I am working on a paper to evaluate the effectiveness of using moodle or learnonline.gmit.ie for engagement and its effectiveness in terms of pedagogy / innovative learning initiative with first year students, using a common module I am teaching for the first time this year.
It is presenting as somewhat of a logistical challenge, principally, a good deal of pastoral care or mentoring is required to keep the majority of the cohort of students engaged on a weekly basis, because of snags in relation to the use of TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning).
However, that aside, with a cohort of almost 100 students, this exercise is beneficial, both for the lecturer, from a pedagogical point of view, but also for the individual students' learning experience. This is their first year in higher education and they have completed 4 weeks, so far. I will post the final paper when it is completed.
This exercise could be expanded beyond the basic evaluation to look at research for retention and learning initiatives. For example, the information gathered could be used to analyse the following:
I have conducted assessments such as these as part of a first year initiative when I was programme chair on the Architectural Technology programme last year. It would be worthwhile doing this first, as a joined group and then split between disciplines. It should be noted that full confidentiality should be ensured when conducting such an exercise, and ideally, if used for research purposes, it be anonymous as well.
I am delighted to announce that I have attained the professional title of 'Chartered Architectural Technologist' MCIAT. I went for an assessment interview last Friday and have been successful in my application. It is a protected title. I have been an ACIAT member for ten years, but had lost momentum to apply for full membership. It is very important to me that our students and graduates are well represented within a professional body that has their primary best interests at the forefront of the organisation. As I am the first programme board member to attain MCIAT, as a programme board, we are now in a position to progress with CIAT accreditation of our BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology undergraduate degree programme. I have also been asked to use my position within GMIT to represent CIAT in Galway, to give other members in the built environment community of Architectural Technologists a focal point through which to meet for training and mentoring purposes. It is a great honour to be asked to facilitate this and I will certainly get on-board to do this. It is so important that the profession is recognised by the wider community, that our students and graduates are well represented, that there is grounding and weight behind the Institute from all corners of the country. I am delighted with my new title and to be part of an Institute which I align myself closely with. As the assessor of the interviewees on Friday put it, 'It is the start of my new career'!