‘IT Sligo is prepared for a return to campus’

We asked IT Sligo a few questions about preparations for the autumn

IT Sligo suggests students prepare to return to campus in the autumn and that they expect to be flexible in the sequencing of learning.

IT Sligo suggests students prepare to return to campus in the autumn and that they expect to be flexible in the sequencing of learning.

 

Q: How ready is IT Sligo for a return to campus?

A: IT Sligo is prepared for a return to campus and we are extremely hopeful of a return of students in the autumn. All social distancing, hygiene systems and other control measures are in place and working effectively.

In semester one we were able to welcome back a large section of our students with great success. (Covid) numbers in Sligo in general have been extremely low throughout the pandemic and now we have the lowest numbers nationally.

This has been achieved in no small part thanks to our students, who have acted extremely responsibly by adhering to the health guidelines over the past year. The underlying principles are to facilitate on-campus activity, supporting student and staff face-to-face interaction as much as possible and to ensure that students can achieve the learning outcomes of their course within the normal academic period. Should it not be possible to bring everyone back on campus in the normal way, there will be a mix of on- and off-campus learning which will vary from course to course.

Q. Was there anything in particular that worked well during lockdown?

A. The ingenuity of staff in finding new ways to make their lectures more engaging through remote learning has been very encouraging. The reaction to this from students has led to the nomination of eight of our lecturers in the Teaching Hero Awards, Ireland’s only national, student-led awards. The use of virtual labs was also a great success as students were able to run multiple experiments without using expensive materials. The wider use of virtual labs has enabled us to overcome resource limitations.

Q: Do you offer laptops/other equipment to students who need assistance?

A: More than 300 laptops were supplied to students at the start of semester one through our access office to students who needed assistance. We also allowed limited access on campus to computer labs to locally-based students who had no internet access. During the first lockdown we extended our wifi range to the car park so students could access it from their cars.

Q: Do you have any tips for students as they prepare for college?

A: We would suggest students prepare to return to campus in the autumn and that they expect to be flexible in the sequencing of learning. For example, laboratories, workshops and studios may not commence on day one if restrictions are still in place. We are optimistic that most students will be on campus for most classes but could also have some lectures online through blended learning.

While on campus they will most likely need to wear face coverings and practise social distancing and follow the other control measures in place. The full return to normality will be gradual but we believe the next academic year will be much brighter. We would advise students to also visit our website page on Student Life, which has all the latest information: itsligo.ie/cao/#students.