Monthly Archives: May 2014

Rote Learning and the Knowledge Deficit

Back in the day when I was studying chemical engineering, I had to do a third-year module in electrical engineering. The module was taught appallingly badly and at the end of it I was clueless about how motors and generators … Continue reading

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The intangible value of research

SFI boss Mark Ferguson recently made a statement to the effect that “every single scientist ought to be able to explain why they are spending citizens’ tax dollars.” I agree. But – and this is the key point – justifying … Continue reading

Posted in education, Research | 3 Comments

How some students plot data

Ploughing through more lab reports today, I have been struck by something………… If I were doing an experiment on, say, chemical kinetics, I can imagine producing a graph like this: In the text or in the figure caption, I would … Continue reading

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NUIM, grade inflation and denominated entry

In the last post I mentioned how NUIM is something of an outlier if one wants to interpret the increase in H1 grades as evidence for grade inflation. In 1994, only 1.5% of NUIM students received a H1 grade while … Continue reading

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More on Grade Inflation

Brian Lucey’s recent post on grade inflation was interesting in that it presented some actual hard data, something that is often lacking in commentaries on education. Going back to the original document on which this data is based, it is … Continue reading

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The Rise of the Metric

As June approaches, we brace ourselves for the annual onslaught that is the Leaving Cert. We will hear all the usual arguments about how inadequate it is, how it stresses out students, how it rewards rote learning and how it … Continue reading

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The Future of Third Level Education in Ireland 6 – Digital Learning

The topic of digital learning (not all of which has to be online) is one that tends to get academics very agitated. On the one hand you have the advocates who have a quasi-religious belief in all things digital. On … Continue reading

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