Partner Institutions

Project Lead: Institute of Technology Tralee

Project Partners: Waterford Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology, University College Cork, Institute of Technology, Carlow

Abstract

The Live and Learn in Ireland series seeks to help International students become familiar with studying and living in Ireland. The Live and Learn in Ireland project has produced a number interactive multimedia units under the headings:

  • Academic
  • Social
  • Practical

Ireland has long been referred to as the ‘Land of Saints and Scholar’s and can boast an academic and literary tradition going back many centuries. With over 40% of the 25-64 years adult population educated to third level and 75% of school leavers going onto higher or further education or training the Irish certainly hold education in high regard.

For such a small country, Ireland can boast a list of Nobel Prize winners such as Seán McBride, WB Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Ernest Walton, Seamus Heaney and Samuel Beckett. From Trinity College Dublin, dating back to 1492, through to our 19th and 20th century Universities to the more recent Institutes of Technology, the Irish higher education sector offer a varied and interesting range of courses and settings in one of the world’s most picturesque and culturally rich countries.

But Ireland offers much more than that. It is an exciting and vibrant country that cherishes the bests of its past while adopting an outward and innovative approach to life and business.

Featured Resources
Links
Primary Contact(s)


0d911f6Tim Daly

Institute of Technology, Tralee

Email: Tim.daly@staff.ittralee.ie

Detailed Proposal

This proposal addresses the needs and challenges of overseas students transitioning into the Irish HE system and the needs and challenges of the lecturers delivering the programmes. The proposal will develop digital strategies and tools based on the experiences of incoming students, staff and the local communities to ease the transition and promote positive integration into academic and college life.

A stated objective of “Investing in Global Relationships”, Irelands International Education Strategy 2010-15 (2010) was to increase the number of full-time international students in higher education by 50%. Subsequently, Irish Higher Education (HE) system has seen a strong upward growth in the number of international students enrolling. For Irish HE institutions, increasing diversity represents both a series of opportunities and challenges. In order to make the incoming students experiences of Irish HE as fruitful and productive as possible institutions must ensure the incoming students transition is sufficiently smooth and informed. However, the most recent report from Education in Ireland on International Students in Higher Education 2011-2012 identifies a number of constraints to achieving targets. This proposed project will help tackle such constraints by contributing to systems that are fit for purpose.

Helping the incoming student to make the transition into Ireland is only one half of the equation. This project also aims to support the lecturers transition from teaching and supporting traditional students to teaching and supporting foreign national student groups in an increasingly digital world. This approach is in line with Recommendation 11 of the High Level Group on the Modernisation of Higher Education.

The project consists of six multimedia interactive asynchronous units that are divided into two categories. The first two units are designed to be utilised by the incoming student prior to their departure from their home country. The first unit outlines items concerning Irish customs and culture in general while the second unit focuses on Irish HE custom and practices which experience has shown varies somewhat from culture to culture. The remaining four units aim to provide a series of practical teaching and learning strategies to lecturers who are or may be teaching groups of incoming foreign national students. Drawing on exemplars of practice from the participating colleges and their international students, each of these units will focus on the teaching and learning strategies used by lecturers with extensive experience of teaching groups of foreign national students.

Clear description of main activities
This project seeks to bring national and international knowledge together with the experiences of each of the project partner institutes to better inform the process of transitioning international students into higher education. The project will research, design, construct and disseminate asynchronous content to assist both staff and students with this process. The research phase will consist of partner-based empirical research that will be informed by a literature review and technical specifications requirements that will capture staff and student view in a com-prehensive Needs Analysis. The design and scoping phase will reflect that needs analysis in a design spec that will inform the construction of the content. Dissemination will be partner-informed and will involve face-to-face workshops and the utilisation of social networks.
Specific outputs of the project
  • Six units of open source asynchronous units of content. Two units will be directed at students to be accessed before coming to Ireland,and four units will be directed at staff as a toolkit to help them make the transition as easy as possible.
  • Publishable research on the issues around transitioning international students
  • CPD in the form of the workshops in the Dissemination phase and the raising of digital literacy among staff for whom this may be their first experience of TEL.
Implementation plan for ensuring national impact of the project.
  • Publish research in national or international journals
  • Presenting research findings and objects at national conferences
  • Utilising social networks to encourage use of the objects
  • Face-to-face workshops across the country

WPTralee