September 2020 Newsletter

Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

Traditionally, the days getting shorter and the leaves beginning to fall from the trees signifies life being breathed back into campuses nationwide as students return from their summer break eager to make the most of the upcoming academic year. However in this year like no other, college campuses will remain quiet for the time being – even as classes begin.

It feels like eons ago since our March 2020 newsletter in which we spoke about the unexpected pivot to online learning thrust upon us by Covid-19, and now after a summer of reflection and brainstorming, this September 2020 edition contains guides, advice and contributions from both students and academics so that we all can make the most of what the next few months has in store.

Since then, we have been doing our best to ensure that both lecturers and students are prepared for the pivot to online learning. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our past webinars page. Here we have webinars featuring both EDTL team members and guest speakers about a variety of relevant topics, from making online assessment and feedback as effective as possible to how lab-based subjects can navigate the switch to online.

Recently, we also awarded the Getting Started with Personal and Professional Digital Capacity digital badge to 22 members of staff who were involved in pilot programmes associated with the EDTL project. This digital badge certifies that awardees have partaken in a pedagogy-first approach to identify some key areas for personal development in the digital space and know how to use structured tools for planning technology-based learning activities.

Academic integrity in the digital age

With National Academic Integrity Week approaching, this is an ideal time to get to grips with the critical issue of maintaining academic integrity outside a college environment. Project Manager, Sharon Flynn (@sharonlflynn), has assembled several resources to help you prepare.

Photo by Ben Mullins on Unsplash

Staff who teach and support learning in Irish higher education have been worried about academic integrity in the assessment of modules in the online environment. In March the project issued some guidance in the context of Covid-19. In our community webinar Assessment Online in a Crisis, on 6 April, our project manager spoke about academic integrity, and we also heard from Bonnie Long (NUIG) about using Collaborate Ultra for Live Exam Invigilation… continue reading.

Making the most of when virtual lectures, become reality

Video conferencing software is going to become an integral part of our college toolkit this year. These powerful pieces of software make it possible to teach a whole cohort of students from the comfort of our home and our EDTL Student Intern, Ruairi O’Gallchoir, here explains how to become a virtual lecture maestro.

Photo by Allie on Unsplash

With social distancing measures in place, many in-person lectures will be conducted over the internet this year for the first time. Gone will be the rows of (mostly) eager students studiously scribbling down notes between slides in a lecture hall, instead replaced with a grid of (again, mostly) attentive faces on your computer screen.

Many different pieces of software have become commonplace in order to fill this newfound major demand for large-scale video conferencing software, and each of them offers different features aimed at making the transition to the virtual lecture theatre as seamless as possible for both students and lecturers… continue reading.

Revisiting Higher Education in Isolation

When remote learning suddenly became the necessary norm earlier this year, we launched our Higher Education in Isolation Vlog Series (#HEinIsolation). This charted the experiences of both academics and students as they made the sudden pivot to online learning and gave a great insight into their experience. As we head into the upcoming academic year, we caught up with some participants to see how they are faring as they prepare to adapt their teaching for online learning.

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

The EDTL team got in touch with academics from across our member universities in order to gain an insight into how they are faring with the shift to online learning earlier this year as part of our Higher Education in Isolation Vlog Series. Here, we revisit some of our contributors to see how they are adapting their teaching strategies this time… continue reading.

Advice to lecturers, from students, ahead of an academic year like no other

In our July newsletter, we introduced our cohort of EDTL Student Interns, representing each of our member universities. Here, each student intern offers from their own unique perspective an insight into what they wished their lecturers had known before the move to online learning.

Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash

The EDTL Student Interns have been hard at work in their respective university, and if you haven’t already it is definitely worth following the EDTL Project on Instagram, where the team have some exciting plans for the upcoming year. For this newsletter, we asked each of the student interns to give a piece of advice to lecturers who are looking for the student perspective on online learning for the year ahead… continue reading.

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