NUI Galway launches online learning site

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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NUI Galway has launched its Online Learning at NUI Galway website. The site, which showcases more than sixty programmes across eight disciplines including IT, science and technology studies, social sciences, medicine, and nursing studies, among others, features programmes that are available in a part-time, blended learning or online mode.

Last year, over 1, 300 students undertook courses via flexible learning at NUI Galway, explains Nuala McGuinn, Director of Lifelong Learning at NUI Galway. Technological advances and online learning systems mean that the University s reach is now far greater. Facilities such as Blackboard are used widely in the University s teaching to facilitate online communications between students and lecturers. The number of non-traditional students at NUI Galway has increased significantly from 16 per cent of the overall student population in 2006 to almost 23 per cent in 2013.

The wide selection of courses at NUI Galway offers students an opportunity to add or improve to the skillset in an area of personal and professional interest over a manageable timeframe. Each programme and module consists of a set of learning materials all of which are specifically designed for online or blended learning. They facilitate independent study, are self-instructional in nature and are designed for students working at home.

Students who register for a blended learning programme should expect to attend seminars, laboratory, or skills sessions on-campus or in an outreach location. The number of sessions that students are required to attend will depend on the programme that has been chosen. Students who register for a fully online programme will complete all course work, including examinations, online, says Nuala McGuinn.

Further developments in extending the reach of the University beyond the traditional lecture theatre can be seen in growth of a number of Open Online Courses, also known as MOOCS (massive open online courses) by University staff.

These Open Courses do not carry any formal academic credit, they are designed purely for self-study, general interest or professional development and span a range of subject areas, highlights Dr Iain MacLaren, Director of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at NUI Galway. These courses will be made free to the general public and include areas such as Irish Studies history and archaeology, Planning Change and Innovation Education, and areas related to research expertise in the University .

The Planning Change and Innovation course has already commenced, while opportunities to register for the other free Open Courses will be advertised at various times stages during the 2013 2014 academic year.


For further information on the programmes available visit NUI Galway s dedicated site or email onlinelearning@nuigalway. ie.


Frank Bolger

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