Ionad Bairre - Conference Items

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    Digital utopia or dystopia: can educators assume ICT literacy?
    (2009) Cronin, James G. R.
    It is often assumed that undergraduates entering higher education are fully ICT (Information Communications Technology) literate. This survey paper draws upon case studies from History of Art and Adult Continuing Education, University College Cork, to question this assumption. It argues that students, both undergraduates and lifelong learners, greatly benefit from an ICT workshop programme supporting disciplinary teaching and learning. Support workshops assist in developing confident researchers and assist in developing transferable work-life skills. The paper will explore the following topics: the role played by emoderation in knowledge construction; cyber ethics, especially understanding intellectual property; barriers to full participation as expressed by ‘digital divide’ issues and building disciplinary Communities of Practice.
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    Uptake and usage of Virtual Learning Environments in the Irish tertiary sector: findings from a multi-institutional student usage survey
    (2009) Cosgrave, Robert J.; McAvinia, Claire; Rísquez, Angélica; Logan-Phelan, Theresa
    In early 2008 Six Irish tertiary institutions conducted an online survey of their students usage of Virtual Learning Environments in their respective institutions. The survey used a common set of questions. Five of these institutions have, on condition of anonymity, pooled their results for comparison and study and this paper presents the findings of this research. The five institutions represent a diversity of organisational histories and VLE systems. It is often assumed that technology issues are a key driver of VLE uptake and usage, however, the data indicates that these technical issues have relatively little effect on the ground. Organisational factors, such as the maturity of the implementation, are shown to have a more substantial effect on uptake, usage and utility of the systems. The paper also discusses issues around the conduct of the survey, confidentiality and data sharing, and the potential for ongoing surveys to build into a longitudinal data set.