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COVID-19

Latest Update

Updated: 6 April

Following a Government announcement on 24 March, the MIC campuses at Limerick and Thurles remain closed and we do not expect to physically return to campus this semester.

MIC’s Covid-19 Academic Response Group has been meeting regularly in order to develop a coherent response to the range of challenges to programme delivery and assessment posed by the Covid-19 crisis.

We have endeavoured to formulate a response which maintains the academic integrity of our programmes whilst ensuring that MIC students will still be able to undertake assessments and complete their studies in a timely manner and progress to the next academic year or graduation.

For STUDENTS, please read MIC COVID-19 Academic Response Summary Plan here and FAQs here.

For STAFF, please read the full MIC COVID-19 Academic Response Plan here.

Please continue to check this page for daily updates and announcements as well as an extensive list of FAQs and support advice.

The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre is monitoring the situation and updating the websites www.hse.ie and www.hpsc.ie regularly.

See general Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below and more specific FAQs for students, staff and staff/PGR student research to the right.

Graphic reading Key tips on how to Flatten the Curve #MidwestTogether
Fighting COVID-19: Midwest Together
MIC & MISU are supporting the important #MidWestTogether initiative. #FlattenTheCurve

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the MIC community or on the MIC campuses in Limerick or Thurles. 

The HSE is carrying out contact tracing of all individuals who may have come into casual or close contact with a diagnosed patient. You will only be contacted directly by the HSE if you fall into this category. You will be advised by the HSE on what actions to take. Please notify your programme director or your line manager if you have been contacted by HSE and have been medically certified to self-isolate.

MIC campuses in Limerick and Thurles are currently closed.

MIC is following the HSE guidelines on infection prevention, which emphasises hand washing, the provision of hand sanitising gel stations, limiting contact with others and limiting the dissemination of droplets, by coughing into a tissue which is disposed of immediately or coughing into the bend of the elbow. Detailed information and instructions are available here.

Please practice social distancing and follow the official advice of the HSE here.

All members of the MIC community must take personal responsibility for their own health and that of our entire community. We are relying on our community to closely follow the HSE hand hygiene advice and other prevention measures.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty
  • Practice good respiratory hygiene, that is, when coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • Maintain social distancing, keeping a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people. Do not shake hands or make close contact if possible. Minimising contact between potentially infected individuals and healthy individuals is important to help slow the spread of coronavirus
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself

The most important action we can take to protect ourselves from COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is regular hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene.

Read a step-by-step guide from the HSE on how to properly wash your hands and avoid infection and see a helpful video underneath the FAQs.

More Tips

MIC campuses in Limerick and Thurles are currently closed.

Stay at home, follow the advice of the HSE and avoid contact with other people by self-isolating i.e. minimise contact with others (especially new or infrequent contacts) insofar as is possible, regardless of symptoms.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) i.e. fever (high temperature), cough or difficulty breathing, you should phone your doctor or emergency department (ED) immediately.

Do not visit a doctor or ED; phone them first. This is so you do not accidentally put other people at risk. If you do not have a doctor, phone 112 or 999.

You should follow all medical advice that you are given. You will be advised by the HSE on what actions to take. Please immediately notify your programme director or your line manager.

HSE Advice on Handwashing
HSE Advice on Handwashing
Having clean hands is the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 & other harmful germs

Students

Updated: 6 April

Following a Government announcement on 24 March, the MIC campuses at Limerick and Thurles remain closed and we do not expect to physically return to campus this semester.

MIC’s COVID-19 Academic Response Group has been meeting regularly in order to develop a coherent response to the range of challenges to programme delivery and assessment posed by the COVID-19 crisis.

We have endeavoured to formulate a response which maintains the academic integrity of our programmes whilst ensuring that MIC students will still be able to undertake assessments and complete their studies in a timely manner and progress to the next academic year or graduation.

STUDENTS, please read the MIC COVID-19 Academic Response Summary Plan here.

For student FAQs, see below.

FAQs will be updated as necessary. If you find the answers here do not sufficiently address your questions, you can contact the relevant office/support service through the email addresses given below.

27 March

From Prof. Niamh Hourigan, Vice-President of Academic Affairs

Dear Student,

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones well.

Following on from Prof. Eugene Wall’s email earlier this week you will know that we do not expect to physically return to either the Limerick or the Thurles campus before the end of this academic year.  As a result MIC’s COVID-19 Response Team and our Academic Sub Groups have being meeting regularly since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in order to put academic contingencies in place.

As you will see from the comprehensive communication below we aim to assist you to continue to engage with your learning and ensure that you will be able to undertake assessments and complete your studies in a timely manner and progress to the next academic year or graduation.

Please be assured that at all times during this crisis you, the student, have been at the forefront of our priorities, and every effort has been made by your lecturers, tutors and professional services staff to ensure that the implementation of the resulting contingency plan becomes a smooth process for all.

I would also like to assure you that no student will be penalised for a COVID-19 related issue and that, at the same time, academic standards and quality will continue to be maintained. There remains a personal responsibility on every single student to stay engaged with their studies until the end of the academic year, unless of course unable to do so for specific reasons which are referenced below.

Please look after yourselves during this challenging time and pay particular attention to your mental health. MIC’s supports remain open to you all and relevant contact information can be found on our dedicated Student FAQ section as can our Top 10 Tips for studying at home, kindly devised by our Health Promotion Office. 

With every best wish,

Prof. Niamh Hourigan

On behalf of the MIC COVID-19 Academic Response Group

MEMBERSHIP OF THE MIC COVID 19 ACADEMIC RESPONSE GROUP

Vice President Academic Affairs (Chair); Dean (Acting) of the Faculty of Arts; Dean of the Faculty of Education; Head of School Thurles; Assistant Registrar; Director of Teaching and Learning; Director of Student Life; Director of ICT; Director of Executive Operations; and Professional Services staff.

27 March

From Prof. Eugene Wall, President of MIC

Dear Students,

It is scarcely credible that it is just two weeks since Mary Immaculate College closed its campuses in Limerick and Thurles following government advice due to the COVID-19 crisis.

During that time, we have watched our taken-for-granted reality rapidly recede from us in front of our eyes.  Understandably, we are all struggling to come to grips with this altered reality and, in these times of great uncertainty, we are quite naturally apprehensive about what the future holds.

I know that some of you have experienced financial hardship, many are missing loved ones as we continue to practice physical distancing, and all of us have had to come to terms with new and disconcerting ways of operating.

However, something that has remained unchanged is MIC’s great community spirit. I am so proud of the way the members of our community have rallied together and continue to support each other during these extraordinary times.

You will have noticed in previous communications we stated that MIC was ‘physically’ closed - because that is an accurate reflection of our current state.  However, in the background MIC is a hive of activity, with work that extends far beyond what we could normally expect, as we endeavour to ensure that all operations continue to function as smoothly as possible. At all times, two of our key priorities have been to minimise disruption to our students’ studies and to do so in the most supportive manner possible. This is a communal effort and I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all for their enormous commitment and dedication over the past two weeks.

Earlier today, Prof. Niamh Hourigan circulated details of MIC’s COVID-19 Academic Response Plan, with comprehensive details of our planned alternative means of assessment and revised deadlines. Full details of the plan are available to view here with a summary version for students available to view here. I trust I can count on your assistance in meeting these obligations and ensuring the integrity of our systems.

Again, I remind all staff and students of their responsibility to check their MIC e-mail accounts regularly and to keep visiting the MIC.ie/COVID-19  webpage as our comprehensive list of FAQs are updated on daily basis.

Collectively and individually, we all a vital part to play in “flattening the curve”. Our behaviour can and will make a difference in saving lives. We can do this by physically distancing, washing our hands, adhering to coughing etiquette and staying at home.

Until next week, I wish you and your loved ones a happy and a healthy weekend.

With best wishes,

Eugene

25 March

From Prof. Eugene Wall, President of MIC

Dear Students,

As you will know, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, yesterday announced further measures in relation to the COVID-19 crisis.  He has confirmed that universities and universities will remain closed until April 19.  However, as you know, this is still an evolving situation, and as I have outlined in previous communications, our informed expectation is that the required period of closure could stretch beyond this period. Realistically, we do not expect that students will physically return to campus this semester.

MIC’s COVID-19 Response Team continue to meet regularly online via Microsoft Teams, as do the Academic Sub Groups, led by Prof. Niamh Hourigan. A further comprehensive communication will be circulated to all staff and students on Friday 27 March with confirmed details of our planned alternative means of assessment and revised deadlines, where necessary.

Full details on new measures introduced by the Government yesterday are available to view here. I would urge you to read this and please abide by these guidelines, specifically in relation to physical distancing. We must all play our part in combatting the spread of the virus and safeguarding public healthy, especially those who are particularly vulnerable and at-risk from the virus.

Again, I remind all staff and students to check their MIC e-mail accounts regularly and to monitor the FAQ section of the website as this is being updated with new and relevant information on a daily basis.

Finally, I want to reiterate my deep-felt thanks to everyone for their solidarity during these unprecedented times.

I hope that you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy.

Kind regards,

Eugene

18 March

From Prof. Eugene Wall, President of MIC

Dear Students,

In the course of his televised address to the nation on Tuesday 17 March, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, signalled that the closure of education institutions could extend beyond 29 March. Although there is no certainty about the matter, peak-virus is not expected in this country for several weeks yet. It is, therefore, our informed expectation that the required period of closure could stretch to months rather than weeks. Realistically, we are preparing for the decidedly real possibility that the Limerick and Thurles campuses will remain closed until the summer.

I am acutely aware that many of you are concerned and anxious about the impact of the coronavirus on your own health and that of your family and friends. I am equally mindful that, even at this early stage, some of you and your families are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the economic damage that is being caused by the spread of the virus. I want to assure you that we at MIC are doing all within our power, and will continue to do everything that we can, to minimise the impact on your studies.

As I stated to you in my e-mail last Thursday (12 March), Academic Staff have prepared contingencies for remote programme delivery.  They are working on putting alternative forms of assessment, appropriate to the current situation, for all modules and for all students. These will be communicated to you through your Academic Departments. I have asked the Deans of the Faculties to ensure that all students are communicated with regularly. This is important to note because you can expect that all further information setting out the details of our revised academic delivery and assessment methods will be conveyed to you directly by the Academic Departments involved in your respective programmes. For this semester, we will provide alternative means of assessment to the traditional paper-based, onsite exam-hall experience. All students will be advised of these arrangements in the coming weeks.

The Research and Graduate School are working with students and supervisors to deal with research-related queries.

Please consult your MIC e-mail account regularly for updates in these regards. These updates will not be placed on social media or on the website.

We have developed a comprehensive FAQ section for students [see below] on our website, and you are encouraged to check this regularly.   Should you have a question that has not been covered on this page, we invite you to submit it to us for inclusion by sending it to:

Students who are living in MIC owned-accommodation will be contacted in the near future. 

Students are asked to carefully consider international travel and monitor the rapidly evolving travel advice and country-specific action which will see travel embargoes to and from some regions.

For international students: please inform the International Office and Placement Office of your decision to stay in Ireland or return home, and also indicate whether you are staying in accommodation on campus or off-campus. This is important as it will enable us to direct support over the coming weeks.

Kind regards,

Eugene

16 March

From Prof. Eugene Wall, President of MIC

Dear student,

We have taken the unusual decision to write to you collectively in these extraordinary times. Your health and safety and that of our wider community is our primary concern, which is why we have all instigated revised at-distance teaching and assessment methods for the coming weeks.

We appreciate that you are all aware of the health implications of COVID-19 and at this stage are taking action to limit its spread yourselves. To restate the advice from the HSE, please follow the guidelines around social distancing, maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres between yourself and other people.  We also particularly ask that you stay away from crowded places in the weeks ahead and limit your own social interactions.

This does not mean that you should avoid the company of others completely. In fact, it is important for your mental wellbeing to keep in contact with friends and family; just please maintain social distancing by completely foregoing meeting in groups, especially social gatherings or party environments. 

You should also make a point of looking out for each other by checking in with other students who might be lonely or isolated by phoning them, or Facetime, Skype, Zoom, or whatever system you use.  You could also offer your services to volunteer organisations to collect shopping or prescriptions for elderly neighbours or walk their dogs.

Small social gatherings with enough space between participants to follow the HSE social distancing guidelines are still possible. But any events or activities that involve crowds should be avoided until further notice.

We ask you to do this for three reasons. Firstly, to protect yourselves from infection. Secondly, to slow down the spread of COVID-19 in order to protect at risk people, some of whom may die if they contract the virus.  And thirdly, to reduce pressure on our healthcare system. There are close to a quarter of a million students in Irish Higher Education and we are in a strong position to reduce the spread of the virus by acting collectively.

It is important to remember that if you do contract the virus, your health could be severely affected, and you pose a great danger to the older members of society and those with weak immune systems. You could even be unwittingly responsible for putting others at increased risk.

Scientific and public health advice tells us that it will take some time before COVID-19 can be contained. You can play your part as an individual by keeping yourself healthy so that the healthcare system can continue to function.

As a student, you are in a unique position. You are being taught online in many cases and do not have to come into work as many others have to do. All these precautions mean little if you do not stay away from crowds.

Reputable information that is constantly updated is available from www.hse.ie or from the HSE (@HSELive) and Department of Health (@roinnslainte) Twitter feeds.

Be kind to each other and take care of yourselves and each other.  Let’s give each other the space to find our way through these challenging times and the time to find humanity and meaning here too. 

Yours sincerely,

Eugene Wall, (President, MIC)

Amanda McCloat (Acting President, St. Angela’s College)

Andrew Deeks (President, UCD)

Annie Doona (President, IADT)

Barry O’Connor (President CIT)

Brendan McCormack (President, IT Sligo)

Brendan O’Donnell (President, IT Tralee)

Brian MacCraith (President, DCU)

Cathal Kelly (Chief Officer, RCSI)

Ciarán Ó Catháin (President, AIT)

Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, (President of NUI, Galway)

David FitzPatrick (President TU Dublin)

Des Fitzgerald (President, University of Limerick)

Michael Hannon (Acting President, GMIT)

Michael Mulvey (President, DkIT)

Patricia Mulcahy (President, IT Carlow)

Patricia O Sullivan (Executive Director, Higher Education Colleges Association)

Patrick O’Shea (President of UCC)

Patrick Prendergast (Provost, Trinity College Dublin)

Paul Hannigan (President LYIT)

Philip Nolan (President, Maynooth University)

Vincent Cunnane (President LIT)

 

With the support of: Lorna Fitzpatrick, President, USI

Academic Queries

Mary Immaculate College will remain closed for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis which means that current programme delivery has moved online. Assessments will also be delivered through remote online methods. We recognise that working from home presents a range of challenges to both staff and students particularly in terms of internet broadband connectivity. As a result, we have planned contingencies for the following four scenarios:

  • MIC’s preferred option is that all staff and students engage in online programme delivery and assessment through Moodle our online learning platform. The Learning Enhancement and Academic Development (LEAD) Centre has already developed and circulated guidance to staff on programme delivery and assessment through the platform.
  • Students who are experiencing continued difficulties with programme delivery and assessment through Moodle because of connectivity issues, are asked to contact Module coordinators to discuss alternatives that can be delivered via email.
  • In exceptional cases, where online or email delivery is impossible, we will consider postal submission. This postal submission must be agreed with Module coordinators and submitted to:

Academic Submissions (with name of Module coordinator and title of module)
Mary Immaculate College
South Circular Road
Limerick

  • If a student is unable to submit assessments then they may be eligible to apply for an I-Grade; information available further on in the Q & A section.

All further information setting out the details of our revised academic delivery and assessment methods will be conveyed to you directly by the Academic Departments involved in your respective programmes.

Moodle will be the primary source for delivery of content and for assessment. Your module coordinator will update the Moodle page for each module once it has been finalised to reflect any changes. You are strongly encouraged to engage with Moodle on a regular basis and to recommence your studies via online means as soon as possible.

  • All exams, scheduled for this semester will now not go ahead. Instead they will be replaced with an alternative assessment that students can complete remotely.
  • All other on-campus assessments, including oral examinations either planned or scheduled to occur this semester, will not now go ahead.
  • Continuous assessment continues as prior to the COVID-19 crisis.  End-of year-assessments and remaining continuous assessment will be conducted remotely and will replace formal sit-down examinations that should have taken place in May.
  • All existing continuous assessments which can be completed remotely will go ahead as originally planned and within the time-frame communicated to you by your lecturer. All continuous assessment already completed will be assessed and contribute to the final grade for the module.
  • For all final year projects and Masters dissertations due for completion and submission between now and the end of the academic year, supervision will be offered remotely. The format of the project or dissertation may need to change where the original plan of work is not possible due to the restrictions related to COVID-19. Any such changes will be communicated to you by your course director
  • All alternative assessments will offer equivalent validity, reflect high standards, and address the learning outcomes as any award-related assessment ordinarily conducted on campus.
  • To ensure we maximise the opportunity for students to complete all assessments, all remaining assessments (including any replacement for an end of semester exam) will be made available on Moodle and/or distributed via email by Monday 6 April.
  • Where module coordinators have set deadlines for existing assessments, they still apply. The final deadline for the submission of all alternative assessments (including those replacing exams) will be Friday 15 May – the final date of this current semester. This provides you with a six-week window (06/04 until 15/05) to complete all required assessments. We strongly advise you to plan and manage your workload during this period and the early completion of assessments is encouraged. Students should not wait until 15 May.
  • Deadlines for alternative assessment submissions will be staggered across this six-week window. Module coordinators will share the timeline for submission of assessments with you.This timeline will assist you as you plan your work and reduce the stress of too many submissions occurring at one time. While we ask you to adhere to the deadlines indicated by module coordinators, we will allow flexibility with submissions up to and including the final deadline of May 15.

We will continue to operate the I-Grade process. Please note two changes to this process:

  • In the case of illness, students will be able to provide self-certification where third-party certification is not possible.  We are acutely aware that we cannot add any extra burden to the health services within Ireland at this time. 
  • In the case of a COVID-19 related impact that is not covered within our current regulations for I-Grades, a category for circumstantial issues will be facilitated.  Our objective is to ensure that no student will be penalised for a COVID-19 related issue and at the same time maintain academic standards and quality.   For example, this category may cover students with a change in any home care arrangement, an inability to engage in remote assessment due to a change in personal circumstances, inability to access learning supports remotely, students with poor internet connections etc.

I-Grade application forms are available on the student portal.

  • MIC Limerick students seeking I-Grades in respect of spring semester modules should email their I-Grade application to Lisa.Leahy@mic.ul.ie
  • MIC Thurles students seeking I-Grades in respect of spring semester modules should email their I-Grade application to  Paula.Hourigan@mic.ul.ie
  • General Enquiries: SAA@mic.ul.ie

It is important that you email your I-Grade application as soon as possible if you miss the final submission deadline of 15 May or any extension that may have been granted to you.

  • End of semester two occurs on Friday 15 May as per original calendar.
  • There will be a delay in releasing semester two results and overall award classifications; we will work to minimise this delay as much as possible. At this stage, the predicted delay is 2 weeks. We estimate that results will be released on Monday 6 July 2020.
  • The dates for the recheck process, script viewing days, student status committees will also be affected. These revised dates are as follows:
Task                                                                 Previous Date / New Date(s)
Final date to submit end of year assessments                                    15 May
End of Semester Two:                                                           15 May / 15 May
Release of examination results:                                             22 June / 6 July
Opening of grade recheck applications:                                  22 June / 6 July
Script Viewing day (possibly online):                                                     14 July

MIC will offer repeat assessments/exams in August. As we are preparing for all eventualities, academic staff have been requested to consider alternative models of assessment for annual repeats

Students with poor internet access should note that they can access Moodle course content offline if they have the (free) Moodle Mobile app installed on their mobile device (phone or tablet). More information on the app can be accessed here: https://download.moodle.org/mobile/

There is also a Moodle Desktop app which allows users to download and browse course content offline on desktops and Surface tablets: https://download.moodle.org/desktop.

After installation, users simply need to enter our Moodle URL (https://moodle.mic.ul.ie) in the app configuration settings, which you will prompted to do. You will then be prompted to enter your usual MIC login details.

  • Students who are experiencing continued difficulties with programme delivery and assessment through Moodle because of connectivity issues, are asked to contact Module coordinators to discuss alternatives that can be delivered via email.
  • In exceptional cases, where online or email delivery is impossible, we will consider postal submission. This postal submission must be agreed with Module coordinators and submitted to:

Academic Submissions (with name of Module coordinator and title of module)
Mary Immaculate College
South Circular Road
Limerick

  • If a student is unable to submit assessments then they may be eligible to apply for an I-Grade; information available further on in the Q & A section.

Please contact one of the following as relevant:

All Oral Examinations scheduled for the spring semester have been cancelled. Any module that had an oral component will be restructured and the details posted to the relevant Moodle page in the coming days.

Please regularly check your emails and access your Moodle course pages including any online forum which your lecturer may have established. This way you can stay in touch with your lecturers and fellow students and stay in control of the work you need to submit.

The FAQs at in this section are updated regularly and are a good source of information for the many questions that you may naturally have at this time.

All students who were on placement have been contacted directly by the Placement Programme Manager, Director of School Placement, Head of School of Education (Post-Primary) Thurles or ECCE Coordinator as appropriate and have received specific advice in relation to this. If you are one of these students please consult the email sent to your student email account.

    Message from Maeve Sullivan, Placement Programme Manager

    Please Note: Following a Government announcement on 24 March, the MIC campuses at Limerick and Thurles remain closed and we do not expect to physically return to campus this semester.

    Dear OCP 2019/20 Students,

    I hope that you are all well.  Further to previous College communications, you will be aware of the evolving situation re COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Mary Immaculate College is continuing to closely monitor this situation – see: https://www.mic.ul.ie/covid-19. You will be aware that, in line with the Government directive, the College campus is currently closed until further notice. It is extremely likely that this closure will extend well beyond that time.

    Up until now, you were expected to attend your placement (so long as your host organisation was open). However, we understand that this is a worrying time for you and your families. For that reason, should you prefer not to attend your placement setting until the current crisis passes, you are free to make the necessary arrangements to do so. Please contact your host organisation/line manager by telephone and/or email to advise. Should you be required not to, or should you choose not to, attend your placement at the current time, you will not be at a disadvantage vis-à-vis your degree studies/academic progression.

    Should you choose to remain at your host organisation, it is imperative that you stay safe and follow all advice and instructions issued by the HSE, your host organisation and the Irish public health authorities. Please continue to refer to the following sources for the latest up-to-date and reliable information:

    Please be assured that your safety and well-being is our top priority.  As Mary Immaculate College is currently closed, you may experience some delays in responses to your communications as some staff are working from home. Please be patient in this regard and we will respond to you as promptly as we can. Please do not hesitate to contact me [Maeve.Sullivan@mic.ul.ie] should you require any additional information.

    Please contact the relevant staff member/office:

    24 March

    Joint statement regarding Initial Teacher Education & Gaeltacht Learning Period, from Department of Education and Skills and Teaching Council.

    In light of the emergency measures being adopted in relation to COVID-19, the following changes have been introduced for students on Initial Teacher Education programmes. 

    Students who are in the final year of their Initial Teacher Education programme will not be required to complete the usual Gaeltacht Learning Period in order to graduate in summer 2020. This will not adversely impact on applications by these teachers for registration to the Teaching Council.

    In the case of student teachers in all other years of their ITE programme, the Gaeltacht requirement is being postponed and can be fulfilled at a later point in the programme.

    Comhráiteas ón Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna agus ón gComhairle Mhúinteoireachta maidir le hOideachas Tosaigh Múinteoirí agus an Tréimhe Foghlama Gaeltachta.

    Ag cur san áireamh na bearta éigeandála atá á nglacadh maidir le COVID-19, tá na hathruithe seo a leanas á dtabhairt isteach do scoláirí ar Chláir Oideachais Mhúinteoirí.

    Ní bheidh ar na scoláirí atá sa bhliain dheireanach den Chlár Oideachais Mhúinteoirí an ghnáth-thréimhse foghlama Gaeltachta a chríochnú chun an chéim a bhaint amach i Samhradh 2020. Ní chuirfidh se seo isteach ar iarrataisí  ó na múinteoirí seo le clárú leis an gComhairle Mhúinteoireachta.

    Maidir le hábhair oidí na mblianta eile den chlár Oideachais Tosaigh Múinteoirí, tá an tréimhse foghlama Gaeltachta á cur ar ceal agus is féidir é seo a chomhlíonadh ag tráth níos déanaí  ar an gclár.
     

    The April/May school placement for B Ed 2, B Ed & Psychology 2 and PME 1 students has been postponed and will occur, Covid-19 situation permitting, in November 2020. Please check your student email for the most recent update and details issued by the module coordinator. 

    For Alternative Educational Experience/Applied Placements, due to Covid-19, restrictions are in place for this module. Please check your student email for updates from the module coordinator. 

    If you are ill and it affects your ability to complete all/some of your assignments, please follow procedures for applying for an I-Grade.

    MIC Limerick students seeking I-Grades in respect of spring semester modules should email their I-Grade application to Lisa.Leahy@mic.ul.ie; MIC Thurles students should email Paula.Hourigan@mic.ul.ie.

    The I-Grade Committee is scheduled to meet on Monday 8 June 2020 and all applications should be emailed in advance of this date.

    Please note that we are unable to issue official transcripts of results at present. However, we can arrange for a PDF copy of your transcript to be emailed to you. If you require a PDF copy of your transcript, please email your request to SAA@mic.ul.ie.

    If you require a letter of registration, please email your request to SAA@mic.ul.ie.

    MIC Limerick students

    All applications to be considered by the Student Status Committee should be emailed to Carrie.Ryan@mic.ul.ie.

    MIC Thurles students

    All applications to be considered by the Student Status Committee should be emailed to Paula.Hourigan@mic.ul.ie.

    The Student Status Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday 15 July 2020. All applications should be emailed before 5pm on Monday 13 July 2020.

    You can email your question to the MIC Garda Vetting Officer at: Anne.Murraybrowne@mic.ul.ie or Gardavetting@mic.ul.ie, or consult the list of common Garda Vetting FAQs in the table below.

    Garda Vetting FAQ
    Q.

    Will I have completed my Garda Vetting Application in time for placement?

    A.

    As soon as normal College business resumes, we will resubmit your NVB1 data and recommence your application. At this point no further action is required.

    Q.

    Does this mean I will have to complete the online application again?

    A.

    Yes. You will receive an email directly from National Vetting Bureau (NVB), containing a link to your online application. It is important that you complete this and submit it as soon as possible.

    Q.

    I received an email in the last 2 weeks from NVB informing me that my application was complete and that a disclosure had been made to MIC. Will I still need to have my application resubmitted?

    A.

    Yes. as we are currently unable to retrieve your Letter of Disclosure from the NVB portal. After 30 days, these will have expired and therefore applications will need to be resubmitted.

    Q.

    I discovered a typo in my application; should I still complete my application?

    A.

    No, you can allow it to expire. Please email the MIC Garda Vetting Officer the details and they will correct this as soon as the College resumes normal business.

    Q.

    I forgot to complete my online application and now I am unable to access it, will I have my Letter of Disclosure for placement?

    A.

    We will resubmit your data as soon as we resume normal business. All being well, you will then have completed your application in time for placement.

    Q.

    I submitted an application and paid my fee but I have heard nothing from the NVB. I have also checked my Spam folder.

    A.

    Please email the Garda Vetting Officer and this will be checked as soon as normal College business resumes.

    Q.

    I lost my Letter of Disclosure and need a copy of my letter for placement; what should I do?

    A.

    As soon as normal College business resumes, the Garda Vetting Officer can arrange this for you. There is a €15 copy letter fee applicable for this service, so please have a good look at home to avoid unnecessary expense.

    Message from Maeve Sullivan, Placement Programme Manager

    Please Note: Following a Government announcement on 24 March, the MIC campuses at Limerick and Thurles remain closed and we do not expect to physically return to campus this semester.

    Dear Erasmus+ Study / Traineeship & Non-EU Study Students 2019/20

    I hope you are all well. Further to previous College communications, you will be aware of the evolving situation re COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Mary Immaculate College is continuing to closely monitor this situation – see: https://www.mic.ul.ie/covid-19. In terms of placement abroad, Mary Immaculate College is following the advice of the DFA, the HSE and the public authorities of the countries in which our partner institutions/organisations are located. 

    Currently, there is no requirement to cancel /curtail your study/traineeship abroad.  However, we understand that this is a worrying time for you and your families; for that reason, should you choose to return home earlier than planned, you are free to make the necessary arrangements to do so. Rest assured, should you be required to or should you choose to cancel/curtail your placement abroad, we will ensure you will not be at a disadvantage vis-à-vis your degree studies/academic progression.

    Should you choose to remain at your host organisation and in your host organisation, it is imperative that your stay safe and follow all advice and instructions issued by the DFA, the HSE, your host organisation and the public authorities in your host country. Please continue to refer to the following sources for latest up-to-date and reliable information:

    Please see the following link in relation to the Irish NA and the Coronavirus: http://eurireland.ie/2020/03/06/covid-19.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs regularly updates its website with the most up-to-date advice and the security status of each country. The link below allows you to select a country and get the most pertinent and up-to-date information in relation to that country.  See: https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/. The same page allows you to download the DFA Travel App and also to register with their Citizen’s Registration service. The Travel App, once downloaded, can provide alerts in relation to the selected country.

    All Irish citizens abroad should register with the Citizens’ Registration Service, in particular those travelling to high risk destinations. By registering with DFA, they will then be contacted in the event of an unforeseen crisis or family emergency while they are overseas.

    Please be assured that your safety and well-being is our top priority.  As Mary Immaculate College is closed, you may experience some delays in responses to your communications as some staff are working from home. Please be patient in this regard and we will respond to you as promptly as we can. Please do not hesitate to contact me [Maeve.Sullivan@mic.ul.ie] should you require any additional information.

    Message from Maeve Sullivan, Placement Programme Manager

    Please Note: Following a Government announcement on 24 March, the MIC campuses at Limerick and Thurles remain closed and we do not expect to physically return to campus this semester.

    Dear Erasmus+ Students 2019/20,

    I hope you are all well and that you have been both enjoying and benefitting from your study abroad experience at Mary Immaculate College to date. Further to previous College communications, you will be aware of the evolving situation re COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  Mary Immaculate College is continuing to closely monitor this situation – see: https://www.mic.ul.ie/covid-19. In terms of your studies, Mary Immaculate College is following the advice of the DFA and the HSE. 

    Currently, there is no requirement to cancel /curtail your studies at MIC and return home.  However, we understand that this is a worrying time for you and your families; for that reason, should you choose to return home earlier than planned, you are free to make the necessary arrangements to do so.  Rest assured, should you be required to or should you choose to cancel/curtail your studies at MIC, we will ensure you will not be at a disadvantage vis-à-vis your studies; as per previous College communications, module content will be delivered remotely and alternative assessment methods will be facilitated.

    Should you choose to continue your studies at MIC and remain in Limerick, it is imperative that your stay safe and follow all advice and instructions issued by the DFA, the HSE, MIC and your home institution. You will be aware that the College is closed until further notice. Please continue to refer to the following sources for the latest up-to-date and reliable information:

    The Department of Foreign Affairs regularly updates its website with the most up-to-date advice and the security status of each country. The link below allows you to select a country and get the most pertinent and up-to-date information in relation to that country. See: https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/. The same page allows you to download the DFA Travel App. The Travel App, once downloaded, can provide alerts in relation to the selected country.

    Please be assured that your safety and well-being is our top priority.  Please note this email has been copied to each of your home institutions/Erasmus Coordinators. As Mary Immaculate College is closed until further notice, you may experience some delays in responses to your communications as some staff are working from home. Please be patient in this regard and we will respond to you as promptly as we can. Please do not hesitate to contact me [Maeve.Sullivan@mic.ul.ie] should you require any additional information.

    Message from Holly Cowman, Director of International Engagement

    Please Note: Following a Government announcement on 24 March, the MIC campuses at Limerick and Thurles remain closed and we do not expect to physically return to campus this semester.

    Dear Study Abroad/Exchange students,

    As you will be aware, the College will remain closed until further notice for all staff and students.

    In terms of your studies arrangements have been made for the remote delivery of classes and assessment of your learning for the rest of this semester. In terms of exams and assessments, the traditional closed book written exam format will be replaced with alternative end of term assessments. You will receive specific communication from your individual lecturers in relation to the delivery of your programme content, how you will be asked to engage with it and the specific end of semester assessment. Please continue to monitor you student email account.

    Currently, there is no requirement to cancel /curtail your studies at MIC and return home. However, we understand that this is indeed a very worrying time for you and your families and should you choose to return home earlier than planned, you can make the necessary arrangements to do so. We are conscious that the airlines are gradually limiting services to affected areas and that the US has banned flights from 22 EU countries bordering the Schengen region but not the UK and Ireland. There is therefore a limited window in which students can return to their home countries if they wish. If you decide to travel back to your home country, we will ensure that you will be able to complete your studies remotely and alternative assessment methods will be facilitated.

    The International Office is available via email (as the College will be physically closed) to support you and answer any questions we can help with. If you require transport to Shannon Airport or to the bus/train station if flying from Dublin Airport, please let Holly or Breeda know by emailing Holly.Cowman@mic.ul.ie or Breeda.Cahill@mic.ul.ie

    If you have not already been in touch, please email to let us know of your plans and please let us know if you feel you are unable to return home.

    We have contacted your home universities to make them aware of the situation. Please keep them informed of your plans too.

    The College’s Covid-19 Response Team will continue to meet and to monitor developments, while our staff move to delivering our educational programmes online. We will continue to advise you on any updates. A separate communication will go out to our on-campus residents to outline the plans in place to support students in MIC residences who are unable to return home.

    If students are in need of medical attention, please telephone the Ashdown Medical Centre at +353 61 301200 during business hours. There is a €10 charge for an appointment for an MIC student (on presentation of your MIC student card).

    If out-of-hours, please telephone ShannonDoc at +353 1850 212 999.

    Please continue to refer to the following sources for the latest up-to-date and reliable information:

    The dedicated webpage: https://www.mic.ul.ie/covid-19 should be your reference for official institutional updates in relation to MIC specific news and advice on COVID-19 so please continue to monitor this.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs regularly updates its website with the most up-to-date advice and the security status of each country. The link below allows you to select a country and get the most pertinent and up-to-date information in relation to that country. See: https://www.dfa.ie/travel/tra…. The same page allows you to download the DFA Travel App. The Travel App, once downloaded, can provide alerts in relation to the selected country.

    HSE: https://www2.hse.ie/condition…

    With every good wish,

    Holly and all the team in the International Office.

    Message from Holly Cowman, Director of International Engagement

    Please Note: Following a Government announcement on 24 March, the MIC campuses at Limerick and Thurles remain closed and we do not expect to physically return to campus this semester.

    Dear students,

    As you will be aware, the College will remain closed until further notice for all staff and students.

    In terms of your studies arrangements have been made for the remote delivery of classes and assessment of your learning for the rest of this semester. In terms of exams and assessments, the traditional closed book written exam format will be replaced with alternative end of term assessments. You will receive specific communication from your individual lecturers in relation to the delivery of your programme content, how you will be asked to engage with it and the specific end of semester assessment. Please continue to monitor you student email account.

    Currently, there is no requirement to cancel /curtail your studies at MIC and return home. However, we understand that this is indeed a very worrying time for you and your families and should you choose to return home earlier than planned, you can make the necessary arrangements to do so. We are conscious that the airlines are gradually limiting services to affected areas and that the US has banned flights from 22 EU countries bordering the Schengen region but not the UK and Ireland. There is therefore a limited window in which students can return to their home countries if they wish. If you decide to travel back to your home country, we will ensure that you will be able to complete your studies remotely and alternative assessment methods will be facilitated.

    The International Office is available via email (as the College will be physically closed) to support you and answer any questions we can help with. If you require transport to Shannon Airport or to the bus/train station if flying from Dublin Airport, please let Holly or Breeda know by emailing Holly.Cowman@mic.ul.ie or Breeda.Cahill@mic.ul.ie

    If you have not already been in touch, please email to let us know of your plans and please let us know if you feel you are unable to return home.

    The College’s Covid-19 Response Team will continue to meet and to monitor developments, while our staff move to delivering our educational programmes online. We will continue to advise you on any updates. A separate communication will go out to our on-campus residents to outline the plans in place to support students in MIC residences who are unable to return home.

    If students are in need of medical attention, please telephone the Ashdown Medical Centre at +353 61 301200 during business hours. There is a €10 charge for an appointment for an MIC student (on presentation of your MIC student card).

    If out-of-hours, please telephone ShannonDoc at +353 1850 212 999.

    Please continue to refer to the following sources for the latest up-to-date and reliable information:

    The dedicated webpage: https://www.mic.ul.ie/covid-19 should be your reference for official institutional updates in relation to MIC specific news and advice on COVID-19 so please continue to monitor this.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs regularly updates its website with the most up-to-date advice and the security status of each country. The link below allows you to select a country and get the most pertinent and up-to-date information in relation to that country. See: https://www.dfa.ie/travel/tra…. The same page allows you to download the DFA Travel App. The Travel App, once downloaded, can provide alerts in relation to the selected country.

    HSE: https://www2.hse.ie/condition…

    With every good wish,

    Holly and all the International Office team.

    Yes. Support classes are being delivered online for both campuses and and one-to-one academic support is available remotely also.

    Academic Learning Centre

    Maths Support Unit

    If you wish to avail of maths support, please email Danielle.Sciascia@mic.ul.ie.

    Read the ALC Study Skills Handbook.

    Access/Disability Office

    If you wish to contact the Access/Disability Office at MIC, please email Maura.Moore@mic.ul.ie.

    During this period of college closure, MIC Library’s online services continue to be available 24 hours per day to students and staff, and these are accessible via the Library Website.

    How to Contact Us and Get Help

    Library staff will be available to answer online queries from 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. All user queries should be emailed to library@mic.ul.ie or sent through the Ask A Question link on the Library Website. Information on all MIC Library Services is also available on our A-Z of Services page on the Library Website.

    Accessing Off-Campus

    If you are a registered student or staff member, it is possible to access all online information resources from home. When you click on a link to a Database or an E-Journal, a window will pop up prompting you for a user name and password, please log in using your MIC username and password. More details are also available here.

    Online Resources Available

    • Ebooks can be found in the Library Catalogue; enter your search term and under Collection select Electronic Books.
    • EJournals Articles can be found through the Library’s Search All search box and E-Journals can be found on the A-Z of Journals Page; type the title of the journal in the search box.
    • Our Library Subject Guides can be found on the Library Webpage and give information on finding resources for a subject area.

    Additional Resources

    As the College closure progresses, online resource providers are starting to make their content freely available. The Library have created a Subject Guide to list these additional resources, which mostly consists of primary, secondary and higher level academic textbooks. We will update the Subject Guides as more resources become available.

    For Subject Guides, click here.

    Ordering eBooks for Courses

    MIC Faculty members who wish to order eBooks to facilitate remote learning can do so by emailing library@mic.ul.ie and we will do our best to make the book available as quickly as possible. Not all books are available as ebooks, but we will endeavour to get as many ebooks for students as the College’s contracted ebook supplier can provide. MIC Faculty can contact library@mic.ul.ie if you require further information on this option.

    Borrowing and returning of books

    Fines have been waived on books for the duration of the period of closure.

    To keep up dated with news on library services, please follow the library via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – links to all our social media sites are also available on our webpage.

    Top 10 tips for students studying at home:

    1. Get up early as if it was a normal College day.
    2. Establish a structure to your day. Block out times for lectures, study, meals, exercise etc.
    3. There are a number of online tools such as Skype or Zoom that you can download for free and enable you to coordinate video chats with groups of people. Use these programs to set up study groups with course mates so you can spend some time discussing ideas, analysing texts together and swapping study tips.
    4. Engage with your learning. Put your phone down while studying or listening to an online lecture as if you were in the library or in an actual lecture. Be prepared, do the readings and take notes as in a normal lecture.
    5. Organise a designated space for study.
    6. It is normal to feel lonely at the moment. Stay in touch with your peers and friends using social media.
    7. Take regular breaks. Get out for a walk/run/cycle every day but practice physical distancing. Alternatively, get 30 minutes of exercise at home. There are a number of workouts on Youtube to choose from; www.fitnessblender.com is another good source.
    8. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals and healthy snacks.
    9. Anxiety is a normal human emotion. It is likely that the uncertainty we are facing at the moment can increase feelings of anxiety. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/mental-health/minding-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html
    10. Activities like yoga and meditation can help with feelings of stress and anxiety. There are lots of Youtube videos to choose from.

    Compiled by MIC Health Promotion

    Read the MIC Academic Learning Centre Study Skills Handbook.

    Welfare/Pastoral Queries

    For Fees-related queries, email Studentfees@mic.ul.ie and for grants-related queries (SUSI/HEA), email Studentgrants@mic.ul.ie.

    Access/Disability Office

    If you wish to contact the Access/Disability Office at MIC, please email Maura.Moore@mic.ul.ie.

    Chaplaincy

    • MIC Limerick: Fr Wall is available at +353 86 2550436.
    • MIC Thurles: Fr Walsh is available at +353 86 7714888.

    Counselling Service

    If you need to contact a MIC counsellor, please send an email to one of the following:

    For a list of general well-being and mental health supports in the mid-west region, click here.

    Student Parent Coordinator

    If you wish to make contact with the MIC Student Parent Coordinator, please contact Nicola.Hurley@mic.ul.ie Also, you may wish to follow the dedicated Facebook page, Mary I Student Parent Support Service, for updates on relevant supports and up-to-date information for student parents and expectant student parents.

    External Supports

    Up-to-date information on external welfare supports are available on the following websites: www.citizensinformation.ie and www.gov.ie.

    • A&E Dept. for mental crisis: +353 61 301111
    • The Samaritans: 116123
    • AWARE: +353 1890 303302
    • Pieta House: +353 61 484444
    • Rape Crisis: +353 1800 311511

    The HSE is the definitive source of medical advice for COVID-19; please refer to www.hse.ie.

    On the front page of this section (Latest Update), some general FAQs are covered as well as sources of more information.

    Students can also contact their own GP by phone or the following services:

    MIC Limerick

    If students are in need of medical attention, please telephone the Ashdown Medical Centre at +353 61 301200. There is a €10 charge for an appointment for an MIC student.

    GP listings for Limerick

    If out-of-hours, please telephone ShannonDoc at +353 1850 212 999.

    MIC Thurles

    A GP Service is available for MIC Thurles students with Dr Liam Collins at The Surgery, Fianna Road, Thurles by contacting +353 504 21155. There is a €10 charge for an appointment for an MIC student.

    GP listings for Tipperary

    If out-of-hours, please telephone ShannonDoc at +353 1850 212 999.

    • MIC-owned student accommodation remains open ONLY to accommodate overseas students.
    • College operations are in shutdown until further notice. Students therefore will not be returning this semester for regular College operations and lectures etc,
    • There will be a refund of rental payment made in relation to the period of unused accommodation and Finance will process this in the near future.

    The Accommodation Office can be contacted on Courtbrack@mic.ul.ie or +353 61 302500.

    In relation to private and other providers, the MIC Accommodation Manager will endeavour to offer advice; see contact information above.

    Staff

    Updated: 6 April

    Following a Government announcement on 24 March, the MIC campuses at Limerick and Thurles remain closed and we do not expect to physically return to campus this semester.

    For staff FAQs, see below.

    Please Note: These arrangements are applicable to the current closure period and are being monitored and reviewed in accordance to the evolving situation and official advice being received.

    Read full PDF here.

    INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT
    Mary Immaculate College’s COVID-19 Academic Response Group has been meeting regularly and consulting with our colleagues at the University of Limerick, in order to develop a coherent response to the range of challenges to programme delivery and assessment posed by the COVID-19 crisis. Given the scale and extent of uncertainty facing the entire HEI system, we have endeavoured to formulate a response which maintains the academic integrity of our programmes. We aim to ensure that MIC students will still be able to undertake assessments and complete their studies in a timely manner and progress to the next academic year or graduation. This response has been governed by two key elements – flexibility on the part of staff and students in meeting the challenges presented by the crisis and - compassion in recognising and responding to the particular difficulties being faced by all members of the MIC community at the moment. Given the challenging nature of the current situation, measures we have decided upon are provisional and may need to be reconfigured if required at short notice.

    Mary Immaculate College will remain closed for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis which means that current programme delivery has moved online. Assessments will also be delivered through remote online methods. We recognise that working from home presents a range of challenges to both staff and students particularly in terms of internet broadband connectivity
     

    CONNECTIVITY
    It is recommended that staff and students engage in online programme delivery and assessment through Moodle, our virtual learning environment. The Learning Enhancement and Academic Development (LEAD) Centre has already developed and circulated guidance to staff on programme delivery and assessment through Moodle.

    Useful links from LEAD’s Moodle Support Page for Staff include:

    1. Getting Started with Moodle
    2. Setting up Self-Enrolment to allow Students to access Moodle
    3. Courses Assigning a Colleague Non-Editing Teacher Access to your Moodle Course
    4. Uploading Learning Material to a Moodle Course
    5. Using Discussion Forums to Facilitate Communication with your Students
    6. Setting up Online Assignments
    • If issues with connectivity seriously prevent a student from engaging with Moodle, we have provided for alternative forms of submission via email. Students experiencing these difficulties should contact their module co-ordinators to discuss these submissions and all submissions should be copied to the generic Faculty and School exam submission e-mail addresses.
    • In exceptional cases, where online or email delivery is impossible, we will consider postal submission. This postal submission must be agreed with module co-ordinators and all submissions for modules undertaken on both the Limerick and Thurles campuses should be submitted to Academic Submissions (with module co-ordinator and title of module) at Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick.
    • Finally, there is scope to consider obstacles to submission which ultimately inhibit a student’s capacity to submit assessments within the revised I grade process which is outlined below

    GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF REVISED ASSESSMENT STRUCTURE

    • All terminal exams arranged at institutional level for May through Student Academic Administration will no longer go ahead.
    • All other on-campus assessments, including oral examinations either planned or scheduled to occur later this semester, will no longer go ahead this semester.
    • Continuous assessment continues as prior to the COVID-19 crisis. End-of year-assessments and remaining continuous assessment will be conducted remotely and will replace formal sit-down examinations that should have taken place in May.
    • All existing continuous assessments which can be completed remotely will go ahead as originally planned and within the timeframe communicated students. All continuous assessment already completed will be assessed and contribute to the final grade for the module.
    • All alternative assessments will offer equivalent validity, reflect high standards, and address the learning outcomes as any award-related assessment ordinarily conducted on campus.

    Dates

    • To ensure we maximise the opportunity for students to complete all assessments, all remaining assessments (including any replacement for an end of semester exam) should be made available on Moodle and/or distributed via email by Monday 6 April.
    • Where module co-ordinators have set deadlines for existing assessments, they still apply. The final deadline for the submission of all alternative assessments (including those replacing exams) will be Friday 15 May – the final date of this current semester. This provides students with a six week window (06/04 until 15/05) to complete all required assessments. We ask academic staff to advise students in managing their workloads during this period and to encourage the early completion of assessments.
    • Deadlines for alternative assessment submissions should be staggered across this six week window. Faculty administrators may request certain deadlines to be moved in order to avoid overload of the Turnitin system and overload of submissions for students. While we ask students to adhere to the deadlines indicated by module co-ordinators, we are suggesting flexibility with submissions up to and including the final deadline of 15 May. No late penalties should be applied to assignments during this period. This model provides students with a six-week window (6/4 to 15/5) in which to complete all required assessments.
    • All grades should be submitted by the extended module grade entry (MGE) deadline of Tuesday 9 June.

    FINAL YEAR PROJECT & DISSERTATION
    All final year projects and Master's dissertations due for completion and submission between now and the end of the academic year will be offered remotely.

    • The format of the project or dissertation may need to change where the original plan of work is not possible due to the restrictions related to COVID-19 and these changes should be discussed with project supervisors
    • For Masters programme dissertations occurring over the summer, we will replicate the multiple Module Grade Entry processes in a similar way to AY 18-19 and facilitate a full Winter exam board.

    Repeats
    MIC will offer repeat assessments/ exams. As we are preparing for all eventualities, academic staff have been requested to consider alternative models of assessment for annual repeats.

    Virtual Learning Environment: Moodle

    • All module owners on Moodle should identify at least one another person as non-editing teacher who can access the module content if required
    • All lecturers should assign an alternative faculty member as editing teacher to access to assessments if required in the event of illness.
    • Where assessments are submitted by email, staff should ensure that the submission is sent to the relevant lecturer and copied to the Faculty’s generic email address.
    • Faculty administrators, Head of Departments, Course Leaders and Student Academic Administration should be aware of the deadline for each module in order to ensure that students do not have several final deadlines falling on the same day.
    • Faculty should begin to put contingency plans in place for corrections and the inputting of grades in case of illness.

    IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON INCOMPLETE (I) GRADES
    Clearly, during the COVID-19 pandemic the requirements for I grades is highly unpredictable. As such, we will continue to operate the I grade process as outlined in the UL regulations. However, there are two significant changes in how the process will operate:

    1. In the case of illness, students will be able to provide self-certification where third-party certification is not possible; we are acutely aware that we cannot add any extra burden to the health services within Ireland at this time.
    2. In the case of a COVID-19 related impact that is not covered within our current regulations, a special (fourth) category will be facilitated. Our objective is to ensure that no student will be penalised for a COVID-19 related issue and at the same time maintain academic standards and quality. For example, this category may cover students with a change in any home care arrangement, an inability to engage in remote assessment due to a change in personal circumstances, inability to access Learning Educational Needs Summary (LENS) related learning supports remotely, students who lack access to a digital infrastructure with no alternative assessment mode – this list is not exhaustive.

    Documentation linked to I-Grades will be based around our current I grade platform and processes.

    IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE UNIVERSITY CALENDAR
    The extension of the module grade entry period to facilitate assessment of remote assessment points will impact on the academic calendar. This will impact the processes and/or committee meetings outlined below. It should be noted that these dates are provisional and are in line with dates outlined by the University of Limerick and are dependent on the impact of COVID-19 and containment measures on students and staff. Additionally, further changes to the AY 19-20 and AY 20-21 calendar may be required. See table below:

    Task                                                                          Previous Date / New Date(s)
    Deadline for students to submit assignments:                    15 May / 6 April-15 May
    Deadline for all student assessment submissions:                                       15 May
    End of Semester Two:                                                                    15 May / 15 May
    I-Grade Committee meeting:                                                           10 May / 8 June
    Module Grade Entry deadline:                                                        16 May / 9 June
    MIC Examination Board meeting for graduating students:            5 June / 17 June
    MIC Examination Board meeting for progressing students:          3 June / 22 June
    Release of examination results to students:                                   22 June / 6 July
    Opening of grade recheck applications:                                          22 June / 6 July
    Script Viewing day (possibly online):                                                             14 July
    Student Status Committee meeting:                                                 1 July / 15 July

    MEMBERSHIP OF THE MIC COVID 19 ACADEMIC RESPONSE GROUP
    Vice President Academic Affairs (Chair); Dean (Acting) of the Faculty of Arts; Dean of the Faculty of Education; Head of School Thurles; Assistant Registrar; Director of Teaching and Learning; Director of Student Life; Director of ICT; Director of Executive Operations; and Professional Services staff.

    31 March

    From Prof. Eugene Wall, President of MIC

    Dear Staff,

    I hope that this communication finds you and your loved ones well – and that you are protecting yourself and others from contracting the COVID-19 virus.

    Since my email to you on Friday last, the Government has announced that, in order to safeguard public health, it has introduced additional measures since Friday midnight (March 27) and that these will last until 12 April 2020. As you are doubtless aware, the latest Government directive requires us to remain at home except under certain specified conditions, a list of which may be accessed here.

    You may also be aware that we closed access to our Limerick campus over the weekend. This decision was not taken lightly, as we have been mindful throughout the crisis of the wonderful resource that our campus offers to our local community. However, to our dismay, and despite repeated urging on our part, large groups continued to congregate on the campus and refused to adhere to official physical distancing advice.  In keeping with our responsibility to play our part in promoting community health and safety, we took the prudent decision to close the entire campus.

    As of now, access to MIC campuses will be granted only to personnel carrying out essential business.  Where this is to happen, a letter of authorisation must be obtained in advance through the relevant Line Manager in case this is required for presentation to MIC Security and/or the Gardaí.  If there are particular tasks that are required to be completed over the coming weeks that require campus access, then those requests should be directed to Michael Keane or Prof. Niamh Hourigan through the established line management structure.

    Observing the devastating effects of this virus, both in other countries and at home, continues to be a disturbing experience.  It has graphically demonstrated the significant threat that this dreadful virus poses to our lives, to our livelihoods  and to those we love. I’m sure you well appreciate that the weeks ahead are crucial in this titanic battle against this cruel disease. As a society, we have a precious opportunity to learn from how other countries are handling the crisis - and to put this into practice. What we do as individuals each day will determine how scarred our society will be when it emerges, as it surely will, from this crisis In the midst of these tribulations, we can take considerable heart from the perceptible surge in social solidarity, and especially the countless acts of unsparing kindness and courageous caring that we witness from so many sections of our society with each passing day.  We have reason to be cautiously hopeful that the very considerable sacrifices that are currently required will help to reduce the number of deaths and alleviate greater suffering. And so, I urge each and every one of you to play your role at this critical time in our history. Please follow the official advice - Stay at Home - and do your utmost to counteract the spread of the disease.

    My best wishes to you all for a safe and healthy week ahead.

    Eugene

    27 March

    From Prof. Eugene Wall, President of MIC

    Dear Colleagues,

    It is scarcely credible that it is just two weeks since Mary Immaculate College closed its campuses in Limerick and Thurles following government advice due to the COVID-19 crisis.

    During that time, we have watched our taken-for-granted reality rapidly recede from us in front of our eyes.  Understandably, we are all struggling to come to grips with this altered reality and, in these times of great uncertainty, we are quite naturally apprehensive about what the future holds.

    I know that some of you have experienced financial hardship, many are missing loved ones as we continue to practice physical distancing, and all of us have had to come to terms with new and disconcerting ways of operating.

    However, something that has remained unchanged is MIC’s great community spirit. I am so proud of the way the members of our community have rallied together and continue to support each other during these extraordinary times.

    You will have noticed in previous communications we stated that MIC was ‘physically’ closed - because that is an accurate reflection of our current state.  However, in the background MIC is a hive of activity, with work that extends far beyond what we could normally expect, as we endeavour to ensure that all operations continue to function as smoothly as possible. At all times, two of our key priorities have been to minimise disruption to our students’ studies and to do so in the most supportive manner possible. This is a communal effort and I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all for their enormous commitment and dedication over the past two weeks.

    Earlier today, Prof. Niamh Hourigan circulated details of MIC’s COVID-19 Academic Response Plan, with comprehensive details of our planned alternative means of assessment and revised deadlines. Full details of the plan are available to view here with a summary version for students available to view here. I trust I can count on your assistance in meeting these obligations and ensuring the integrity of our systems.

    Again, I remind all staff and students of their responsibility to check their MIC e-mail accounts regularly and to keep visiting the MIC.ie/COVID-19  webpage as our comprehensive list of FAQs are updated on daily basis.

    Collectively and individually, we all a vital part to play in “flattening the curve”. Our behaviour can and will make a difference in saving lives. We can do this by physically distancing, washing our hands, adhering to coughing etiquette and staying at home.

    Until next week, I wish you and your loved ones a happy and a healthy weekend.

    With best wishes,

    Eugene

    25 March

    From Prof. Eugene Wall, President of MIC

    Dear Colleagues and Students,

    As you will know, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, yesterday announced further measures in relation to the COVID-19 crisis.  He has confirmed that universities and universities will remain closed until April 19.  However, as you know, this is still an evolving situation, and as I have outlined in previous communications, our informed expectation is that the required period of closure could stretch beyond this period. Realistically, we do not expect that students will physically return to campus this semester.

    MIC’s COVID-19 Response Team continue to meet regularly online via Microsoft Teams, as do the Academic Sub Groups, led by Prof. Niamh Hourigan. A further comprehensive communication will be circulated to all staff and students on Friday 27 March with confirmed details of our planned alternative means of assessment and revised deadlines, where necessary.

    Full details on new measures introduced by the Government yesterday are available to view here. I would urge you to read this and please abide by these guidelines, specifically in relation to physical distancing. We must all play our part in combatting the spread of the virus and safeguarding public healthy, especially those who are particularly vulnerable and at-risk from the virus.

    Again, I remind all staff and students to check their MIC e-mail accounts regularly and to monitor the FAQ section of the website as this is being updated with new and relevant information on a daily basis.

    Finally, I want to reiterate my deep-felt thanks to everyone for their solidarity during these unprecedented times.

    I hope that you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy.

    Kind regards,

    Eugene

    16 March

    A message from Prof. Eugene Wall, President of MIC

    I am writing to provide you with an update on the current status of the College’s response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, particularly in light of the announcement by An Taoiseach that all schools and higher educations must remain closed until the end of March. We are also mindful that we are still in the early stages of an impending public health crisis, with ample evidence that it is likely to deteriorate significantly in the weeks ahead. While we are endeavouring to ensure continuity of service to our students, we are utterly cognisant that our paramount concern is for the welfare of our staff and our students. We also recognise that, in keeping with our institutional mission, we have responsibilities to safeguard and promote the public good.

    I have established a COVID-19 Response Team who are meeting daily online via Microsoft Teams. This Team comprises members of the Executive Team, as well as the Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing, Director of ICT, Director of the International Office, the Senior Academic Administrator and Head of School in Thurles, and the President of MISU. 

    A sub-group of this team, led by Prof. Niamh Hourigan, has been coordinating academic matters.  Prof. Hourigan has now established four further sub-groups as follows: Thurles, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Education and Technical. These groups will work with the Academic Staff of the College to deliver and manage academic operations during this period.

    As you are probably aware, we have created FAQ pages on our website for staff and students. This is updated as new information and new queries come to light, and I would request that you check this page regularly for updates.  

    The Presidents of Irish Universities, Institutes of Technology, and Colleges have, today, taken the unprecedented step of issuing a joint communique (see Students tab to the right for details) to all students nationally. The statement is a potent signifier of their shared concern about the gravity of the unfolding situation and it exhorts students to demonstrate social responsibility in order to safeguard their own interests and the interests of our wider society, particularly its most vulnerable members. This advice cannot be repeated often enough. The seriousness of the situation is being conveyed by qualified experts who need to be heard at this time, before events deteriorate further. In this regard, I would exhort you to read the well-researched article by Tomas Pueyo (https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca).

    Colleagues, we are heading into uncharted waters, with troubled times ahead that will demand much of us as individuals, as a community and as a nation. To that end  MIC has undertaken to make unoccupied student accommodation available for the purpose of a field hospital, should the need arise. 

    I want to reiterate my thanks to all of you for your work and support in continuing to deliver key College operations. In the greater scheme of things, each one of us has a vital role to play in combatting the aggressive progression of this disease by practising social distancing and by sharing official updates from official outlets only. I know well, and trust fully, that I can rely on your support in these matters. 

    Kind regards,

    Eugene

    HR/General Queries

    See FAQ below.

    A full closure of the of MIC campuses, Limerick and Thurles, was made in line with the announcement by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Thursday 12 March. A switch to an online mode of learning and assessment is underway.

    Staff are asked to work from home insofar as is possible, having regard to obligations to care for children or other dependent persons and subject to the staff member being well.

    Line managers are asked to continue to provide direction to any staff members who can work from home, insofar as is possible. Staff who can work from home are asked to monitor email during normal working hours. FAQs for employees in relation to working from home on a temporary basis underneath this section.

    MIC’s COVID-19 Response Team continue to meet remotely on a daily basis and will issue updated communications via this website, social media platforms and email as necessary.

    Staff may gain access to the College buildings and their office if needed. HOWEVER to do this, the staff member should agree the requirement with their Line Manager and the Line Manager should obtain approval from Prof Niamh Hourigan (for Academics) or Michael Keane (for Professional Services). Access to buildings is being strictly controlled. Staff accessing the building should go directly to their office and engage in social distancing from other staff at all times. Security must be informed of who is in the building and will facilitate access to locked buildings given advance notice.

    Under no circumstances should face-to-face staff meetings be conducted on or off campus.

    While the campus is closed college operations continue, albeit remotely. If you have any concerns please contact your Line Manager.

    Please check your staff email and this web page for regular updates.

    The HR Office will maintain an e-mail enquiry service during normal working hours. HR enquiries may be sent to hr@mic.ul.ie. Staff members are reminded of the availability of the Employee Support Service.

    You can contact the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) by free phoning 1800 995 955 or email eap@vhics.ie or login to LiveWell site at www.wellbeing-4life.com using your unique login code: VHIMaryI.

    Further information in relation to working arrangements and leave associated with COVID-19 as issued by the Dept of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) on 16 March available here.

    Staff wages and salaries will continue to be paid as per contracts of employment during the COVID-19 crisis shutdown. 

    Part-time hours staff will be paid on submission of part-time hours forms, approved by Head of Department, to include hours that had been contracted for but not worked owing to the shutdown.

    Any payroll queries should be sent to Finance@mic.ul.ie.

    Staff members are advised to cancel all work related overseas travel until further notice. Travel advice remains under constant review. For further travel guidance please refer to www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advi….

    If the medical/HSE advice is that the staff member should self-isolate the employee will be placed on special leave with pay and this period will not count as part of their sick leave record.

    If an employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 then this will be recorded as special leave and will count as part of their sick leave record.

    Yes; special leave is paid leave.

    As is normal procedure, if staff members are unwell for any reason, and are consequently unfit for work they should notify their line manager of this. Line managers are requested to inform the HR Office of any such notification. Sick leave absence due to COVID-19 is being treated as special leave rather than sick leave under the standard sick pay scheme. Staff are advised to ensure that medical certification submitted in respect of sick leave absence due to COVID-19 specifies that that is the case in order to ensure that the absence is not counted against paid sick leave limits under the standard sick pay scheme.

    Staff members will only be asked to cancel leave arrangements in exceptional circumstances when they are required to provide essential services.

    Department of Education & Skills: 6 April

    Updated Temporary Assignment FAQs here.

    Department of Education & Skills: 2 April

    Read here; Temporary Assignment FAQs here.

    Department of Education & Skills: 30 March

    Read here.

    Higher Education Authority: 20 March

    Read here.

    The HSE is carrying out contact tracing of all individuals who may have come into casual or close contact with a diagnosed patient. You will only be contacted directly by the HSE if you fall into this category. You will be advised by the HSE on what actions to take. Please notify your programme director or your line manager if you have been contacted by HSE and have been medically certified to self-isolate. Please do not contact students directly.

    Staff should contact their GP for health advice.

    If out-of-hours, please telephone ShannonDoc at +353 1850 212 999.

    Please practice social distancing and follow the official advice of the HSE here.

    All members of the MIC community must take personal responsibility for their own health and that of our entire community. We are relying on our community to closely follow the HSE hand hygiene advice and other prevention measures.

    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty
    • Practice good respiratory hygiene, that is, when coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
    • Maintain social distancing, keeping a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people. Do not shake hands or make close contact if possible. Minimising contact between potentially infected individuals and healthy individuals is important to help slow the spread of coronavirus
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself

    The most important action we can take to protect ourselves from COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is regular hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene.

    Read a step-by-step guide from the HSE on how to properly wash your hands and avoid infection and see a helpful video here.

    More Tips

    MIC Staff Portal: Go to https://micportal.mic.ul.ie and log-in using your email and Active Directory password. Alternatively, on the homepage of www.mic.ie, there is an item on the top right linking to 'MIC Portals' (desktop) or towards the end of the hamburger menu (mobile).  

    MIC Staff email: Log-in to the portal as above and use the Useful Weblinks on the far left.

    Moodle: Log-in to the portal as above and use the Useful Weblinks on the far left.

    Agresso: Log-in to the portal as above and use the Useful Weblinks on the far left.

    During this period of college closure, MIC Library’s online services continue to be available 24 hours per day to students and staff, and these are accessible via the Library Website.

    How to Contact Us and Get Help

    Library staff will be available to answer online queries from 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. All user queries should be emailed to library@mic.ul.ie or sent through the Ask A Question link on the Library Website. Information on all MIC Library Services is also available on our A-Z of Services page on the Library Website.

    Accessing Off-Campus

    If you are a registered student or staff member, it is possible to access all online information resources from home. When you click on a link to a Database or an E-Journal, a window will pop up prompting you for a user name and password, please log in using your MIC username and password. More details are also available here.

    Online Resources Available

    • Ebooks can be found in the Library Catalogue; enter your search term and under Collection select Electronic Books.
    • EJournals Articles can be found through the Library’s Search All search box and E-Journals can be found on the A-Z of Journals Page; type the title of the journal in the search box.
    • Our Library Subject Guides can be found on the Library Webpage and give information on finding resources for a subject area.

    Additional Resources

    As the College closure progresses, online resource providers are starting to make their content freely available. The Library have created a Subject Guide to list these additional resources, which mostly consists of primary, secondary and higher level academic textbooks. We will update the Subject Guides as more resources become available.

    For Subject Guides, click here.

    Ordering eBooks for Courses

    MIC Faculty members who wish to order eBooks to facilitate remote learning can do so by emailing library@mic.ul.ie and we will do our best to make the book available as quickly as possible. Not all books are available as ebooks, but we will endeavour to get as many ebooks for students as the College’s contracted ebook supplier can provide. MIC Faculty can contact library@mic.ul.ie if you require further information on this option.

    Borrowing and returning of books

    Fines have been waived on books for the duration of the period of closure.

    To keep up dated with news on library services, please follow the library via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – links to all our social media sites are also available on our webpage.

    Finance Queries

    See FAQ below.

    Please be advised that Finance is available through individual finance staff emails or Finance@mic.ul.ie if staff members are unavailable.

    Queries will be answered via email and redirected if necessary with follow-up calls if required.

    Thank you for your all patience and we will endeavour to keep the Finance Department running as effectively as possible during this period.

    Agresso is functioning as normal. Requisitions can be made but please ensure procurement guidelines for quote attachments and supplier set-up requirements are adhered to.

    Agresso Web can be accessed through the MIC Staff Portal.

    The Finance page in the MIC Staff Portal here has all the guidelines for Agresso requistions and expenses entry for MIC staff. Please access these first before emailing Finance as emails are being answered in rotation.

    Expenditure Claims can be made through Agresso, again please attach receipts as we cannot pay without them. Please ensure that receipts/backups are not sent as emails but are saved as PDF and attached. Other formats open differently and can cause issues.

    Agresso Web can be accessed through the MIC Staff Portal.

    Any issues regarding accessibility to Agresso should be made to ICTHelpdesk@mic.ul.ie.

    The Finance page in the MIC Staff Portal here has all the guidelines for Agresso requistions and expenses entry for MIC staff. Please access these first before emailing Finance as emails are being answered in rotation.

    Payroll queries can be sent to Finance@mic.ul.ie and they will be dealt with. Contract queries should be sent to HR.

    All queries regarding payments for lecturers who are hourly paid should be made to the relevant Education or Arts department or the staff members' cost centre.

    Guidelines for MIC employees working from home temporarily

    See FAQs below.

    Working ‘remotely’ from an external location is possible using two methods:

    The first method, which will apply to the vast majority of staff working remotely, is simply through an internet connection (e.g. home broadband). Using their normal broadband connection to the internet, staff can log in as authorised users to the applications they normally use on a day-to-day basis such as Office 365 email, SharePoint, Moodle and Agresso. Staff can also access online documents that they may have saved to Sharepoint, OneDrive (Office 365) or Dropbox.

    The second method is through a Virtual Private Network or VPN and this will apply to a smaller number of staff. A VPN is necessary for external access to shared files on systems such as FileStream and SAN-Server file shares, which some offices use for secure document storage. A VPN is also necessary for staff administering College systems such the Student Records System (SI) and Agresso Client. The vast majority of staff using these systems have been provided with VPN access by ICT Services but if any staff member requires one to continue to work online they should contact ICT Services immediately.
     

    The College has provided ways to work remotely without being in breach of Data Protection policies. How you share data is very important and as long as you follow the dos and don’ts below you will NOT be in breach of the College’s Data Protection Policies and Procedures:

    Policies & Advice

    Do

    • Continue to comply with all College related ICT and data compliance polices which are available on https://micportal.mci.ul.ie
    • Continue to adhere to previous and new advisories issued by ICT Services and the Data Compliance office.

    Data Breaches

    Do

    • Report ALL incidents involving loss or disclosure of personal data (e.g. emails sent to the incorrect recipient, files lost/stolen, cyber security incidents) to Dataprotection@mic.ul.ie as soon as you become aware of the incident.
    • MIC has an obligation under GDPR to report data breaches to the Data Protection Commission within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach.

    Devices

    Do

    • Make sure that devices being used have the necessary updates, such as operating system updates (like iOS or android) and software/antivirus updates.
    • Ensure your device, is used in a safe location, for example where you can keep sight of it and minimise who else can view the screen, particularly if working with sensitive personal data.
    • Lock your device if you do have to leave it unattended for any reason.
    • Take extra care that devices, such as USBs, phones, laptops, or tablets, are not lost or misplaced. When a device is lost or stolen, email ICTHelpdesk@mic.ul.ie or Sataprotection@mic.ul.ie immediately.

    Emails

    Do

    • Follow the data protection policies around the use of email at https://micportal.mic.ul.ie.
    • Use work email accounts rather than personal ones for work-related emails involving personal data.
    • Before sending an email, ensure you’re sending it to the correct recipient, particularly for emails involving large amounts of personal data or sensitive personal data.
    • Only connect to secured WI-FI connections.

    Don't

    • Download email attachments to personal phones or non-MIC owned machines.

    File Storage

    • Only use MIC’s trusted networks or cloud services, and comply with MIC rules and procedures about cloud or network access, login and, data sharing.
    • Use Team Share Storage: ICT Services provide file shares for offices/teams on the central storage infrastructure managed by ICT Services. This enables staff within an office or team to share files between office/team members.
    • Use SharePoint (micportal.mic.ul.ie): SharePoint can be used as a secure place to store, organise, share, collaborate and access information between College domain users.
    • Use Dropbox: This is a secure file sharing and storage solution for College domain users and college partners that do not have a college domain account. When sharing files/folders, users are advised to share these to individuals as opposed to using the sharing a link feature. The sharing a link feature publicly shares files/folders and this is not recommended.
    • Use OneDrive: ICT Services facilities OneDrive. Microsoft OneDrive is a file hosting service and synchronization service operated by Microsoft as part of Office 365.

    Sending Personal Data

    Don't

    • Use email for communicating personal data. Instead, use central systems such as SharePoint.

    Do

    • First password protect your attachment if you are sending personal data via attachments to an email.
    • Use HEA File Sender when sending large files containing personal data; ensure you select the ‘encrypt’ option. Instructions are available on the ICT portal page.

    Paper files containing MIC data

    • Only print documents if necessary. Avoid retaining duplicate copies of data.
    • Always use a shredder/confidential shredding console when disposing of College documents.
    • Keep documents which contain MIC data secure when working at home – always lock paper files away when not in use.
    • Exercise a ‘clean desk’ ethos when using shared spaces for work purposes.

    Learn how to schedule meetings using MS Teams here.

    The ICT Services Helpdesk is available to answer any queries you have relating to working from home remotely during the COVID-19 closure.

    For ICT enquiries, please email ICTHelpdesk@mic.ul.ie.

    The Information Compliance team, along with the ICT Services Helpdesk are available to answer any queries you have relating to working from home remotely during the COVID-19 closure.

    Continuity Teaching, Learning & Assessment Options

    A message from Learning Enhancement & Academic Development (LEAD)

    Read Alternative Online Assessment Processes here.

    The sections below include links to guidance on how to set up alternative assessment options; staff are asked to work through these guides independently before contacting LEAD (LEAD@mic.ul.ie).

    Please note that these guidelines have been uploaded to Moodle and further links/detail are available upon log-in here.

    LEAD is dealing with all queries using a queue system and a delayed response is to be expected. This section will be updated with additional links and resources as they become available.

    Face-to-Face Learning & Teaching

    This FAQ is designed to provide guidance to teaching staff in the event that it is no longer possible to proceed with assessments that are planned to take place in a face-to-face environment. This would represent highly unusual circumstances and faculty are encouraged to consider feasible and reasonable alternatives; this will require more flexibility and adaptations than in normal circumstances.

    In consultation with Heads of Department, academic staff should consider any outstanding assessment components and determine the most feasible way to examine module learning outcomes. This may mean adapting or merging planned assessments.

    It is very important that any changes to assessment practices should be clear, simply designed and effectively communicated to students. Please bear in mind that we cannot assume that all students (or staff) will have access to fast and reliable broadband and we must plan accordingly and be flexible regarding expectations and deadlines.

    Staff are asked to work through these guides independently before contacting LEAD (LEAD@mic.ul.ie). LEAD is dealing with all queries using a queue system and a delayed response is to be expected. This section will be updated with additional links and resources as they become available.

    Please note that these guidelines have been uploaded to Moodle and further links/detail are available upon log-in here.

    Timed synchronous exams are not permitted or supported by the college. This is due to the fact that these are extremely labour intensive, requires dedicated support, and carries high risks in the event that students are unable to access Moodle for the entire duration of a timed unseen exam.

    Therefore, you should identify alternative modes of assessments which are released in adequate time to allow students to work independently and upload to Moodle over a period of time.

    How can this work?

    • Essay-style questions can be submitted as Turnitin assignments these must be are open for a period of at least few days so students are not subject to time limitations which may introduce risk for those with poor ICT infrastructure
    • Students can record audio or video responses to assignments created using the ‘Online Text’ option for the Moodle Assignment activity. However, note that there is a two minute limit to audio and video responses.
    • Calculation questions can be facilitated using randomised Moodle Quiz. It is important that these quizzes are open for a period of at least few days so students are not subject to time limitations which may introduce risk for those with poor ICT infrastructure
    • Questions which require drawing, written calculations etc. can be facilitated if students take a photo of their work, embed in a Word document and upload using the Moodle Assignment activity. Please note however that there is a file upload limit on Moodle of 100MB. Larger files should be submitted to MS OneDrive and shared as required.

    Implications/Considerations

    Please allow maximum flexibility and time to allow students to complete assigned tasks. Consider what module learning outcomes might have been already assessed using continuous assessment and then adapt any planned summative examinations accordingly.

    Timed synchronous oral exams are not permitted or supported by the college. This is due to the fact there are workload implications regarding training, support, and arranging student access. Reliable broadband will be required for all examiners and students and there will need to be a dedicated support person available throughout all oral examinations to deal with technical queries. This is impossible to guarantee.

    Staff must identify alternatives to synchronous, real-time oral examinations.

    How can this work?

    • Students can record audio or video responses to assignments created using the ‘Online Text’ option for the Moodle Assignment activity, but note that there is a two minute limit to audio and video responses. However, a more extended oral response can be facilitated if students are asked multiple questions, each set up as a separate question using the Moodle Assignment activity.
    • Students can record themselves responding to given questions using the audio or video recorders on their phones or personal devices; these recordings can then be uploaded as a Moodle Assignment activity (<100MB) or to MS OneDrive (>100MB).

    Implications/Considerations

    Please consider the most straightforward way for students to demonstrate their achievement of module learning outcomes regarding oral expression, bearing in mind the technical expertise of all involved.

    There are a number of different options to facilitate group or individual presentations, however there are specific limitations around hardware and digital skills. Students will require access to a device with a built-in microphone or will need an external microphone to complete this task. Furthermore, there is a potential that a small number of students may not have the digital skills to complete this task, therefore there will need to be access to dedicated support to answer student queries.

    How can this work?

    • Students can upload a PowerPoint poster presentation, similar to a conference poster. This can be converted to pdf and uploaded as either a Turnitin assignment or a Moodle Assignment activity. LEAD can provide a template and guidelines to facilitate this, please contact LEAD@mic.ul.ie.
    • Students can generate a video of their PowerPoint presentation. PowerPoint has the capability to allow students to record audio over each slide. The PowerPoint can then be exported as a MP4 *(video) file and uploaded to a Moodle Assignment activity.
    • If a group presentation is required similar to the above, students can develop a PowerPoint slide deck and each student can add the relevant audio for each slide, once all students have recorded their audio they can exported as a MP4 file and uploaded to a Moodle Assignment activity.

    Implications/Considerations

    It is important to consider that Moodle has a maximum upload limit of 100MB. An average PowerPoint presentation with 10 slides and 10 minutes of audio is approximately 55MB which is significantly under the upload limit of 100MB. Longer presentations will need to be submitted to MS OneDrive, which has an upload limit of 100GB per file. Also, provisions will need to be made for students that do not have the technology to record audio. An option would be to record audio on a mobile device such as a phone and insert this into the PowerPoint slides.

    There are a number of different options to facilitate individual performances, practicals and demonstrations. However, there are specific limitations around group presentations and the availability of hardware, software and digital skills. As a result, there will need to be specific expertise to support student queries.

    How can this work?

    The suggested method for allowing students to meet the assessment criteria for this mode of assessment is through the recording of audio or video. There are several technologies that can facilitate this, including:

    • Mobile devices: Students can record their performance, demonstration or presentation on a personal mobile device such as a phone or tablet. They will need a USB cable to remove this from their device and upload it as a Moodle Assignment activity(<100MB) or using MS OneDrive (>100MB).
    • Use the camera available on their laptop or PC. New devices have access to a camera on their laptop. Students can then upload it as a Moodle Assignment activity(<100MB) or using MS OneDrive (>100MB).•
    • Students can record an audio piece of their performance using the Windows Voice Recorder app. This is free to download and can be accessed here. LEAD can provide guidelines on how to use this - contact LEAD@mic.ul.ie. Students can then upload it as a Moodle Assignment activity(<100MB) or using MS OneDrive (>100MB). Note: Students will need to ensure they have a built-in microphone to use the app.

    Implications/Considerations

    • It is important to consider that Moodle has a maximum upload limit per file of 100MB. Students cannot upload any files over this limit to Moodle and will instead need to upload to MS OneDrive and share as required.
    • Students will need access to a built-in microphone and/or web camera to complete this mode of assessment.
    • Some students will not have the digital skills to use the technologies and so support will need to be provided to such students.

    There are multiple technology-enabled feedback solutions available to ensure that students continue to receive feedback on drafts and submitted assignments in an online environment.

    Options available include:

    • Individual or small group feedback can be given in real time using Moodle Chat or MS Teams. Recordings can be made available, if desired.
    • Whole class written, audio or video feedback (maximum two minutes) can be provided using a Moodle Forum. Students can respond in writing, audio or video as part of a discussion forum; forums can be set up as groups to enable small group discussions.
    • MoodleChat Activity allows students and lecturers to have a real-time synchronous text-based discussions, with individual students and/or groups. The chat session can be a one-time activity, or it may take place at regular times. Chat sessions are saved and can be made available for everyone to view or restricted to specific users.
    • The Feedback Studio in Turnitin facilitates various forms of feedback, including QuickMarks, audio comments and text comments.
    • Screencasts can be created using narrated PowerPoints and uploaded to Moodle for whole class feedback.
    • Feedback can be provided to assessments submitted using the Moodle Assignment activity in the form of feedback comments, annotated PDF or feedback files (e.g. document with comments, spoken audio feedback).

    Online Learning & Teaching

    This FAQ is designed to provide guidance to teaching staff in the event that it is no longer possible to proceed with teaching in a face-to-face environment.

    Please bear in mind that we cannot assume that all students (or staff) will have access to fast and reliable broadband and we must plan accordingly and be flexible regarding delivery modes.

    It is important that you communicate to your students:

    1. How learning material will be delivered and available to them.
    2. When this learning material will be delivered/made available to them.
    3. What technical infrastructure is required to attend virtual classes or engage with the learning material.
    4. How they are expected to engage with this learning material.

    The sections below include links to guidance on the various delivery modes available to staff to substitute for face to face classes; staff are asked to work through these guides independently before contacting LEAD (LEAD@mic.ul.ie). LEAD is dealing with all queries using a queue system and a delayed response is to be expected.

    Please note that these guidelines have been uploaded to Moodle and further links/detail are available upon log-in here.

    MIC is recommending where possible staff should choose asynchronous delivery modes. This is due to the fact that staff and students will have various internet and broadband capacities, depending on their home locations.

    Asynchronous delivery involves preparing lecture content in advance and allowing students to access it in their own time.

    How can this be done?

    Option 1: Record your lectures using MS PowerPoint with narration, export this as an MP4 (video) or .PPS (PowerPoint slideshow) file and upload them to Moodle. Click here for guidelines.Note:Moodle has a file upload limit of 100MB. A PowerPoint file with 15 slides and 15 minutes of audio will be approximately 75MB. Therefore it is important to chunk your lecture into smaller sizes. If necessary, files larger than 100MB can be uploaded to MS OneDrive and the share link uploaded to the Moodle course page.

    Option 2: Annotate your slides with notes and upload them to Moodle as a file.

    Option 3: Allow students to ask questions. Use the Moodle discussion forums to facilitate discussions and respond to students' questions.

    Implications/considerations

    • You should clearly communicate to students when the asynchronous content will be made available to them. You should also have clear guidelines about how students can ask questions or communicate with the lecturer regarding asynchronous content.
    • Students must have access to a mobile device, laptop or computer with earphones or speakers.
    • PowerPoint slides should be prepared with the audio at less than 15 minutes to ensure it can be uploaded to Moodle.

    In certain circumstances staff may need to interact in real time. In such circumstances there are two options.

    Note: The College recommends that this is not the main mode of delivery due to the potential for technical issues.

    How can this be done?

    Option 1: MS Teams has the capacity to allow virtual meetings and communication. However, this is only recommended for small groups as you are required to invite each student individually.

    Option 2: Online support hours or questions: the online chat facility in Moodle or MS Teams can be used to facilitate real-time text conversations with students.

    Implications/considerations

    • You should clearly communicate to students when the class will be delivered.
    • You should provide clear guidelines to students on how they can access the class.
    • Students must have access to a mobile device, laptop or computer with speakers and reliable internet access.
    • It is important to test the technology before the class and allow at least 20 minutes before the class to get set up.

    Staff/PGR Student Research

    Updated: 6 April

    Following a Government announcement on 24 March, the MIC campuses at Limerick and Thurles remain closed and we do not expect to physically return to campus this semester.

    The FAQs below relate to staff researchers and postgraduate research students (PGRs in Master's, PhD, Structured PhD and DecPsy programmes).

    Dear Staff Colleagues and PGRs, we are assembling a set of FAQs on common research-related queries (see below). We will update this on a regular basis as required. We will do our best to ensure insofar as possible that the information is accurate and up-to-date, but please bear in mind that we are working in the very fluid context of a health emergency, and our advice and guidance is subject to change at the direction of the Public Health authorities and the management Executive Team of MIC.

    If you find the answers here do not sufficiently address your questions, you can contact the Research & Graduate School through the email addresses given below.

    Make initial contact by email, and we can follow up by phone if necessary.

    Staff research information and postgraduate forms, guidelines, documents and a wide range of other information can be accessed with your MIC email/computer login username and password on the RGS Intranet.

    For Staff & Research Postgraduate Students please enter your username as MIC\Firstname.Surname. For Taught Postgraduate students please enter your username as MICstudent\ID Number.

    The College is in a lockdown situation with access strictly controlled and only permitted for minimal numbers engaged in essential services. You will have to wait until this current period of isolation is over.

    The deadline for submissions to PRSC on 8 April has passed. However, you may make a submission to the next PRSC by emailing your documentation in PDF format (with e-signatures) to Rebecca. A call for submissions will be sent as usual via email when the date is confirmed.

    Click here to access the PRSC forms and documents you may require (e.g. applications, nominations of examiners, LOA, etc.

    A meeting of the Postgraduate Research Sub-Committee (PRSC) is confirmed for 8 April 2020. A subsequent meeting of PRSC will be confirmed at this 8 April sitting. The date for this next meeting of PRSC will be advertised as usual via email and in an updated version of this set of FAQs.

    Yes. Send applications to Gerardine.Campion@mic.ul.ie and CC RGSO@mic.ul.ie.

    However, due to continuing uncertainty about COVID-19, it is unclear what events will take place in the AY 2019-20. Until things become clear, applications willbe kept on file to be processed chronologically at a later date in line with public health advice.

    Yes. Send applications to Gerardine.Campion@mic.ul.ie and CC RGSO@mic.ul.ie.

    However, due to continuing uncertainty about COVID-19, it is unclear what events will take place in the AY 2019-20. Until things become clear, applications willbe kept on file to be processed chronologically at a later date in line with public health advice.

    Yes. Send applications to Gerardine.Campion@mic.ul.ie and CC RGSO@mic.ul.ie.

    However, due to continuing uncertainty about COVID-19, it is unclear what events will take place in the AY 2019-20. Until things become clear, applications willbe kept on file to be processed chronologically at a later date in line with public health advice.

    In these circumstances please contact Gerardine.Campion@mic.ul.ie and CC RGSO@mic.ul.ie.

    Each case will be responded to individually according to the specific circumstances.

    Continue as planned with respect to your original deadline, and send your revised thesis to your Examiner(s) in a timely manner for review. Once we receive your PGR6A before the deadline, you will still be within the specified time frame for corrections. We will then accept your hard-bound theses without penalty once College reopens. For further information, contact Julianne or Rebecca at the Research & Graduate School.

    Progression meetings should only take place by remote means during the COVID closure. Progression Panel members *must* convene for the purposes of reviewing PGR submissions, though the PGR student is not required to be present. However, there may be no face-to-face meetings involving any group i.e. no staff-student meetings, no staff-staff meetings, no on campus meetings, no off-campus meetings.

    Yes. Due to the current crisis, new deadlines for Erasmus+ Projects were issued for projects managed by the National Agency and for projects managed by the European Commission. Find details here.

    Yes. You may apply for project seed funding and research up-skilling funding in the usual way to Gerardine.Campion@mic.ul.ieand Mary.Collins@mic.ul.ie.

    Forms and other documentation are available on the RGS Intranet.

    Yes. The UK Council for Graduate Education is offering a free webinar on the topic of Adapting Postgraduate Education for Remote Delivery. Information and registration is available here.

    The HRB and IRC have announced a Rapid Response Funding Opportunity (Cov19) 2020. Find details here.

    Hiring Managers will need to engage with the HR Office where you will receive advice and guidance on this matter.

    The RGS position is to strongly recommend that all PGR Research Review Panel Meetings take place no later than the end of May unless seriously extenuating circumstances determine otherwise. Advice and guidance may be sought by phone or email from Rebecca.breen@mic.ul.ie.

    Unfortunately, this is not possible as the research budget is an annual budget and does not carry across academic years. Everything resets to zero on 31 August and fresh applications are accepted from 1 September 2020.

    There should be minimal disruption (insofar as possible up to 29 March) to PGRs’ studies, which should continue off-site with remote supervision arrangements.

    Yes. Heads of Department and/or Programme Coordinators will be in contact with arrangements in due course.

    Progression meetings may take place, but only by remote means during the COVID-19 closure (up to 29 March at a minimum). However, there may be no face-to-face meetings involving any group i.e. no staff-student meetings, no staff meetings, no on-campus meetings and no off-campus meetings.

     

    Progression meetings may take place by remote means. This means any kind of audio or video communication system that is fit for purpose and available to all participants simultaneously.

    For example, Skype is available here: https://www.skype.com/en/features/group-video-chat/ and Microsoft Teams can be accessed here: https://teams.microsoft.com.

    All PGR Progression (Review) Panel meetings remain the responsibility of individual academic departments.

    Outcomes of the Progression (Research Review) Panels will be reported to the June Exam Board as usual.

    If a PGR Student receives an ‘NG’ in their Progression (Review) Panel, the resulting Progression (Confirmation) Panel may be conducted remotely in the event of the College still being closed.

    Yes. Please speak with your supervisors to ensure PGR1 forms are completed and signed electronically and forwarded to Julianne Stack (Julianne.stack@mic.ul.ie) or Rebecca Breen (Rebecca.Breen@mic.ul.ie). The PRSC will continue its regular duties during closure, albeit remotely.

    No. Viva Voce examinations may not be convened physically onsite or offsite. However, Viva Voce examinations may be conducted remotely.

    Yes, as long as all required participants can use reliable remote platforms (such as bespoke systems like Skype or Microsoft Teams).

    All arrangements are made by the Academic Department of the student.

    Guidelines are available here.

    For further information, contact Julianne.Stack@mic.ul.ie or Rebecca.Breen@mic.ul.ie at the Research & Graduate School.

    The Chair of the Viva Voce Board will discuss the remote Viva Voce with a member of the Graduate School, including the means for remote access and procedures for conducting the Viva Voce discussion within the terms of the UL academic regulations.

    Outcomes must be notified to Julianne or Rebecca at the Research & Graduate School and they will ensure that all necessary people are notified and that the outcomes are processed and adhered to within the terms of the UL academic regulations.

    Yes. Please ensure LOA or RLOA forms are completed and signed electronically and forwarded to Julianne Stack (Julianne.Stack@mic.ul.ie) or Rebecca Breen (Rebecca.Breen@mic.ul.ie). The PRSC will continue its regular duties during closure, albeit remotely.

    Yes. Please send completed application package to RGSO@mic.ul.ie or contact Rebecca Breen (Rebecca.breen@mic.ul.ie) for further information.

    Yes. Please send completed application package to RGSO@mic.ul.ie or contact Julianne Stack (Julianne.Stack@mic.ul.ie) for further information. The deadline for these awards remains as 1 April 2020.

    A modified online programme is being prepared and the schedule will be announced on a weekly basis.
     

    Alternative coursework is being developed and you will be notified about this through the Education Faculty in due course.

    This module has two components, 50% online with a completion deadline of 1 May 2020 and 50% via a Skills day which is currently scheduled for Saturday, 18 April 2020. Both components will continue as planned, and the scheduling of the Skills Day will depend on College circumstances at the time.
     

    Please see RGS Intranet on the MIC Portal for SOP's, Terms & Conditions and application forms for all MIC Research Support Schemes. Email any queries to Mary.Collins@mic.ul.ie.

    MIREC applications and queries will continue to be processed during the closure; please email to MIREC@mic.ul.ie.

    MIREC Chair Guidance: A change in methodology to conduct interviews (e.g. Skype, MS Teams) is permitted. However, if a Consent Form for such a change has not been signed, verbal consent must be obtained at the start of the interview. The Consent Form must be read by the interviewer and each statement responded to by the interviewee (similar to phone questionnaires). This exchange must be recorded by the interviewer.

    Please send applications with supporting documentation to RGSO@mic.ul.ie.

    The deadline for receipt of applications for participation in the Doctoral Fees Reimbursement Scheme is 31 March. Please email your application to Mary.Collins@mic.ul.ie.

    Yes. Please email applications with supporting documentation to RGSO@mic.ul.ie?

    Yes, as long as you do not contravene directions from the Public Health authorities and the management Executive Team of MIC.

    Yes, as long as you do not contravene directions from the Public Health authorities and the management Executive Team of MIC.

    Requisitions/invoices/expense claims may be submitted for payment through Agresso.  Please contact Gerardine.Campion@mic.ul.ie.

    The IRC COVID-19 advice is available here.

    The planned start date of 1 September 2020 for new Government of Ireland scholars remains in place.

    IRC expects to notify outcomes at the end of June 2020.

    Applicants should be updated directly by the IRC.

    The IRC, HRB & SFI have released a statement which can be found here.

    Yes. You will find advice for staff and research students from the HEA here.

    This work must be conducted remotely and must not contravene directions from the Public Health authorities and the Executive Team of MIC.

    You may also contact Denia.Claudino@mic.ul.ie or Mary.Collins@mic.ul.ie.

    Yes. Faculty Offices will be in a position to advise about arrangements in due course.

    A meeting of the PRSC is planned for 8 April 2020.

    Click here to access PRSC forms and documents you may require.

    All documentation (e.g. applications, nomination of examiners) must be submitted in PDF format (with e-signatures) by email to Rebecca.Breen@mic.ul.ie before 1pm on Monday 30 March 2020. Contact Rebecca if you have any difficulties.

    At this time PG students can proceed with planned applications for MIC DA and PG Awards Schemes for AY 2020/21. These are being administered remotely, and documentation is available here.

    Further information from Julianne in the RGS (Julianne.stack@mic.ul.ie).

    Due to the current crisis, MIC cannot guarantee that these schemes will operate in AY 2020/21.

    Educational Resources

    See below for a selection of online educational resources and interesting articles, many of which were recommended by MIC staff. If you have a suggestion for this section, please email: Communications@mic.ul.ie.

    General resources/activities

    • RTÉ's 'Home School Hub' is being run in collaboration with MIC. Tune into RTÉ 2 from 11am-12pm on weekdays where bilingual teachers will present three short class segments aimed at children from First to Sixth Class. For more curriculum-based content, project work and fun activities, visit www.rte.ie/learn.
    • As part of the CRAFT Maker Space initiative at MIC, Dr Maeve Liston is setting a series of STEM Challenges that all at home can take part in. A new challenge will be posted at 12pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on MIC's social channels (Facebook/Twitter). Be sure to take a photo of your design and tag us in your posts. #STEMChallenge
    • www.schooldays.ie has a selection of resources for study and fun
    • Give Back - Directory of free products/services available during COVID-19
    • History lecturer at MIC, Dr Cathy Swift was part of a project that compiled a web resource for primary school-age children on Viking Migration here.
    • LSRE lecturer at MIC, Dr Anne Dolan, wrote an article for InTouch Magazine this month on Winnie the Pooh: Inspiration for geographical and outdoor learning.
    • The HSE Digital Partner Pack includes illustrated stories for children going to test centres for COVID-19 testing as well the most up to date posters on COVID-19, videos and audio files that you can share, leaflets, social media assets, the information booklet and more.
    • For a free creative educational resource for home-learning from three Limerick museums, click here.

    Helpful articles/resources for educators & parents

    As Gaeilge

    Díreach do na páistí (ar ndóigh d’fhéadfadh tuismitheoirí a bheith páirteach ann chun spreagadh agus cabhair a thabhairt)

    Acmhainní/Gníomhaíochtaí (beidh gá le tacaíocht ó thuismitheoirí)

    Do thuismitheoirí, do dhéagóirí agus don bpobal trí chéile

    Irish language Resources

    Just for kids (of course parents might like to join in, encourage & help)

    Resources/Activities (where parental support will be needed)

    For parents, teens & the general public

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