Thursday, 24 November 2016

Mass learning means web-based learning

Writing in the Times Higher Education (THS) today Laurence Brockliss argues that because UK public financial support has not risen commensurately with the number of students in full-time education, it is time for well-established universities to embrace web-based learning in order to deliver an entirely different type of mass higher education. He claims that because universities have made huge investments in buildings, equipment and administration they prefer to steer clear of digital revolutions. Read more by following the link below or registering for a free account with the TLS.

James Minchall illustration (24 November 2016)
Web-based mass learning

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Vitae for Researchers

There's help out there for researchers in the form of Vitae, a website which provides material to guide users through every step of the research process. There's information and advice for those starting out on a doctorate, from writing the research proposal, to raising your profile and securing academic work after completing the doctorate. Follow the link below to sign up for a free account. Registering allows you to access more content. 

Advice and resources - by topic

Vitae for Researchers

Monday, 21 November 2016

It’s not that I’m cynical, but….

Yet another set of world, or in this case “global” rankings to make third level institutions  who didn’t quite make the cut feel slightly more inferior.  This time, it’s all about which institutions produce the most employable graduates.  The usual suspects, like Cal Tech and MIT populate the top ten spots, with Trinity College Dublin flying the flag for Ireland in 134th spot.  Before you become too downcast and wonder why the rest of us bother, take a look at the methodology used to generate the data, the rankings might be less “global” than you think.

Follow the link below to access the full article.  The methodology is at the very end, after the table of results.

The Global University Employability Ranking 2016

You may need to register (for free) to access this article.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

HEA Review of Institutes of Technology

The Higher Education Authority recently published its financial review of the Institutes of Technology sector in Ireland. With some Institutes of Technology set to merge and seek Technological University status, the review sought to assess the overall financial health of the sector. The review expressed major concerns over the future of up to 10 of the country’s 14 institutes of technology due to financial deficits and dwindling cash reserves. Six institutes of technology are “vulnerable” and face immediate sustainability challenges: Letterkenny, Tralee, Galway-Mayo, Waterford, Dundalk and Cork institutes of technology. To read the report go to the HEA link below or follow a link to an article at the Irish Times.  

The GMIT  campus in Galway: it  is one of the institutes identified as  “vulnerable” and facing an immediate sustainability challenge. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

HEA Financial Review

Irish Times article

Thursday, 10 November 2016

'Blended learners' less engaged!

A recent US student survey carried out by the Times Higher Education has shown that students on blended learning courses are generally less engaged with the teaching at their institution than their counterparts taking purely online or purely face-to-face degrees. The survey was based on 100,000 students and the results may question the notion that blended learning could result in a “great revolution in university teaching”. Students undertaking courses that combine both online delivery with face-to-face interaction were less likely to say that they felt prepared for a career, were challenged by the teaching, were able to apply their learning to the real world, could make connections among things they learned, or were able to learn critical thinking skills. Read more results from the survey by following the link below. You may have to register for an account with the journal to see the article.  

fish in water mask

'Blended learners' less engaged