So-called "Radical" education reforms

In the week of the teacher conferences, Minister Quinn’s special adviser has earned the large pay packet this morning. The Irish Times, Independent and Examiner all carry details of the changes planned for the Leaving Cert grading system. “Leaving Cert…

A question always likely to give strong response is whether PowerPoint should be used in lectures. Those advocating its use point to a more organised lecture where the structure has been thought out in advance. Those against it say that…

Four years ago this week, I imported my few posts from my old blog “Electrified Chalk“, and “Is this Going to Be on the Exam” was born. 138 139 posts later, it is still trundling along.  There have been quiet times and active…

Education in Wicklow: My New Book

My new book on a history of education in County Wicklow is published this week. It’s a great present for your history loving friends, múinteoirs of all ages, and the person who has everything. The book blurb is below, and…

How To Disagree

Sometime last year,  a comment was left on one of my articles which said that I was being simplistic and my argument was childish. It was the first and only nasty comment I got, and it took me by surprise….

Implementing the Flipped Classroom

The magazine Education in Chemistry has launched a blog, and I am a guest contributor. My first article covers the topic of Flipped Lectures, and along with the information in the post itself, some really useful tips and interesting discussion…

Research output of Irish Institutions 1980-2009

I thought it would be interesting to compare some Irish institutions by examining their research output over the last three decades. This is first measured by number of publications, and then by considering the relevance of these citations to the…

In the week when Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn brought the Technological Universities Bill to cabinet, there was more than some disquiet from the commenterati that make up the usual pathetic discussion on higher education in Ireland. I don’t have…

Registration for the Irish Variety in Chemistry Education (#iViCE14) is now open. [Link to Conference Webpage] The conference is being held on Tuesday 6th May 2014 and aims to bring together practitioners and others interested in higher education chemistry teaching….

Outcomes of #Flipped Lecture Trial

Last semester, I trialled a flipped lecture in my Year 2 module on Chemical Thermodynamics. This work will be presented at DIT’s Learning and Teaching Showcase in January, and an accompanying flyer is below. Overall, it has been a very…

Save the date! The 9th Irish Variety in Chemistry Education meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 6th May 2014 at DIT. This meeting is always a popular event with 3rd level chemistry practitioners from around the country and beyond sharing good practice…

Showing hints in Blackboard Quizzes

A previous post showed how to include hints and worked examples in quiz questions in the now old Blackboard, BB 8. With the new Blackboard 9, is this still possible? It seems the hint option (i.e. an alert box) still works….

Six questions on video lectures still unanswered

A recent review by Kay gives a brief overview of video lectures which provides some useful information [see here for open access version]. Perhaps more interesting though are a list of questions at the end of the paper which Kay…

Screencasts and Videos in Science Education

This article discusses screencasts and videos in education, with examples relevant to science education. After summarising some principles of good practice, several areas are discussed: Development of lecture preparation videos incorporating interactivity. Developing videos for flipped lectures. Using screencasts for…