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TU Dublin hosts National Forum Seminar on Student Orientations

Posted: 22 January, 2019

On Friday, January 18th, a very successful seminar on Innovative Orientations was hosted on the TU Dublin Grangegorman campus. Over 130 people attended from 25 different colleges and Universities across Ireland.

Dr Gerry Ryder (TU Dublin - Tallaght Campus); Dr Claire McDonnell (TU Dublin - City Campus) and Marie Kielty (TU Dublin - Tallaght Campus) on the panel for Extended Orientations.

The Seminar was opened by Professor David FitzPatrick, President of TU Dublin, who welcomed the focus on innovation in the context of the new Technological University. 

This seminar examined how innovative practices in Student Orientation can improve outcomes for incoming students.  It was a lively, practical session involving the sharing of best practice among Orientation coordinators in HEIs in Ireland, with presenters from every University in Ireland.  Aspects covered included use of online tools and VLEs to deliver material; engaging students via student volunteers and peer, mentors; engaging with families of incoming students, and supporting mature students and advanced entry students.  There were also two vibrant panel discussions – one on the value of extended Orientations and also a student panel exploring their perspective on orientations. 

Cormac Allen (TU Dublin - City Campus) presents on the use of cloud technologies to achieve early student engagement.

The keynote speech was delivered by Professor Michelle Morgan, from Bournemouth University, who is a specialist in student transition and student experience, and editor of "Improving the Student Experience: A practical guide for universities and colleges."

The seminar was part-funded under the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Seminar Series and was delivered by the group who are working on the TU Dublin Orientation project.  This working group, with staff and student representation from across the three campuses, has been tasked with developing an innovative, consistent orientation programme across TU Dublin for September 2019.  

The team of staff and students from across TU Dublin who were involved in presenting, organising or chairing at the Seminar.

Brian Gormley, Chair of the group, noted that the seminar had been a successful cross-university project, with staff and students from all three campus locations engaged in organising, chairing or presenting at the sessions.  The presentations on best practice will inform the group’s plans for Orientation 2019.  The Orientation Programme for 2019 will reflect and implement in practice the ideas conveyed by the TU Dublin Mission, Vision and Values - career-focused; practice-based; with engagement with community and employers; and reflective of the diverse student groups attending. Watch this space for more updates on Orientation 2019!