Friday, 8 June 2018

Writing a bio-note

On her recent Patter blog post, Pat Thomson offers some guidance for those who have to write a "verbal selfie that goes with a book chapter, a journal article, or sometimes a conference presentation". The limited word count in a bio-note means that people often struggle with trying to communicate something of note about themselves. Thomson explains what the bio-note is in an attempt to show how we can be creative with what we write. Read this and lots more by following the link below to her blog.  


Writing a bio-note

Irish universities take a tumble in rankings

The Irish Times reports today that Irish universities have tumbled down the latest set of influential world rankings, sparking alarm among academics over the funding "crisis" facing higher education. Trinity College Dublin has lost its status as the only top-100 Irish university while a further six higher education institutions have fallen down the rankings. Ranking experts say the Irish sector is facing a range of challenges, with declines on key measures such as staff-student ratios, academic reputation and employer reputation. Read more by accessing the Irish Times through the library databases page. See link below.

Trinity College Dublin has lost its status as Ireland̢۪s only top-100 university. File photograph: Getty Images

Irish universities go down rankings

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Top researchers don't make better teachers!

According to a recent research study produced by academics in the Netherlands, having “good” researchers teach undergraduate students does not improve their grades. The study also found that students rated highly cited researchers as poor teachers. The researchers analysed the grades and teacher evaluations of thousands of students from the University of Maastricht’s School of Business and Economics, where students are randomly allocated teachers on a particular course but are given the same exam at the end. The study then measured the research quality of teachers by their publication records. Read more from the Times Higher Education link below or access it through the library e-journal page. 

Car at edge of lake

Top researchers don't make better teachers!

'Block teaching' model exceeds expectations

After a successful Australian university pilot using Sweden's 'block teaching' model, other Australian institutions are considering adopting the system which focuses on one topic at a time for four weeks. Melbourne's Victoria University has extended the pilot to all year groups after it was credited with boosting student achievement and retention. It is also claimed that the focused approach alongside smaller classes have helped promote deeper learning and more student engagement. Under the model, students have three three-hour taught sessions each week, alongside “complementary activities” such as presentations, practicals and workshops on literacy and numeracy. Follow the link below to two articles in the THE. Readers may sign up for an account with THE or access it through the library e-journals page.

Block heads

Block teaching exceeds expectations

Block teaching rolled out

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Students' hard work helping classmates' grades

The Times Higher Education reports on a recent Maastricht University study which shows that less hard-working students who are placed in study groups with more diligent and less “risk-taking” peers get better grades without doing any extra work. The researchers’ findings suggest that university students’ level of achievement can be influenced by the personalities of their fellow students and they conclude that the study has "important implications for the design of interventions and education policies that aim to improve socio-emotional skills”. Read more by following the link below to the library e-journals, or sign up for a free account with the THE.  

Coloured balloons

Students' hard work helping classmates' grades

More university students cheating

Based on their recent investigation into academic misconduct, the Guardian Higher Education reports that the number of students caught cheating at Russell Group universities has increased by 40% in the period from 2014-15 to 2016-17. The Times have also reported on more than 50,000 cases of cheating at British universities in a three-year period between 2013 and 2016. The article claims that tuition fees and the stress of securing a job mean that students are fixated on exam results, rather than intellectual development which in turn undermines the entire purpose of universities. Read more by following the link below to the Guardian.  

Calendar on students̢۪ bedroom wall, at halls of residence showing exams.

More university students cheating