Becoming an Online Learner

With the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19, our semester one teaching will be fully online in 2020/21 for all our part-time courses. So what type of student experience can you expect?

In a fully online course, you will obtain all your course content on-line through the University’s virtual learning environment. At NUI Galway we use Blackboard. Your content will be presented in a self-instructional format. It will be clearly laid out in terms of a module overview and divided into units or topics which will make it easy for you as a student to navigate through the course materials.

You will access your course content through powerpoint presentations, word documents, pdfs, podcasts (short audio clips) or videos on key topics within your module. Some modules will have live webinars where you can interact with your fellow classmates and module lecturer in real time, ask questions and even work in smaller online groups called “break-out” sessions. You will receive a schedule of these live classes in advance. Attendance at these webinars is advised, however they will also be recorded should you be unable to attend in person.

Readings will be assigned to different topics and you may also be asked to participate in discussion forums on questions relating to your module of study, which you can complete in your own time. These discussion forums are a great way for students to exchange information about their understanding of the topic and how it relates to the world of work. You can prepare your response in your own time and post at your convenience. You will also have time to read other students contributions and consider how you might respond to their views at a pace that suits you.

Assessment types vary across courses, for example you may be graded on continuous assessment essays or projects which you complete during the course of the module. Your participation in the discussion boards may be graded, you may undertake a group project with your fellow students or you may have a written examination at the end of a module. There may also be opportunities to assess your learning through reflective practice journals or learning blogs. Whatever mode or combination of assessments used, you will be informed of this at the start of a module and you will be well prepared to complete all requirements with the support of your lecturer.

We look forward to welcoming you as a student to NUI Galway this September.

By Nuala McGuinn, Director at the Centre for Adult Learning & Professional Development

See our full range of part-time courses at:

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