Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Institutes of Technology for the UK

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  

Thursday, 19 January 2017

How to make big classes feel small

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

Round-up of useful articles on academic writing

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

Monday, 9 January 2017

Virtual reality: a new dimension in teaching?

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 image of students inspecting a skeleton

VR a new dimension in learning

Non-progression rates in Irish higher education

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