Monday, 19 October 2015

Humanities research: groundbreaking, life-changing and ignored!

The recent cull of subjects from the humanities and social sciences in Japan has sent shivers down the spine of many academics but has also provoked debate in Japan and further afield. The Guardian today asks why, when Humanities scholars are making strides in sectors from sustainability to robotics, there are so few people aware of their work? The article argues that Humanities scholars need to engage in more public scholarship. The THE also reports today on how expertise in humanities-related subjects is increasingly vital in today’s high-tech economy. While companies like Facebook and Twitter owe their success to expertise in the humanities as much as technology, it is argued that not enough university courses connect the skills and content learned by students to a business context. Read more by clicking on the links below to both the Guardian and THE articles.

Philosopher Don Howard worked with computer scientists on the ethics of ‘human-robot interaction’.

Guardian: Humanities research..

THE: Overhaul for the Humanities

Friday, 16 October 2015

Share your ideas with the Guardian Higher Education Network

The Guardian Higher Education Network wants to hear your ideas about life in universities and offer some tips on how to write a successful piece for the community. Click on the link below to contribute your insider experience.

We want to hear your ideas about life in universities.

Share your ideas with the Guardian

Stand by the book!

Frank Furedi writing in the THE today, argues that is time for academics to re-affirm the value of reading in higher education. While many influential voices – educators and literary theorists among them – have become deeply ambivalent about its value and cultural status Furedi believes that reading must retain its foundational status in higher education. For readers, what matters is not simply what a book says but also what it means.

Media of Power of Reading

Read more by clicking on the link below. If you can't see the article you may sign up directly with the journal or access it from the database Nexus UK available on the library website.

Stand by the book!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Engaging with sullen students

In this article in the Times Higher Education academics offer advice on how to turn glum students into enthusiastic ones. Eight academics talk about their experiences and share some teaching tips. Read more below by clicking on the link.


Emotive faces drawn on lecture hall chairs


Engaging with sullen students

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Research-led or teaching-led?

The idea that there is a tension between research and teaching in higher education is nothing new but the rhetoric of some politicians and commentators around the proposed UK Teaching Excellence Framework (Tef) seems to suggest that all institutions are emphatically one or the other. Writing in the Guardian Higher Education network today, Paul Boyle argues that good universities have always recognised that excellent teaching is supported and informed by excellent research – and that the two go hand in hand. Read more of this interesting article below.

Research-led v Teaching-led

Trinity College Library to enter technological age

One hundred and fifty years after the Long Room opened at Trinity College Dublin, the Irish Times today reports on the College's new strategic vision to create “the 21st-century library for the future”. Included in the plan are proposals for 'some decluttering and relocating of exhibitions; greater integration of new technology; and creating a different learning experience for students including collaborative and entrepreneurial zones'. As College Librarian and Archivist Ms Helen Shenton says: “As the very concept of what a library is blurs and morphs, the boundaries between a 24 hour bookstore and coffee shop, a pop-up learning commons, a data visualisation lab, a social collaboratory and a library are melding.” Read more below. The Irish Times may also be accessed from the list of databases on the DIT library home page.

The Long Room Library, Trinity College Dublin.

Link to Irish Times article

TCD Strategy

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Once students went to university for education, now it's an 'experience'!

Writing in the Guardian Higher Education today Peter Scott argues that while students once went to university to get a higher education, now they go to be given an 'experience' by that university. He goes on to suggest that this increasing focus on customer service must raise the question of who takes the blame when students feel entitled to succeed? Read more of this interesting article by clicking on the link below.

The student experience..

Monday, 5 October 2015

Books are better than screens!

An education conference at the weekend was told that students should not be using laptops and tablets in the classroom. Tom Butler, professor in business information systems at University College Cork, told the conference that research indicates that traditional methods of learning through reading and writing on paper-based media provide superior learning outcomes for students at all levels. He also warned that negative effects of information and communications technology use include sleep deprivation, distraction and multi-tasking, all of which directly impact on learning. Click on the link below to read more in the Irish Times.

The Irish Times may also be accessed through the list of databases on the library website.

Books are better than screens..

Thursday, 1 October 2015

The thesis whisperer: research resources

For those of you pursuing a doctorate or research project, the website below may prove to be a useful resource. The site contains a lot of information ranging from writing the thesis, preparing for the viva, advice about the relationship with your supervisor, to book reviews and writing groups. Some of the posts are a bit indulgent but there are some useful articles here too.

The thesis whisperer

The teaching glass ceiling

In a sector that is 62% female, women teachers believe that they have to fight to make their arguments for equality heard. The Guardian today reports on the dearth of women in senior positions within the teaching profession. Read more at the link below.

The teaching glass ceiling

Is PowerPoint killing critical thought?


A recent article in the Guardian Higher Education Network argues that PowerPoint is not only boring students to death, but it is also, through the bullet point-ization of information, making us stupid and irresponsible. According to Andrew Smyth when faced with a procession of slides, we switch off because nothing is being asked of us. Read his argument and responses to it by clicking on the link below.

Is PowerPoint killing critical thought?