Thought For The Year

Posted in Governance and administration on January 14th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“In the midst of the January examination period I’ve been thinking about how tough this year has been nd will continue to be for all students in third-level institutions, but especially the cohort currently in the first year of their course. I think it’s now fairly clear that nearly all their study this year will be done remotely …” (more)

[In the Dark, 13 January]

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Government to Extend WiFi Initiative for Students to 90 New Locations

Posted in Governance and administration on January 5th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The government will extend internet access for students to 90 new locations across the country in order to create ‘extended virtual campuses’, Higher Education Minister Simon Harris announced today. HEAnet will lead the initiative, rolling out eduroam – a WiFi connection that students can automatically connect to – to locations accessible to students, such as libraries, museums, public offices, coffee shops and shopping centres …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 5 January]

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Uptick in numbers studying remotely at third-level institutions

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on December 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The number of students studying remotely in Irish third-level institutions increased significantly in the years before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research. The Department of Education report, published on Monday, reveals those studying part-time or in flexible way, including remote online learning, has increased steadily, rising by more than a third from 6,015 in 2015 to 9,207 in 2018 …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Irish Times, 28 December]

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Third Level Fees – Postgraduate Students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 16th, 2020 by steve

IrelandRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the measures he has taken to urge universities to compensate postgraduate students for the move to online teaching and the much-reduced student experience promised in their prospectus and marketing campaigns; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil debates, 15 December]

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Third Level Fees

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 16th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Darren O’Rourke (Meath East, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether third level fees should be reduced to reflect the reality of students not physically attending college in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil debates, 15 December]

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First-year college students to be offered time on campus in the new year to improve their ‘wellbeing’

Posted in Teaching on December 14th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“All 50,000 first-year students will, be offered time on campus in the new year, amid moves to improve their college experience. Colleges will be writing to first years shortly to outline the arrangements, Further and Higher Education Minister Simon Harris said today …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 14 December]

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The IUA say student experience is a priority for universities in semester two

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on December 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“In a statement, the Irish Universities Association (IUA) said that universities are conscious of the uncertainty students are facing and have therefore planned to begin semester two of the academic year predominantly online. This has been done to provide students with more certainty in the coming months but according to the IUA, ‘the ambition is to increase in person teaching and face-to-face activities on campus should evolving public health guidelines permit it’ …” (more)

[Aoibhín Meghen, The College View, 9 December]

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Mixed Reaction to Online Language Learning

Posted in Teaching on December 2nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Many students feel that in-person interaction is crucial to their learning of a language at Third Level. Language students have been hopeful for the return of language labs on campus for semester two. Unfortunately, this looks unlikely as the use of headsets and microphones are essential in labs and it would prove quite difficult to disinfect them after every student …” (more)

[Mary Raftery, SIN, 2 December]

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Third degree: College students struggling to cope with remote learning experience

Posted in Life on November 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“COVID-19 has turned the typical third-level student experience on its head. Remote learning is the prevailing reality for the majority, cutting students off from the rich vibrancy of campus life. Opportunities to connect in-person with their peers – so vital for this stage of their development – and with their lecturers – key mentors for their future careers – are rare or non-existent …” (more)

[Helen O’Callaghan, Irish Examiner, 27 November]

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Face value: why won’t students turn their cameras on?

Posted in Teaching on November 27th, 2020 by steve

“You’re leading a seminar about this week’s topic. You’ve gone through the arguments, counterarguments and the fine details forgotten by the textbooks. You conclude, sit down and ask for the thoughts of the students. Silence. If you’re a lecturer, you may know this experience all too well …” (more)

[Jack Harvey, Wonkhe, 27 November]

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Third-level colleges aim to resume more face-to-face teaching early next year

Posted in Teaching on November 27th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Third-level colleges may be able to increase face-to-face teaching for first year students and resume sports activity on campus early next year in line with an easing of Covid-19 restrictions, according to Government sources. A formal announcement is due on Friday afternoon and follows discussions between the Department of Higher Education and representatives of third-level colleges over options to boost on-campus activity …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 26 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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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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UCD Students Will be Allowed to Finish Academic Year Online

Posted in Teaching on November 14th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“University College Dublin (UCD) will operate classes predominantly online for the rest of the academic year, the university has announced jointly with University College Dublin Students’ Union (UCDSU) …” (more)

[Sárán Fogarty, University Times, 13 November]

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Should lecturers fear for their future?

Posted in Teaching on November 9th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Now that we’re all well ensconced in the online learning ‘business’, the question naturally arises as to whether we’re digging our own graves. We now know that, in purely educational terms, online learning ‘works’. The student experience may not be what it was but there is no reason to believe that eliminating F2F lectures has had any detrimental effect on student learning …” (more)

[Tales from Academia, 9 November]

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DCU, Maynooth, UL to Stay Online for Second Semester

Posted in Teaching on November 7th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Dublin City University (DCU), Maynooth University and the University of Limerick (UL) have all decided to remain online for next semester, the Irish Independent reported today. The move is a surprising one, considering the government has yet to publish public health guidelines for next semester …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 6 November]

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Remote education is rife with threats to student privacy

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on November 7th, 2020 by steve

“An online ‘proctor’ who can survey a student’s home and manipulate the mouse on their computer as the student takes an exam. A remote-learning platform that takes face scans and voiceprints of students. Virtual classrooms where strangers can pop up out of the blue and see who’s in class …” (more)

[Nir Kshetri, The Conversation, 6 November]

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Not everything is moving online

Posted in Teaching on November 5th, 2020 by steve

“There have been a lot of reports that argue that digital provision is the future. It’s not that the evidence isn’t there in a general sense – clearly just in my lifetime the online connected world has changed nearly everything about the way we live, work, and learn …” (more)

[David Kernohan, Wonkhe, 5 November]

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The Government Must Ensure Students Coming From Rural Areas Aren’t Left Behind

Posted in Governance and administration on November 4th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Coronavirus has caused an immense amount of disruption across all sectors of society and the third-level sector was no different. Within a matter of days, our campuses went from bustling hives of activity to students being instructed to stay at home and to adapt as best as possible to an attempt at moving all learning online …” (more)

[Annie Hoey, University Times, 3 November]

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College September 2021: What will student life be like?

Posted in Life, Teaching on November 3rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“What will college be like in 2021? The class of 2021 – who may or may not sit the traditional Leaving Cert exam next June – are, along with the rest of us, hopeful that either a vaccine or effective treatment might allow a return to normal campus life and the familiar college experience …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 3 November]

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