Online computing course wins award at Education Awards 2020

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Best Use of Educational Technology/ICT Initiative of the Year category award for WIT's popular Higher Diploma in Computer Science Online which had been nominated in two categories

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has won an award in the Best Use of Educational Technology/ICT Initiative of the Year category at the 2020 Education Awards which took place on Thursday, 20 February 2020.

WIT had been shortlisted in four categories:

  • Calmast STEM Outreach Centre at WIT was a finalist in the Best Education Outreach Award.
  • WIT was also a finalist in the Best Marketing / Communications Team category.
  • The institute’s Higher Diploma in Computer Science Online was on the shortlist in both the Best Use of Educational Technology/ICT Initiative of the Year and Best Online Learning Experience categories.

In addition the institute was one of six shortlisted by judges for the level of actitivy under way.

Celebration of excellence

The Education Awards recognise, encourage and celebrate excellence in the third level education sector on the island of Ireland from both State and privately funded institutions.

The Award categories are designed to highlight the key areas that impact upon student performance.

Speaking on behalf of the team behind the Higher Diploma in Computer Science Online, Eamonn de Leastar, course leader said: "Our goal has been to devise a platform to enable our learners to realise their potential in exciting and creative ways, and to take all that is good with traditional teaching and combine it with the exciting opportunities that technology and online delivery has to offer. It is wonderful to have the work of the full team recognised with this award."

How students benefit

The ICT initiative involved a number of technologies that collectively known as TutorStack.

This flexible multi-layer technology solution is developed and used by staff at WIT for providing the best possible student experience for BOLD (blended and online delivery) and was piloted on WIT’s first fully online programme the Higher Diploma in Computer Science.

“It incorporates a four layer system embracing open/free technologies with a layer for instruction materials - tutors, a communications and community building layer utilising Slack, an assessment and feedback layer – Moodle and Socrative, and a media layer which incorporates YouTube Live and Open Broadcast Studio, and video pods for solo operated live streaming and recording of classes. We’ve tried to make as easy as possible for staff to embrace and be comfortable with delivering online so as to maximise student experience,” explained Colm course leader Dunphy who picked up the award on behalf of his colleagues.

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