than ever before have taken part in the 2020 Irish Survey of Student Engagement and the results provide invaluable insights for the higher education sector as well as for the students themselves. The Irish Survey of Student Engagement National Report 2020 was published today, in partnership with the HEA, the IUA, THEA and the USI …” (more)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 24 November]

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More than 4 in 10 students feel college does not prepare them for work

Posted in Life, Teaching on November 24th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“More than four in 10 students in Ireland believe they acquire very little or just some skills at university and college that will help them get a job, a survey has found. The Irish Survey of Student Engagement, or StudentSurvey.ie, polled 44,707 first year and final year undergraduate students as well as post-graduate students attending third-level institutions this year …” (more)

[Brian Hutton, Irish Times, 24 November]

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Third Level Education – Covid-19

Posted in Teaching on November 24th, 2020 by steve

IrelandMichael McNamara (Clare, Independent): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his views on a circular distributed recently to students of a college (details supplied) which has taken the decision to continue with its online delivery mode for the spring semester that is to stay the remainder of the academic year 2020-2021; the effect this online delivery mode is having on first year students that are lacking the experience of college and the interactions with other first year students; if he will consider intervening with the college to facilitate students to return to campus even on a part-time basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 19 November]

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An unprovoked rant about education

Posted in Governance and administration, Research, Teaching on November 23rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Taking care of some medical ‘business’ today so can’t really work as such. So I thought I’d have a rant about higher education. The decline in state funding for higher education over the last 10 to 15 years has had one major effect: institutions must now operate as quasi-corporations. I’ve never seen this as some sort of neoliberal takeover, more like a case of needs must …” (more)

[Tales from Academia, 23 November]

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Covid-19: University lecturers warn of ‘chaos’ if face-to-face teaching returns

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on November 22nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“University lecturers have warned of ‘chaos and confusion’ if there is a return to face-to-face teaching in the new year in the absence of clear health and safety rules. Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has said he wants to boost on-campus activity for first year students, in particular, early next year amid concern over a potential rise in drop-out rates …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 22 November]

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Senator Hoey: Student Nurses ‘Can’t Live on Applause and Platitudes’

Posted in Teaching on November 22nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“There have been renewed calls for Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and the HSE to end the practice of unpaid work by student nurses in hospitals across Ireland. The Labour Party’s spokeswoman for higher education, Senator Annie Hoey, called on the Government to act, reiterating that student nurses on the frontline ‘can’t live on applause and platitudes’ …” (more)

[Jack O’Gorman, College Tribune, 21 November]

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Digital divide ‘catastrophic’ for many students – World Bank

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on November 22nd, 2020 by steve

International“The digital divide off campus has been ‘catastrophic’ for large groups of students around the world, but the return to campuses has also been ‘hit and miss’ in different contexts, even in rich countries, according to Roberta Malee Bassett, the global tertiary lead and senior education specialist for the World Bank …” (more)

[Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 21 November]

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Sinn Féin says 35% of students expected their course to be entirely online

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Life, Teaching on November 21st, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Students have expressed feelings of having been “misled into securing accommodation” despite the move of most learning online in a new report published by Sinn Fein. Sinn Féin Higher and Further Education Spokesperson Rose Conway-Walsh has published the results of the Sinn Féin Student Accommodation Survey 2020 …” (more)

[Connie Roughan, Trinity News, 21 November]

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Draft standardisation model would see private school’s grades drop, court told

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on November 21st, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A draft grade standardisation model showed a fee-paying Dublin school would see a substantial reduction in its traditionally high Leaving Cert grades, the High Court has been told. The model showed Mount Anville would see a reduction in some subjects by up to 70%, the court heard …” (more)

[Independent, 21 November]

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Covid and why we need to teach the scientific method

Posted in Teaching on November 18th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“I’ve been teaching budding scientist for over thirty years now and while I love the idea of choice (I was always fond of UCD’s Horizon project) I’ve always been wary of students becoming Jacks of all Trades and masters of none. So, I reject the idea of STEM as a ‘thing’. Furthermore since my entire career has involved teaching on a course that seeks to integrate biology and bioprocess engineering, I know something about how hard it is to integrate subjects, especially subjects that have very different signature pedagogies …” (more)

[Tales from Academia, 18 November]

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Students and Contract Cheating

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on November 18th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Dr Brian Maguire, Director of Quality Assurance at Quality and Qualifications Ireland, and Kevin McStravock, Deputy President and VP for Academic Affairs for the Union of Students in Ireland, discuss e-learning and contract cheating …” (audio)

[RTÉ – Drivetime, 18 November]

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UL lecturer discusses working from home

Posted in Life, Teaching on November 18th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Due to the government’s Covid-19 guidelines that higher education should be primarily online where possible, the vast majority of third-level institutions have moved online for not only this semester but the whole year. University of Limerick (UL) has decided to move the majority of courses online ‘minimising on-campus activity to essential on-campus learning activities’ …” (more)

[Katie O’Donovan, Limerick Voice, 18 November]

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Any Relaxation of College Restrictions Must Be ‘Gradual’, Says IFUT

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on November 18th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has warned that any change from the current level-five restrictions on universities must be ‘gradual’. At present, most teaching in the third-level sector has moved online, unless in-person classes are deemed necessary, as is the case with practical and laboratory subjects …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 17 November]

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Comunication in the time of Covid

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on November 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“I’m always astonished by the poor communication skills of people who should know better. When I was Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning in my faculty, I quickly realised that there were senior people with whom it was simply not worth communicating. No matter what the issue, there was a select few, often well-known celebrity academics, who simply lacked any sense of responsibility or respect and simply ignored me …” (more)

[Tales from Academia, 17 November]

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UCD Grading Approval Process to Change

Posted in Teaching on November 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“In light of Covid-19 disruptions to the college calendar, University Management have made the decision that the previous provisional results period will not be held allowing students to freely repeal their grades in a formal two week window before final results …” (more)

[Eve Moore, College Tribune, 17 November]

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Students Condemn ‘Lazy’ Pre-recorded Lectures and Online College

Posted in Teaching on November 16th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Several UCD Students have this week told the College Tribune that they feel under pressure, overwhelmed and uncertain as many lecturers regularly disobey time slots for online lectures and classes by extending the length of course material, with many solely posting pre-recorded lectures without any ‘live’ interaction or engagement at all …” (more)

[Iseult O’Callaghan, College Tribune, 16 November]

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