Monday, 20 November 2017
Monday, 13 November 2017
A recent report from the Society of College, National and University Libraries (Sconul) claims that library staff need to think in terms of the whole university if they want to advance their careers. The report "Leading Libraries: The View From Above" is based on 12 in-depth interviews with vice-chancellors and other senior Librarians from UK universities and while it points to “threats to the future of librarians within universities”, it also claims that there are "significant opportunities for reinvention” for librarians if they are “prepared to take on non-library challenges and think of university-wide solutions”. The authors claim that rightly or wrongly, many senior managers seemed to buy into traditional stereotypes about librarians, so it is up to librarians to prove them wrong. Read more in the Times Higher Education by following the link below or log into the journal through the library catalogue.
Librarians should defy stereotypes
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 02:40
Wednesday, 25 October 2017
This blog 'Patter' by the prolific author and academic Pat Thomson is an excellent source of information and advice on all things pertaining to research. This particular post emphasises the importance of a finely honed information practice especially the art of searching for information. Thomson observes that it doesn't matter what source you are using, whether it's a scholarly database or a library catalogue, the information you get is only as good as the question you ask. Read more by following the link below.
Putting the search into PhD
Putting the search into PhD
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 08:39
Friday, 29 September 2017
In the Times Higher Education this week, 16 academic scholars offer their top tips for publishing, including pitching, editing, writing and dealing with negative peer reviews. Shane O'Mara from Trinity suggests the process of editing is how we discover what we really think while another academic suggest writing for a variety of audiences in a variety of forms. To read more access the journal through the library e-journals or follow the link below.
Top Tips for publishing
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 01:38
Monday, 18 September 2017
In a move that aims to challenge Wikipedia and keep users on its ScienceDirect platform, the publishing giant Elsevier has launched a new service that provides encyclopedia-style entries on key scientific topics. The Topics platform will offer a quick definition of a key term or topic, details of related terms and relevant excerpts from Elsevier books. The publisher argues that this service will provide 'breadth, depth and currency of knowledge'. Some academics have questioned the need for the service and have argued that ScienceDirect Topics is merely leveraging off the expertise and authority of academic authors. Read more by accessing the Times Higher Education through the library e-journal portal or follow the link below.
Elsevier takes on Wikipedia with new Topics platform
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 03:10
Friday, 15 September 2017
A respected academic has recently spoken out about ending the 'moral panic' over cheating students claiming that the phenomenon has been blown out of all proportion. While acknowledging that academics have never entirely trusted students not to cheat, Bruce Macfarlane argues that institutions need to stop the witch-hunt and trust in the capacity of students to learn. Citing the ubiquitous use of plagiarism detection software as one symptom of the panic he queries whether there is any evidence to show that students are any less trustworthy than in the past. Read more by accessing the Times Higher Education through the library e-journal link or by following the link below.
A moral panic over student cheats?
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 07:06
Wednesday, 13 September 2017
Eric Mazur, a Harvard professor and father of the ‘flipped classroom’ has recently said that he allows his students to take phones and laptops into exams to encourage them to look up whatever they want, whenever they want with the aim of testing their creative and analytical skills, as opposed to their information recall. He believes that academics need to rethink assessment to make it more meaningful and much more representative of testing the 21st-century skills that institutions require students to develop. Read more at the Times Higher Education by following the link below or accessing it through the library e-journals.
Allowing students to take phones into exams
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 05:26
Tuesday, 5 September 2017
A recent article written in the Guardian by an Irish academic has claimed that a lack of continuous assessment in the Irish school system coupled with exam grade band changes have left students ill-prepared for university. Furthermore the author claims that there has been a steady decline in academic standards among incoming students with students ill-equipped with the skills needed to research and write essays. Read more by following the link below to the Guardian Higher Education pages.
Declining Irish academic standards?
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 06:30
Monday, 4 September 2017
A recent paper written by a group of researchers has proposed a new metric to stop the practice of scientists citing their own work to boost their academic standing. The “self-citation index”, or s-index aims to tackle the abuse of self-citations in science and could, according to the authors, provide "truer" citation data. With citation data used by universities to make hiring decisions and by funding agencies to allocate grants, the process of self-citation can be open to abuse with researchers accused of using unnecessary citations to boost their citation rate. The proposed 's-index' metric describes the total number of papers that an academic has published relative to the number of self-citations and the authors say that it offers a “fair and objective” assessment of the impact and productivity of academics. Read more by following the link below to the Times Higher Education or access the journal on the library website under e-journals.
A new metric to tackle self-citations
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 03:32
Friday, 9 June 2017
The relationship between a doctoral supervisor and their student is pivotal both to thesis success and ensuring academic and professional development but often the relationship can be complex and challenging. In a recently released video, three experienced supervisors, who were all recently shortlisted for a UK national award, offer their own ideas and insights into guiding the student through the doctoral process and building on the supervisor-student relationship. Follow the link below to the article in the Guardian Higher Education pages and a link to the video.
PhD supervision article and link to video
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 01:30
Monday, 29 May 2017
A recent report has claimed that scholarly publishing gives undue weight to commercial concerns thus stymieing the move towards open access and free sharing of knowledge. The report 'Untangling Academic Publishing: A History of the Relationship between Commercial Interests, Academic Prestige and the Circulation of Knowledge' has urged academics to resist signing over the copyright of their research to a “profit-oriented” academic publisher while recommending that university leaders seek ways to ensure that copyright remains with the author. Speaking to the Times Higher Education, Dr Aileen Fyfe the project lead, has said that what matters most is “what you publish” and that you “get lots of people to read it”. Read more by following the link below, by accessing the journal directly through the library e-journal portal or by accessing the database Nexis UK.
Academics urged to embrace wider research dissemination
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 08:11
Saturday, 20 May 2017
Sarah Marsh’s article in yesterday’s Guardian newspaper warns students about the dangers of being ripped off by spurious websites that promise to supply complete essays, reports or dissertations for time strapped (definitely not cash strapped) students. It appears that some of these sites have a tendency to disappear after the money has been handed over without supplying the aforementioned goods. Unfortunately, for the students they don’t appear to be protected by any form of consumer law. There are clearly no money back guarantees in the essay mill business. How shocking!
Despite recommendations from the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) to make it illegal to encourage students to “commit acts of academic dishonesty for financial gain”, there are no guidelines and it’s clear that governments and institutions are struggling with this phenomenon. One key strategy at the moment seems to be based on encouraging students who are feeling the pressure to seek help from their institutions sooner rather than later. So much more of the “carrot” than the “stick” approach.
I suspect that there may be an idea among users of these sites that because the material they are submitting will more than likely pass through any anti-plagiarism software, that it’s not strictly cheating. Students using these sites may also be wondering how any institution can detect the use of such services. And that’s probably the most important point, as yet, they can’t. But here’s the sting in the tail; according to comments made in Marsh’s article, there is evidence to suggest that students are being blackmailed by sites to pay more money or else names will be supplied to their institution…. Oh what a tangled web….
For the full article please follow the link below…
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 07:52
If want to refresh your memory of Bloom's taxonomy, consider the importance of social and cultural issues surrounding learning with Vygotsky or reflect with Schon, then there are a number of excellent books on all the major educational theorists in the LTT collection. However if you’re looking for more of a pithy overview of each of the major theorists, then Aubrey & Riley’s book, Understanding & Using education theories might be what you’re looking for.
There is a chapter dedicated to each well-known educational theorist, outlining their early life, major theories, some critique, and influences and links to other theorists.
Bob Bates applies the same practice of providing a brief, yet informative account of learning theories in his book, Learning theories simplified. Beginning with the philosophy of Socrates and Aristotle through to assessment and curriculum planning, this is another “light” read for the summer…
For details and availability please follow the link/s below
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 05:56
Thursday, 18 May 2017
The Government is in the process of developing ambitious plans to increase participation in apprenticeships in Ireland. Currently just 2% of school-leavers sign up to apprenticeship programmes and the hope is to significantly increase that number.
Increasing participation faces a number of difficulties, not least of which is funding and investment, but also the public’s perception of apprenticeship. Although mostly associated with the construction, engineering and craft sectors, the Government hope to widen the scheme to areas such as IT and financial services.
For further details please follow the link to Carl O’Brien’s article in the Irish Times
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 08:18
Tuesday, 16 May 2017
According to Prof Brian McKenzie of Maynooth University's centre for learning and teaching, an over reliance on rote learning and memorising for the leaving certificate has meant that students are often overwhelmed by content and unable to think critically about what they are learning. With employers emphasising that they need graduates who are able to evaluate evidence, make judgements and communicate ideas effectively, universities are more and more focused on giving students the tools to analyse and make sense of the world on their own terms thereby creating students who are independent problem-solvers and critical thinkers. Read more by following the link below.
Turning students into critical thinkers
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 11:13
A very interesting article in the most recent Economist 1843 asks how in the age of artificial intelligence, we can teach robots not only to think for themselves but to know right from wrong. As self-driving cars on our roads make autonomous decisions that might affect the safety of other human road-users and roboticists in Japan, Europe and the United States develop service robots to provide care for the elderly and disabled this has become an urgent issue and one which has led some public figures to claim that artificial intelligence is the greatest existential threat to mankind. This article explores how our scientists are teaching our machines about the best way in which to live in the world. Read more by following the link below.
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 10:09
Thursday, 11 May 2017
Teaching online is becoming increasingly important for academics, but if you want your students to be switched on in your classes then your content requires good design which adds value. An article in the Guardian today offers practical tips on how to actively engage with your learners online. Read more by following the link below.
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 04:10
Thursday, 27 April 2017
The Guardian today reports on how just a few years ago, the Kindle was being blamed for the death of the traditional book but the latest figures published by the Publishing Association show a dramatic reversal of fortune with the sales of consumer eBooks dropping by 17% while sales of physical books are up 8%. Consumer spending on books was up £89m across the board last year, compared with 2015. James Daunt, the managing director of Waterstones, says that the UK has “adopted” ebooks and they will remain a substantial market but publishers and readers have rediscovered their love of the physical, and books once more are being celebrated as objects of beauty. Read more from this interesting article by following the link below.
How eBooks lost their shine?
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 01:53
Tuesday, 4 April 2017
The Times Higher Education reports on a recent study which warns that using a laptop in class can significantly damage students' academic performance. The findings of this study emerge as increasingly academics permit and often encourage the use of laptops in class. The paper, based on an analysis of the grades of about 5,600 students at a private US liberal arts college, found that using a laptop appeared to harm the grades of male and low-performing students most significantly. Although the authors were not able to definitively say why laptop use in class caused such a negative effect they explained that this was “either due to the superiority of pen and paper, the unforeseen influence of distractions, or some other unseen factor”. Read more from the article by following the link below or accessing the journal through the library ejournal portal.
Laptops affecting performance
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 06:40
Monday, 3 April 2017
A recent article in the Times Higher Education looks at publisher embargoes and the recent criticism of the phenomenon from UK politicians. Having heard evidence that publishers are using embargoes as "news management" tools the Science and Technology committee have stated that they take a "dim view" of the issuing of press releases about academic research that is not openly available and have argued that it impedes fact checking and public debate. In their report, the group say that they believe the embargo system “should reduce inaccuracies in news reporting” but instead it often makes the journalists’ role in scrutinising scientific developments “more difficult". Read more by following the link below or log on to the journal through the library ejournals portal.
Journal embargoes under fire
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 07:26
Thursday, 30 March 2017
According to the preliminary results of a major survey, more than three-quarters of UK university staff are dissatisfied with the way their institution is run. An article in the THE today looks at some of the first findings from the National Senior Management Survey, which is being developed by academics at eight universities and has attracted more than 2, 200 respondents so far. Early data reveals that only 15.9 per cent of respondents agreed that they felt respected and valued by senior management, and 71.6 per cent disagreed, while three-quarters (74.1 per cent) said that their senior managers did not deserve the salaries they were paid. Read more of the significant findings by following the link below or browsing the THE e-journal from the library home page.
Overpaid and overbearing....
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 03:31
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Writing in the LSE Impact blog recently, Andy Tattersall argues that following on from the success of the learning technologist, a role that has helped drive innovation in teaching, perhaps it is time for universities to consider the idea of the research technologist. He outlines a role that embeds the research technologist within the university department where they can make recommendations on appropriate online tools, provide technical assistance and also offer guidance on accompanying issues of ethics or compliance. With this level of support Tattersall believes that academics can improve the communication, dissemination and impact of their research. Read more at the London School of Economics Impact blog by following the link below.
The research technologist
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 03:30
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
The idea of "fake news" has received a lot of attention recently, and how to spot truth (as opposed to truthiness) from lies and fact from fiction has become an essential skill. If you want to be more satisfied than satisficed when it comes to news and facts try to attend the All Aboard 2017 workshops happening across the campus beginning Monday 3rd April.
For further details please follow the link below..
For further details please follow the link below..
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 06:51
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
A comment piece in the Times Higher Education recently argued that while research in higher education is driven by discovery, innovation and a willingness to take risks, often the same evidential rigour is not being applied to teaching. According to the author evidence is growing that the traditional lecture-based model of teaching, while still very prevalent, doesn’t work that well for students. He goes further to suggest that classroom sessions that use more active approaches, such as group discussions, in-class quizzes and clicker-questions, result in a deeper understanding of the concepts and in higher grades. Read more by following the link below to the THE website. If you have problems accessing the article you can go directly to the journal via the library e-journal portal or through the Nexis UK database.
Lectures v active learning
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 10:38
The Department of Education plans to prosecute companies known as "essay mills" that write assignments for students in exchange for money. The practice allows students to circumvent their college's plagiarism detection systems because the software used by universities only detects material copied from previously published academic texts. Minister for Education Richard Bruton has said that he plans to give powers to prosecute “essay mills”, and is considering a ban on these companies advertising their services. Read more by following the link to the Irish Times below.
Plan to curb essay mills
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 09:57
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
Several recent articles in the Guardian Higher Education pages have discussed the use of the learning style approach in schools especially after a recent report by eminent academics voiced concern over the popularity of the method among some teachers. According to the report, teaching children according to their individual “learning style” does not achieve better results and should be ditched by schools in favour of evidence-based practice. Others argue that while learning styles do exist they don't enhance education. Read arguments from both sides of the debate by following the links below.
Teachers should ditch 'neuromyth' of 'learning styles
Learning styles & their place in the classroom
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 09:49
Friday, 17 February 2017
An interesting article in the Times Higher Education (THE) today assesses the results of the first major THE survey of university staff’s attitudes towards teaching. Initial conclusions from the study, surveying some 1,150 higher education staff over several months in 2016, show that teaching is a major source of satisfaction for university lecturers despite growing frustration with heavy administrative loads, bureaucratic burdens, badly prepared students who moan about their marks and the teaching excellence framework (TEF). Read more by following the link below. Register for a free THE account or log in to the library Nexis UK database to read more higher education news.
THE Teaching Survey 2017: results & analysis
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 04:23
Tuesday, 7 February 2017
A recent Irish Times analysis of 2016 figures for student enrolment and grant data has highlighted the scale of the class divide in Irish higher education. The figures reveal that the proportion of students who rely on grants to pay for college is significantly higher in institutes of technology, especially in regional areas, whereas school-leavers from more affluent backgrounds are much more likely to have places in universities offering high-points degrees. Read more by following the link below.
Class divide in Irish higher education
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 11:08
Friday, 3 February 2017
Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh writing on the Times Higher Education blog today. The piece offers some useful advice to doctoral students and includes links to other relevant sites such as help with preparing for the Viva exam and a link to a PhD advice page on the THE site. Read more by following the link below. You may have to register for an account with the THE journal to access the article.
Managing your PhD supervisor
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 03:44
Thursday, 2 February 2017
Writing in the Times Higher Education, Roger Watson suggests that ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID, could be a worthy replacement for the more traditional CV. Arguing that the CV is no longer the objective and verifiable record it one was, he puts forward the case that ORCID already enables individuals to summarise their interests, record their careers and list publications and research grants. Read more of the article by following the link below to the THE. You may need to register for an account to see the full-text or access it through the library database Nexis UK.
Is ORCID the new CV?
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 06:57
Wednesday, 1 February 2017
A major Government-commissioned report into the shortage of female graduates in Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) has found that despite having a general lack of information about career options, parents are heavily influencing their daughters’ career choices and are directing them away from the field. Brian MacCraith, president of DCU and chair of the Stem education review group, says there is “a job of work” to be done in informing parents of the career options. One of the measures the Stem working group is now focusing on is producing an information pack to guide parents on Stem and its career options. Dr Nora Khaldi believes that it's an exciting time to be working in this field and that there are lots of opportunities for women. The Irish Times article can be accessed by following the link below.
Are parents to blame?
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 08:28
Tuesday, 24 January 2017
The UK government has announced that a £170 million series of prestigious “Institutes of Technology” are to be developed to offer a “credible alternative” to the academic route of university for young people. Theresa May's industrial strategy will shake-up technical education to “level the playing field” for those who do not go to university. The institutes will offer 15 core technical routes that will give learners the chance to gain the skills that are in demand by local employers and will be tailored to the needs of regional industries. It is hoped that the new system will replace thousands of existing qualifications, many of which the UK government says are of a low quality. Read more by following the link below. You can also register for a free account with the THE.
Institutes of Technology for the UK
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 12:44
Thursday, 19 January 2017
Katherine Mangan, writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, focuses on the personal lecture and reveals some trends and innovations in developing a stronger connection among students and their professors during large class lectures in U.S. colleges and universities. She also looks at how some lecturers have taken a strategic approach to engage their students by utilising technology and creating interactive lectures. In another article she lists 5 ways to shake up the classroom. Read more by accessing the Chronicle of Higher Education through the library ejournal portal. Link below.
Library ejournal portal
Wednesday, 18 January 2017
A post on the London School of Economics (LSE) Impact Blog today rounds up all the best articles on academic writing posted on their blog in 2016. There are articles on all aspects of the writing process from writing the introduction to your journal article to increasing your chances of publishing in a peer reviewed journal. Posts include contributions from authors Pat Thomson and Patrick Dunleavy. Additional new posts on the blog today include Deborah Lupton's 15 steps for authors who have been asked to revise their manuscript for publication and an article on how feedback helps increase the impact of academic research. See a link to both posts below.
Round-up of articles for 2016
Deborah Lupton's 15 steps to review your article
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 04:19
Monday, 9 January 2017
An article in the Times Higher Education today explores the educative potential of virtual reality (VR) especially now that the technology is widely accessible. Advocates of interactive VR education including Dave Whelan, of Waterford based company Immersive VR Education, believe that it has the potential to change how students learn, and they argue that students are more engaged and remember far more of what they do in VR lessons compared with what they read, hear or see in a traditional lecture theatre. Whelan envisages a world where aeronautics students assemble jet engines in VR and engineers build bridges around them in a kind of “virtual Meccano set”. Although critics argue that this version of learning is over simplified they do agree that there is good research evidence that students remember and learn better when their experiences are active and they also accept that VR will play an increasing role particularly in online courses. Read the article below at the Times Higher Education. You may have to register for a free account to view.
VR a new dimension in learning
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 05:08
In the Irish Times today it is reported that more than 70 per cent of students do not get beyond their first year of college in some higher education courses. While university courses have the lowest drop-out rates (between 10 /12 per cent) the highest rates of non-progression are concentrated among higher certificate (level six) and ordinary degree (level seven) courses at institutes of technology. Ireland has one of highest proportions of young people in Europe going into higher education but senior academics at a recent Oireachtas committee expressed concern that many students who are unsuited to higher education are being shoehorned into college. Read more at the Irish Times by following the link below.
Non-progression rates in Irish HE
Posted by Education and Research Blog at 03:59