Friday, January 06, 2006

Happy New Year

Best wishes for 2006! A number of local events are taking place here in Galway over the next few weeks so forgive the parochialism for a couple of items:

(1) Firstly, on the 17th Jan, Jenny Moon will be running a workshop on "Reflection in Higher Education." Jenny is a well established staff developer and has authored a number of books on this subject. In particular, for this workshop, she'll be focussing on aspects of reflective journals. If you want to book a place please email

(2) Secondly, we'll be joined by Gino and Mary Deane Sorcinelli from UMass, Amherst for the 16th-18th Jan on a short visit to meet with colleagues and exchange ideas. Gino is working hard on an exciting technology based project funded partly by Microsoft Research in collaboration with colleagues in NUI, Galway, whereby students in each institution have formed virtual teams to share project work and presentations using videoconferencing software ( Mary Deane will be discussing issues pertinent to staff development.

(3) Oh and before that (11th Jan), we have the next of our European videoseminars by Prof Johannes Wildt and Dirk Schneckenberg of the University of Dortmund. Details can be found on the CELT website:

(4) Finally, back to the news snippets. In the Times Higher, it is reported that the "research" or "elite" universities in the UK recommend that the 2008 RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) be the last for ten years with light touch metrics being used ever 4 or 5 years in the interim. Certainly the burden of the RAE in terms of administration and indeed in the distortion of institutional culture and recruitment patterns is well recognised. Newer universities who are attempting to climb the ladder incrementally are not in favour of this suggestion, it is claimed.

(5) The Chronicle, meanwhile, has recently had a discussion on procrastination. "Researchers have found that college campuses are hothouses of procrastination, with an estimated 70 percent of students saying they typically postpone starting or finishing their assignments. Some of those students feel incapable of changing their behavior, which can sink not only their grades but also their self-esteem." For the transcript of the discussion and other information visit

(6) That's all for now. I'll be back to the regular weekly updates from now on.

1 comment:

Iain said...

Unfortunately, due to a death in the family, Gino and Mary will not be visiting us this coming week. I've extended our sympathies to them and hope that we'll be able to reschedule the visit at some time later in the year.