Viva Zoom!

Posted in Life on July 13th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“They say that there’s a first time for everything and this morning I conducted my first ever viva voce examination as an External Examiner via Zoom. Given the Covid-19 restrictions it was inevitable that I’d have to do this at some point! As it turned out candidate in question happened to be at University College London …” (more)

[In the Dark, 13 July]

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‘Blended Learning’ Could Spell Trouble For UCD

Posted in Teaching on May 19th, 2020 by steve

“Sir, – The College Tribune’s report on Jim Miley’s concerns regarding Teaching and Learning in the next academic year hints at wider problems that UCD (along with all other universities) now has to face. In March and April, lecturers transitioned material designed for face-to-face delivery to the virtual realm, yet this stopgap measure is not something that can be repeated for a full trimester …” (more)

[Wolfgang Marx, College Tribune, 18 May]

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Online Teaching to Continue Into Next Year, Provost Confirms

Posted in Teaching on May 9th, 2020 by steve

“Online classes are likely to continue into next year, along with a return to real-life contact ‘in a responsible way’, Provost Patrick Prendergast said this evening. While large lectures will be delivered online, smaller lectures, seminars and tutorials will return to campus, Prendergast said, in a video released on Twitter tonight. Groups will, however, be moved into larger lecture theatres to allow for social distancing …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 9 May]

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Minister Launches Timely Report of the Irish National Digital Experience (INDEx) Survey

Posted in Research on May 7th, 2020 by steve

“INDEx Survey Report Published by National Forum Reveals Digital Lives of Both Students and Staff Who Teach in Higher Education. The Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, officially unveiled data capturing the first national picture of the digital lives of almost 30,000 students and staff who teach across 32 higher education institutions today …” (more)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 7 May]

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Ulster University taking webinar approach to learning from home

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 4th, 2020 by steve

“Ulster University has launched a series of virtual talks for secondary school children in Derry, allowing future applicants the opportunity to engage in career development conversations and to find out more about life at the university …” (more)

[Derry Journal, 3 May]

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Chief Medical Officer congratulates UL graduates following ‘remote’ conferring

Posted in Governance and administration on April 30th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan and President Michael D Higgins have sent messages of congratulations to over 130 new doctors who have graduated from the University of Limerick. The final year students at the Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) are UL’s first ever cohort of students to be conferred remotely in absentia due to the Covid-19 crisis …” (more)

[David Hurley, Limerick Leader, 29 April]

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‘We Need You’, Taoiseach Tells Trinity’s Graduating Medicine Students

Posted in Governance and administration on April 28th, 2020 by steve

“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar today told Trinity’s graduating medicine students that they’ll play a vital role in battling the coronavirus pandemic, in an online graduation ceremony held so students can join the frontlines in the next month …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 28 April]

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Undergraduate Open Day at NUIG to be held online for first time

Posted in Governance and administration on April 28th, 2020 by steve

“NUI Galway’s Undergraduate Open Day will be held online for the first time on Thursday, 7 May. The Open Day will give students, parents and guidance counsellors the chance to connect with staff and students at NUIG and explore the undergraduate courses on offer …” (more)

[Michael Malone, Galway Daily, 27 April]

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Maynooth’s Virtual Open Day

Posted in Governance and administration on April 24th, 2020 by steve

“Tomorrow is going to be interesting! Saturday 25th April was scheduled to be an Open Day at Maynooth University for undergraduate admissions which would normally have led to thousands of students visiting the Campus …” (more)

[In the Dark, 24 April]

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Why We’re Exhausted by Zoom

Posted in Teaching on April 22nd, 2020 by steve

“Twitter, Facebook and the news media are filled with people lamenting their weariness after Zoom class sessions. I feel that, too. The first day I had two Zoom classes in a row, I ended up bleary-eyed and exhausted. I just sat and watched something silly on Netflix, drank a glass of wine and did nothing productive until I could finally go to sleep. I’d had countless Zoom meetings previously, many of which I’d hosted. Some were almost joy-filled. So what was different? …” (more)

[Susan D Blum, Inside Higher Ed, 22 April]

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Donegal students invited to take part in university’s virtual open day

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

Ireland“Maynooth University has adapted its annual Spring Open Day for prospective students to a truly virtual experience of student life and third-level courses. Traditionally the Open Day attracts more than 5,000 visitors to the historic campus and gives potential students the opportunity to meet academics, university students and support staff …” (more)

[Donegal Live, 21 April]

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Taoiseach to address medical graduates at historic UCC graduation

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

“The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar will address 197 medical graduates at University College Cork (UCC) in a special video message tomorrow (Friday, April 17th) as they take part in the University’s first-ever online graduation ceremony. Their graduation has been brought forward to assist the health service during the COVID-19 pandemic …” (more)

[Mary Corcoran, EchoLive, 16 April]

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Election of Scholars, Fellows to Take Place Online, in Break From Tradition

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

“Trinity will elect its Scholars and Fellows – a longstanding tradition that takes place every year as part of Trinity Week – online next Monday, amid the ongoing shutdown of the College due to the coronavirus pandemic …” (more)

[Emma Donohoe, University Times, 16 April]

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‘Anticlimactic’: Final years submit dissertations online, in break from tradition

Posted in Teaching on April 14th, 2020 by steve

“In a break from tradition for some departments, many final year students submitted their dissertations online this year due to college’s closure in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Students were stripped of the opportunity to post photographs of their printed and bound thesis’ on social media, as typically occurs in mid-Hilary Term, as many final year project deadlines occurred after the shutdown of Irish colleges …” (more)

[Aisling Grace, Trinity News, 13 April]

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Trinity Students Receive Degrees In Zoom Commencement Ceremony

Posted in Governance and administration on April 7th, 2020 by steve

“Some 532 Trinity students have been conferred with their degrees in absentia in a commencement ceremony on Zoom, marking the first time a graduation has been held online. Chancellor Mary McAleese conferred the degrees in the traditional Latin, in a ceremony that will be later uploaded online, according to Provost Patrick Prendergast …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 7 April]

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NUIG medical students graduate early and online to join pandemic fight

Posted in Governance and administration on April 6th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The graduation of 190 medical students from NUIG has been fast-tracked to ensure more doctors are available to work during the Covid-19 pandemic. NUI Galway’s 2020 graduation event, which was held online for the first time, took place on Monday morning through a Facebook live event. The students’ final year exams had previously been brought forward to enable them to enter the healthcare workforce without delay …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Irish Times, 6 April]

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‘Lagging wifi, internet freezes, distractions’: Students on the reality of online classes

Posted in Teaching on April 4th, 2020 by steve

“As a result of the public health restrictions facing the entire country, higher education institutions have moved to host their classes and lectures online. Face-to-face exams are also being replaced by alternative online and remote assessment procedures. However, many students who face challenging and stressful circumstances worry that they are falling behind and their grades will suffer …” (more)

[Irish Times, 3 April]

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Universities finalise arrangements for end of year exams amid coronavirus closures

Posted in Teaching on April 3rd, 2020 by steve

“Universities say they will take into account the challenges and stresses facing students as a result of the Covid-19 emergency in designing and assessing end-of-year exams …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 3 April]

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Mayo third-level students told exams are going ahead online

Posted in Teaching on April 3rd, 2020 by steve

“Mayo third-level students have been informed that their college examinations will go ahead remotely as an alternative to the traditional hall exams. Students have switched to online tuition following the cancellation of all campus lectures a number of weeks ago …” (more)

[Connaught Telegraph, 3 April]

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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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