The student experience: what we’re planning for 2020/21

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Pictured are students exploring the Viking Triangle. WIT Sports and Societies are planning a hybrid model of engagement which will include online and on campus activities as part of its commitment to the health and wellbeing of our students

Pictured are students exploring the Viking Triangle. WIT Sports and Societies are planning a hybrid model of engagement which will include online and on campus activities as part of its commitment to the health and wellbeing of our students

What does the new way of learning, and the new way of living mean for student life? Whether you’ll be online or often on campus we have you sorted

The student experience is one of the most important parts of college life, and behind the scenes we have been working hard on putting the life into student life for the 2020/21 academic year.

We are very conscious that in tandem with getting course delivery right, that students get to enjoy the experience of new friends, new relationships, social and cultural activities, participating in sports clubs and societies. It’s safe to say there is a blend of activities planned. Busy working on the social and student life aspect of college are a number of teams.

Campus life

Blended delivery for our courses means that there will be a mix of online and on-campus learning. The mix is dependent on the programme of study but as a guideline activities like labs and studios will be on campus, and lectures and tutorials will be delivered online.

Many learning activities will still take place on campus and all our campuses will be open with the library, shop and cafes all open for staff and students, albeit in a more restricted way.

Our people in Estates, Health & Safety, cleaning teams, WIT Novus, and Computer Services to name but a few, will continue to be busy to ensure you’re in a safe environment.

StartWIT

This year the StartWIT Orientation, organised by the Student Life and Learning team (www.wit.ie/sll), will take place online. This will include information on WIT's student services, students will get to meet their course leader, receive timetables along with information on what to expect and will meet new friends through interactive activities online. The key message for students as with every year, make sure and attend orientation so you get to know your classmates and lecturers!

P2P mentors from Specific departments and programmes across WIT have been participating in mentor training and they cannot wait to welcome all the new students to WIT. Older year mentors will be involved in the StartWIT Orientation to give pieces of advice as well as answer any questions new students may have. They will also be on hand for the first semester and will arrange weekly Zoom meetings with their first year groups to pass on important information and to help everyone get to know each other that bit better. For more information on P2P and the courses involved, please visit the SLL website section on P2P.

WIT Students’ Union

WITSU are currently working on their activities for the year. All its campaigns will be adapted to suit blended delivery. Freshers' Week is being organised by the VP for Events and Engagement. Our main focus for Fresher’s Week is to allow Freshers to meet new people and have a network of friends throughout WIT.

Mark Aulsberry, VP for Events and Engagement, WITSU explains: "My main focus in this new role is to ensure that our students have the full student experience, even in a blended model. I will be working on WITSU's engagement with students and broadening our reach to as many students as possible. With these uncertain times, the Events industry as we know it has completely changed, with that in mind we are remodelling the way WITSU events take place and you can expect to see just as many WITSU events this year!"

WIT Vikings Sport and WIT Societies

WIT Vikings Sport and WIT Societies will continue to be hugely active during this period providing a hybrid model of engagement which will include online and on campus activities as part of our commitment to the health and well-being of our students.

It is the intention of WIT Vikings Sport and WIT Societies to provide an avenue for recreational activities as well as participation in competitions that are being organised by the various governing bodies such as the FAI and the GAA. As offers and timetables become available to students the exact structure of this experience will be outlined further. As with all activities the health and safety of our students is paramount and all government, HSE, and national governing body guidelines will be adhered to.

Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning

There has been a digital element to learning at WIT for many years. Moodle is the learning management system used at Waterford Institute of Technology.

WIT has since revolutionised the online learning and collaboration experience for students to allow for blended online and digital (BOLD) education.

In addition to our Moodle online area students will have access to:

  • Zoom video conferencing platform for online classes and meetings
  • Microsoft Teams which has chat, channels and video which will allow students to collaborate online

You

This year more than ever it may be important for students to make the best use of the supports that are there to make friends and get involved in something that really interests you.

There’s plenty of opportunity – whether it’s having online chats with classmates or finding your tribe though sports and societies; and indeed getting involved in the Students’ Union activities.

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, remember everyone is in the same boat.

If you’re finding it all a bit tough, do try and talk to someone about it, and look into the supports we have in place to help students through difficult times. www.wit.ie/sll


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