Overcoming the Tyranny of (Short) Distance? Teaching Geography Remotely

McCafferty, Des (2014) Overcoming the Tyranny of (Short) Distance? Teaching Geography Remotely. In: 46th Conference of Irish Geographers, O’Brien Science Centre University College Dublin May 8th– 10th 2014, UCD, Dublin, Ireland.


Rationalisation of university courses, especially within the framework of regional clusters of higher education institutions (HEIs), has become a central objective of Irish government policy. This rationalisation has been mandated primarily on cost saving grounds, with new ICTs being seen as the means to achieve these savings by facilitating remote delivery of individual modules as well as entire programmes. However, there has been little evaluation, formal or informal, of the efficacy of these delivery mechanisms. Since September 2012, geography has been delivered on the Plassey campus of the University of Limerick by the Department of Geography in Mary Immaculate College. As well as conventional face?to?face teaching, blended learning approaches incorporating both synchronous and asynchronous remote delivery of modules have been trialled. This paper describes experience to date with this initiative, primarily from the point?of?view of the teaching staff involved, but with reference also to student feedback and student performance under the various teaching approaches.

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