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COVID-19

Latest Update

Updated: 8 July

Following a Government announcement on 24 March, the MIC campuses at Limerick and Thurles remain closed until further notice.

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: 8 July

Following a Government announcement on 24 March, the MIC campuses at Limerick and Thurles remain closed until further notice.

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.

12 May

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

Dear Students,

I hope you are all keeping safe and well. I know this continues to be a stressful time for you and your families. I am writing to provide you with further details on I-grades and assessment feedback during the current examination period and to update you on our plans for the next academic year.

Blended Delivery

As you will be aware, MIC has already communicated to all current students that the next academic year will begin on 28th September 2020. Because of the continuing restrictions which will be in place due to Covid-19, we plan to offer our programmes through a blended delivery model- partly online and partly on campus. I know, that because of accommodation and financial constraints, many of you would like clear answers immediately as to how this will operate but moving our programmes to this mode of delivery takes a huge amount of planning. We have begun this planning process but it will take time to complete it. Therefore, I would ask you to bear with us while we adapt our programmes to this model. You will be fully informed as soon as our plans are finalized.

Our main emphasis within this process will be to try and offer the best student experience possible within the circumstances and to try maintain the highest standards of academic quality and integrity. A key priority for us all at MIC is to protect the health and well-being of students and staff. We must also ensure that our programmes can continue in the event of another spike in Covid-19 infection rates. All our Student Supports, including Counselling and Chaplaincy services,  continue to operate remotely and I would encourage any student who is experiencing particular difficulties to engage with these services.

Below are details of the revised I-grade process for the current academic year including further details about applying for the new Covid-19 Exceptional I-Grade. These guidelines supersede any previous communications on I-grades. If you are thinking of applying for an I-grade, it is important to read the guidelines below in detail and submit your request soon. We also have details on changes to our scripting viewing and feedback process.

Please stay safe and well.

Best wishes,

Prof. Niamh Hourigan
VPAA 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 several key Professional Services staff.
 

I-Grades

An I-Grade is of benefit when you are not able to complete all the assessments for a module during the normal semester timelines.  An I-Grade provides you with the opportunity to undertake the assessment(s) again over the summer with no academic penalty.  The requirements to clear an I-Grade are set at module level and will be available from your module coordinator.

The I-Grade process is designed to support students who find themselves in an immediate crisis. Our normal Academic Regulations require that a student has either engaged with, and has the support from, our Professional Services (Counselling, Medical, or Chaplaincy) or has submitted adequate third-party evidence to those Professional Services for consideration.

However, to support those of you who find yourselves in an immediate crisis due to COVID-19 and, where relevant, have taken reasonable action, MIChas created an I-Grade which covers all non-health, non-counselling, and non-chaplaincy issues related specifically to COVID-19. 
 

Applications for all I-Grades

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

All applications must be submitted by way of email to Lisa.Leahy@mic.ul.ie.  

The I-Grade Committee will meet on Monday, 8 June.  It is essential that you have submitted your application by 12.00 noon on Friday, 5 June 2020.  All applicants must complete all sections of the application process regardless of which category of I-Grade you are selecting. 

The four categories available are:

(1) Student Health Centre/External Health Centre

(2) Counselling Department

(3) Chaplaincy Department

(4) COVID-19 Exceptional I-Grade.

When submitting an application for consideration under any of the categories you will be required to provide some basic information – this includes your current year of study, the current semester, and more importantly the modules your application will cover. 
 

The New COVID-19 Exceptional I-Grade

To support those of you who may find yourselves in an immediate crisis due to COVID-19 and, where relevant, have taken reasonable action, MIC has created an I-Grade which covers all non-health, non-counselling, and non-chaplaincy issues related specifically to COVID-19.  This category may cover, for example, 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 LENS related learning supports remotely, or students who lack access to a digital infrastructure with no alternative assessment mode (it should be noted that this list is indicative only). For the avoidance of doubt this category does not include any health-related issues pertaining to COVID-19. In the case of health-related issues pertaining to COVID-19, please tick the Student Health Centre/External Health Centre option on the application form.
 

Before making your application, you will also be asked to certify that your application has been made in good faith and is a truthful and accurate representation of the facts at this time.

When making an application under the COVID-19 category you will be requested to enter the reason why you are submitting this application for consideration, this must include the full details of the COVID-19 related issue and reference any third-party certification that supports the application.  There is no need to submit copies of any third-party certification to MIC at this stage but you should retain copies for future use if required. Where no third-party certification is available, it is vitally important to state that you are self-certifying.
 

Changes to the Student Health Centre I-Grade Application

Due to an unprecedented call on our front-line healthcare workers, MIC is keen to minimise the impact of our internal processes on the country’s health system and services.  As such, where you are submitting an application for a Student Health Centre I-Grade for consideration and you do not already have third-party certification that supports the application, there is no requirement to seek such certification.  The application must include the full details of the medical related issue and, where available, reference any third-party certification that supports the application. There is no need to submit copies of any third-party certification to MIC at this stage but you should retain copies for future use if required.  Where no third-party certification is available, it is vitally important to state that you are self-certifying.

For the avoidance of doubt this category includes all health related issues inclusive of COVID-19 health related issues. Please tick the Student Health Centre/External Health Centre option on the application form.
 

The Chaplaincy and Counselling I-Grade

There have been no changes to either the Counselling or Chaplaincy I-Grades.  Both services continue to operate remotely. If you are applying for a Counselling or Chaplaincy I-grade, these services will need to support this request.

The regulations pertaining to the I-Grade process are covered within section 4.2.3 of the University of Limerick Handbook of Academic Regulations and Procedures which is available here.
 

Feedback on Assessments

As all assignments will be submitted on Turnitin this year, the traditional script-viewing process has been modified. Students will be able to access their assignments and view feedback, where it exists, from 6 July onwards when exam results become available. Students will be able to request additional summative feedback, which they would have traditionally received as part of the script-viewing process, between 6 July and 8 July through an online application which will become live on 6 July – (Alternative Viewing of Assignments requesting Further Feedback). This feedback will be returned to students by Faculty/School administrators from 14 July 2020.   

30 April

From Prof. Eugene Wall, President of MIC

Dear colleagues and students,

As you will know, MIC’s COVID-19 Response Group continues to meet regularly in order to plan for the future.  While we continue to follow official advice and await further confirmation from the Government regarding restrictions and physical distancing, we do so acutely aware of the anxiety that this uncertainty is causing our staff and students.

This morning, the University of Limerick announced the start date for the autumn semester 2020/21 as 28 September 2020 for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year undergraduate students and all current and new postgraduate students.

In keeping with our practice of aligning our academic calendar with that of the University, the following decision was taken today with regard to dates for the MIC Academic Year 2020/21.

The autumn semester will, therefore, begin on 28 September for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year undergraduate students and all current and new postgraduate students.

There are a number of external factors that influence the start date for incoming first years; principally, confirmation of the Leaving Certificate dates and the completion of CAO offers and acceptances.

If the Leaving Certificate takes place as currently planned at the end of July, then we would hope that the semester will commence for first years at the beginning of November.  However, it should be emphasised that considerable uncertainty still surrounds this projected date and such matters lie beyond our control.

At this stage, it is anticipated that the spring semester will begin as planned on 25 January 2021 for all students.

Clearly, these dates may need to be revised in line with official government advice.

Further communications will be issued to staff next week with regard to academic and operational planning.

In the interim, I wish you and your families a safe and happy May bank holiday weekend.

Kind regards,

Eugene Wall

22 April

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

Dear Students,

I hope you are all keeping safe and well. I know this has been a difficult and stressful time for many of you. We are aware that many students are still finding it challenging to complete assessments in the current circumstances. Below is an outline of further amendments which have been made to our academic regulations to support you during this period.

Assessments

As per our previous communication, you should have received information about all your assessments at this point. 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 timeframe 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. Where you are unsure about submissions deadlines, please contact module co-ordinators.

I-Grade process

An expanded I-Grade process now been introduced to include a COVID-19 circumstantial category. This enables you apply for an I-Grade for your module if you encounter issues that impacts on the completion of your assessments, including but not limited to: changes in any home care arrangement; an inability to engage in remote assessment due to a change in personal circumstances; inability to access LENS-related learning supports remotely; or students who lack access to a digital infrastructure required for the completion of alternative assessments – this list is indicative only.

  • Applications under the COVID-19 circumstantial category are based on self-certification, i.e. the application can be certified by the student themselves.
  • I-Grades applications are for individual modules, not for individual assessments within modules.
  • An I-Grade will allow the option for you to clear the I-Grade over the summer, and in time for the annual repeats period so as to enable progression to next year.
  • An I-Grade can be cleared using one of the methods outlined within the regulations. There is no financial cost to clear an I-Grade.
  • Where you feel that the impact of COVID-19 still remains in the summer and you cannot clear the I-Grade then, you can apply for ‘double I-Grades’ using the COVID-19 I-Grade category at the end of summer semester (i.e. annual repeat time). A ‘double I-Grades’ means that you do not progress to the next year of your programme, and you must repeat those elements of the programme for which you received an I-Grade for; in some cases, the full semester, in other cases individual modules.
  • It should be noted that you will automatically qualify for remission of link-in fees for modules in the event that you are granted double I-Grades.

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 can be sent to saa@mic.ul.ie

Education students who have enquiries may email educationoffice@mic.ul.ie

On “no-detriment” policy

Many of you will be aware of a “no-detriment” policy that is being put in place in three out of more than 130 UK universities. The purpose of this approach is to ensure that students taking assessments now do not drop below a previously accumulated grade point average. It is important to point out that despite strong lobbying for the adoption of a similar policy in Ireland, no higher education institution here has agreed to do so - on the grounds that to do so could damage the reputation of degrees awarded in this way. In addition, this precise mechanism could not be implemented in a way that would be fair and equitable to all students within MIC. As you are aware, all MIC degrees are accredited by the University of Limerick, and MIC is thereby obliged to operate under the same regulations as UL. MIC is not at liberty to operate academic policies that would conflict with those of the University.

Given the UL QCA approach and our linked course structures, using formative marks attained during the course of this semester as a benchmark below which the assessments marks cannot drop is not feasible due to the number and degree of variance in the type of modules offered across MIC programmes.  Furthermore, using grades just from third year as a basis for degree awards would not be workable given our QCA approach and would not provide a fair comparison across student cohorts and disciplines. In fourth year, there is a significant degree of variance in the number and type of modules completed already, which makes it impossible to implement a one-size-fits-all rule fairly and consistently in our system.

Notwithstanding that, we are confident that the substantial measures we have put in place which include (1) the development of alternative assessment structures, (2) the significant extensions to final submission deadlines and (3) the newly expanded I grade process, do recognise and acknowledge the significant pressures faced by students at this time. Crucially, these mechanisms which support students in dealing with the unique challenges generated by this crisis are fair to all and do not in any way undermine the perceived quality of your awards.

Finally, I would like to emphasise that if you are currently experiencing difficulties, I would strongly encourage you to make contact with module coordinators, faculty office staff and Student Academic Administration staff. All MIC staff and support facilities remain available and ready to help you in any way possible.

Communication and Engagement

All MIC Support Services continue to work remotely (Academic Learning Centre, Access Office, Counselling, Chaplaincy, Health Promotion, MISU and Student Parent Support Service). All contact details are available on the dedicated COVID 19 student webpage.

We wish you and those close to you all the very best in these difficult times.

Kind regards,

Prof. Niamh Hourigan

On behalf of the Covid-19 Academic Response Team

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 several key Professional Services staff.

9 April

From Prof. Eugene Wall, President of MIC

Dear Student,

We are living through extraordinary times.  I hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe during what is arguably the most profound public health crisis faced by our country in living memory.

It is exactly four weeks today since An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, announced that all schools and higher education institutions were to remain closed until further notice. I wrote to you later that day (see email March 12) to reassure you that your health and safety, and that of our wider community, would be our primary concern. I also informed you that our Academic Staff were already preparing contingencies for remote programme delivery. On March 27, our Vice-President Academic Affairs, Prof. Niamh Hourgan, wrote to you with details of MIC’s COVID-19 Academic Response Plan. In the four short weeks since An Taoiseach’s first announcement, we have completed the monumental challenge of moving MIC’s learning and assessment activities completely on-line. As of Monday 6 April, all of your End of Year Assessments and Continuous Assessments will have been made available on Moodle. The enormity of this task, undertaken at such short notice and in such adverse circumstances, cannot be underestimated. I would like to thank all our staff for their herculean efforts and responsiveness in facilitating this transition - and for their ongoing work in supporting key College operations.

I would also like express my appreciation to you for your engagement in this process. Overnight, like higher education students throughout the country, you have been asked to go from a classroom teaching environment to a remote on-line learning environment. At times, I am sure this may have felt a lonely and uncomfortable place to be. However, please know that you are not alone – we are all grappling as best we can to cope with the desperate situation into which we have been cast.  Your lecturers remain available should you need to contact them. Our student support services remain available to you. Please reach out and avail of these supports should you need them. (Further information available on our dedicated COVID-19 Student Q&A page.)

This time of year always brings with it its own stresses and worries. As you will know from the Academic Response Plan, the final deadline for the submission of all alternative assessments, including those replacing exams, is Friday 15 May – the final date of this current semester. (Where module co-ordinators have set deadlines for existing assessments, they still apply). This provides you with almost six weeks to complete all required assessments. I strongly encourage you to plan and manage your workload wisely during this period. To assist you, our Health Promotion Office has very kindly compiled a list of useful tips for studying at home which you can access here.

You may have seen that MISU in collaboration with UL Student Life have launched an online petition calling on Limerick’s private landlords and student villages to “show compassion to students who cannot return to accommodation due to current government restrictions”. As you will know, following the closures of our Limerick and Thurles campuses, we asked our students to vacate MIC-owned accommodation.  We immediately took the decision to refund those students for the period of unused accommodation. In addition, College Management wrote to a number of commercial accommodation suppliers to confirm that our students would not be returning to the MIC campuses this semester. We further informed them of our decision to refund students resident in MIC-owned accommodation for the period of unused accommodation and encouraged said accommodation suppliers to ‘consider sympathetically cases of financial hardship as a result of the crisis’, and we hope that they do so. 

As schools remain closed throughout the country, MIC has teamed up with RTÉ to ensure primary school children continue learning outside the classroom through the provision of an excellent resource entitled Home School Hub. At the invitation of RTÉ, and with the approval of the Department of Education and Skills, our colleague Prof. Emer Ring volunteered to support this initiative by collaborating with the three teachers who are leading and presenting the programme, namely Ray Cuddihy (MIC alumnus) Clíona Ní Chiosáin and John Sharpson. The programme, which commenced last week, has been hugely welcomed by children and parents alike, in addition to receiving accolades from numerous sectors.  Indeed, a recent DES circular sent to Primary Schools last week highlighted the programme as an exemplar of an excellent online resource. The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, wrote to RTE this week commending all involved in the production and presentation of these programmes. Prof. Ring is to be congratulated for her role in this worthy initiative and for the hours of mentoring she has provided to the producers and teachers.  

We also commend the many MIC alumni currently working across various regional media outlets in their tireless efforts to provide responsible and measured reports throughout this crisis. They include Micheál Lehane, RTE’s Political Correspondent (BA Class of 2001), who appears almost nightly on the RTE Six-One and 9pm News bulletins, as well as on RTÉ radio during the day, Petula Martyn, Reporter, Morning Ireland, RTE radio (BA Class of 2003), and Priscilla Lynch, Clinical Editor at the Medical Independent (BA Class of 2002).

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) met earlier this week to review current restriction measures and, while they have yet to make a formal recommendation, it is highly probable that the current restriction date of Easter Sunday will be extended.  Official advice informs us that the virus continues to pose a serious threat to public health and threatens many lives.  We are entering a crucial period; with good weather on the horizon and the Easter long weekend ahead, the temptation may be there to visit family and friends for social gatherings. I urge you to resist the impulse to do so. These restrictive measures, as tough and as challenging as they are, are in place so that we keep our loved ones safe and well, and ultimately save lives. So please, do your part for the welfare of our country, and stay at home this Easter.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy and safe Easter.

Sincerely,

Eugene Wall

9 April

From Bishop Brendan Leahy, Chairperson of MIC Board of Trustees and Governing Authority

To the Students and Staff of Mary Immaculate College,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and An t-Údarás Rialaithe, I write to express our gratitude at this strange time of Covid-19. We have received updates on the huge efforts on the part of all to face the challenges posed to the teaching and learning environment by the Coronavirus. It cannot be an easy time for anyone. But it has triggered much co-responsible re-imagining of how things are done with flexibility and compassion, generous collaboration across the College and beyond, as well as sustained attention to the many practical issues thrown up by new arrangements. So a big thanks to all, not least to Prof. Eugene Wall and the senior management team.

Moments of anxiety for the future are inevitable in the current crisis and I appreciate that Mary Immaculate College will constantly need to continue monitoring the needs of students and staff in response to the twists and turns of the coming weeks and months. Keeping up the positive spirit of solidarity, so much in evidence in these past weeks, in the face of adversity will clearly be vital as we move forward.

We are in the middle of what one day will be the subject of great analysis by experts of all kinds. The crisis such as we are living through is of rare proportions. Thanks for doing your part in this moment of the College’s history. I offer for your consideration the well-known words of Saint John Henry Newman: “God has created me to do him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another… I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons… Therefore, I will trust him... If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him… He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, he knows what he is about.” And Catherine McAuley’s wise words, “Don’t let crosses vex or tease; try to meet all with peace and ease.”

As we move into Easter, I wish you well. May this season be a time of deep personal renewal for all of us because, as Pope Francis put it recently, drawing on the great Gospel story of Jesus calming the storm, we are all alike in the same boat, together experiencing a storm that when it ceases, will find us on a new shore, with new resolve to work for a world united in new forms of collaboration and support.

Bishop Brendan Leahy

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

The planning process for the next academic year, which will commence on September 28,  is currently underway at the College. Given the continued public health restrictions - in particular social distancing, limiting the number and duration of contacts and strict hygiene measures, it is likely that our programmes in the next academic year will be delivered through a combination of on campus face-to-face teaching together with online delivery. The exact format that this will take is currently being scoped out in detail and once approved the College will issue comprehensive details to all students. With regard to booking student accommodation, we advise that you do not make any financial commitment until further information has been issued by the College.

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.

Task                                                                 Previous Date / New Date(s)
Deadline for students to submit assignments:                                        15 May
Deadline for all student assessment submissions:                                 15 May
End of Semester Two:                                                              15 May / 15 May
I-Grade Committee meeting:                                                                   8 June
Release of examination results to students:                                             6 July
Recheck application period for spring semester: Monday 6 July-Friday 17 July
Viewing Process:                                                                               14-15 July

Repeat Registration Dates:  Tuesday 7th July – Sunday 12th July 2020

To access the Annual Repeat Registration form, open your internet browser and go to http://www.mic.ul.ie/repeat-fees.

For more information on repeat registration please click here

  • Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, there will be no formal sit down examinations at Annual Repeat time.  Students should check Moodle for instructions on Repeat Alternative Assessment which students can complete remotely.
  • To maximise the opportunity for students to complete alternative assessments, these will be made available on Moodle and/or distributed to students via e-mail from Module Leaders, by Friday 17th July, 2020.
  • The final deadline for the submission of alternative assessments is Friday 28th August, 2020. This will provide a six-week window (17th July to 28th August) in which to complete all required assessments. 
  • Module Leaders may set interim deadlines for submission for individual assessments before Friday 28th August,2020.  However, where a student’s ability to meet the interim deadline has been affected by COVID-19, submission will be allowed up to 28th August without penalty. To avail of an extension to interim deadlines, please contact your Module Leader in advance of the given interim deadline.Timed examinations: Please note that in the case of French, Gaeilge and Mathematics, there will be timed examinations.

Annual Repeat Timeline:

Activity Dates
Online Registration for Annual Repeat Examinations Tuesday 7th July - Sunday 12th July, 2020
Annual Repeat Alternative Assessments made available via Moodle or distributed by email from Module Leader. Friday 17th July, 2020
Final deadline for submission of assessments Friday 28th August, 2020 (without penalty)
This provides a six week window for completion of assessments. (17th July - 28th August)
Interim deadlines will be set by individual lecturers prior to 28th August
Release of Annual Repeat Results Monday 14th September, 2020
Application period:  Alternative Viewing of Assignments requesting Further Feedback Monday 14th September - Tuesday 15th September, 2020
Script Viewing Day(s) Thursday 17th September, 2020
Grade Recheck Application Period Monday 14th September - Friday 18th September, 2020
Commencement of Autumn Semester 2020/21 Monday 28th September, 2020

 

You will be notified of the outcome of your I-Grade application when your Spring Semester results are published.

If you have been granted an I-Grade(s) please contact the relevant lecturer(s) regarding clearing the grade(s).

It is essential that you register for “I” graded modules even though you may have cleared the module at this point, otherwise it will not be possible to grade your module(s). There is no Repeat Fee in respect of “I” graded Modules. To register for your modules please go to http://www.mic.ul.ie/repeat-fees between Tuesday 7th July – Sunday 12th July, 2020.

You can access your transcript on the Student Administration Portal http://www.si.ul.ie

See the following .pdf file for further instructions: How to access your Student Transcript

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.

Until such time as the Government issues further physical distancing advice for the period September and beyond, MIC is not in a position to make any firm decision with regard to the physical hosting of October’s conferring ceremonies. All decisions continue to be made in complete compliance with official health and safety advice and these decisions will be communicated to staff and students at the earliest possible stage. We fully understand the uncertainty that this gives rise to and we apologise for any inconvenience.

Spring semester results are expected to be released on Monday 6 July, 2020.

Spring semester results will be available via the MIC Results server:  https://results.mic.ul.ie/

In order to access your results on-line, it is essential that you know your Network Logon Password. If you have forgotten your Network Logon Password, you can reset it via https://passwordreset.microsoftonline.com
If your password has expired you can reset it via https://adconnect.mic.ul.ie

We strongly urge you to check that your Network Logon Password is working correctly to avoid undue delay in accessing your results.

Under no circumstances can results be given over the phone or email as the College is obliged to protect the confidentiality of results under the Data Protection Acts.

Should you owe fees, you will not be able to access your results.
Results will only be made available once the payments have been fully processed on the student accounts.

You will be notified of the outcome of your I-Grade application when your Spring Semester results are published.

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. 

    We encourage you to work with your supervisors and wish you every success in completing your dissertation research by the existing deadline and on successful completion this will enable you to graduate in October 2020. If you are not in a position to do this, the College has agreed to extend the following options to you should the need arise.

    • Given the current circumstances, and if it is required, Taught Postgraduate Students can avail of a shorter continuance (extension) option for the autumn semester 2020/21. The fee for this continuance is €500. If you need to avail of this option you would be submitting your dissertation in mid-December, your results would be processed in January 2021 and, upon successful completion of your programme, you would graduate in October 2021.
    • If you were unable to complete your work within the shorter continuance option, continuance would be extended for the remainder of the academic year 2020/21 and an additional fee of €500 would apply. If you avail of the full continuance (total cost of €1,000), you would be required to submit your dissertation during August 2021, your results would be processed during September 2021 and, upon successful completion of your programme you would graduate in October 2021.

    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.

    Please make initial queries via email and we can follow up by phone if necessary:

    VP Research VPResearch@mic.ul.ie

    Julianne Stack Julianne.stack@mic.ul.ie

    Rebecca Breen Rebecca.breen@mic.ul.ie

    Mary Collins Mary.Collins@mic.ul.ie

    Where can I find staff & research postgraduate student information and FAQs?

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

    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

    If you are having difficulties logging in with your correct details please check that you have updated your MIC Email password. This needs to be changed every 90 days.

    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

    First search the library catalogue to check if the book is already in stock. Order requests may be submitted in several ways:

    Submit order requests to libraryorders@mic.ul.ie and include the following details:

    • Title, author, publication details
    • Whether each book is a core, supplementary text or research material
    •  Module (s) book attached to
    • Approximate number of students on  module

    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.

    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: 8 July

    Following a Government announcement on 24 March, the MIC campuses at Limerick and Thurles remain closed until further notice.

    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 close d 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

    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 coordinators to discuss these submissions and all submissions should be copied to the generic Faculty and School exam submission email addresses.
    • 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 all submissions for modules undertaken on both the Limerick and Thurles campuses should be submitted to Academic Submissions (with module coordinator 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 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 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 coordinators, 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 (06/04 to 15/05) 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 and 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. In the case of a COVID-19 related impact that is not covered within our current regulations, a special (fourth) category will be facilitated. Details of this category as communicated to students are as follows: ‘An expanded I-Grade process now been introduced to include a COVID-19 circumstantial category. This enables you apply for an I-Grade for your module if you encounter issues that impacts on the completion of your assessments, including but not limited to: changes in any home care arrangement; an inability to engage in remote assessment due to a change in personal circumstances; inability to access LENS-related learning supports remotely; or students who lack access to a digital infrastructure required for the completion of alternative assessments–this list is indicative only.'

    • Applications under the COVID-19 circumstantial category are based on self-certification, i.e. the application can be certified by the student themselves.
    • I-Grades applications are for individual modules, not for individual assessments within modules.
    • An I-Grade will allow the option for you to clear the I-Grade over the summer, and in time for the annual repeats period so as to enable progression to next year.
    • An I-Grade can be cleared using one of the methods outlined within the regulations. There is no financial cost to clear an I-Grade.
    • Where you feel that the impact of COVID-19 still remains in the summer and you cannot clear the I-Grade then, you can apply for ‘double I-Grades’ using the COVID-19 I-Grade category at the end of summer semester (i.e. annual repeat time). The impact of ‘double I-Grades’ will mean that you do not progress to the next year of your programme, and you must repeat those elements of the programme for which you received an I-Grade for; in some cases, the full semester, in other cases individual modules.
    • It should be noted that you will automatically qualify for remission of link-in fees for modules in the event that you are granted double I-Grades.
    • Documentation linked to I-grades will be based around our current I-grade platform and process.

    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 2:                                                                                                                 15 May / 15 May
    I-Grade Committee meeting:                                                                                              20 May / 8 June
    Module Grade Entry (opening & closing dates):                                                 26 May / 5 May-9 June
    MIC Examination Board meeting for progressing & actionable students:              19 June / 22 June
    MIC Examination Board meeting for graduating students:                                        17 June / 23 June
    MIC Academic Council:                                                                                                       5 June / 24 June
    UL Academic Council for ratification of awards:                                                                                  TBC
    Release of examination results to students:                                                                     22 June / 6 July
    Recheck application period for spring semester:                                                       22 June / 6-15 July
    Viewing Process:                                                                                                                               14-15 July
    Student Status Committee meeting:                                                                                   1 July / 15 July
    Faculty Grade Recheck return date:                                                                                                   24 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 several key Professional Services staff.

    30 April

    From Prof. Eugene Wall, President of MIC

    Dear colleagues and students,

    As you will know, MIC’s COVID-19 Response Group continues to meet regularly in order to plan for the future.  While we continue to follow official advice and await further confirmation from the Government regarding restrictions and physical distancing, we do so acutely aware of the anxiety that this uncertainty is causing our staff and students.

    This morning, the University of Limerick announced the start date for the autumn semester 2020/21 as 28 September 2020 for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year undergraduate students and all current and new postgraduate students.

    In keeping with our practice of aligning our academic calendar with that of the University, the following decision was taken today with regard to dates for the MIC Academic Year 2020/21.

    The autumn semester will, therefore, begin on 28 September for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year undergraduate students and all current and new postgraduate students.

    There are a number of external factors that influence the start date for incoming first years; principally, confirmation of the Leaving Certificate dates and the completion of CAO offers and acceptances.

    If the Leaving Certificate takes place as currently planned at the end of July, then we would hope that the semester will commence for first years at the beginning of November.  However, it should be emphasised that considerable uncertainty still surrounds this projected date and such matters lie beyond our control.

    At this stage, it is anticipated that the spring semester will begin as planned on 25 January 2021 for all students.

    Clearly, these dates may need to be revised in line with official government advice.

    Further communications will be issued to staff next week with regard to academic and operational planning.

    In the interim, I wish you and your families a safe and happy May bank holiday weekend.

    Kind regards,

    Eugene Wall

    9 April

    From Bishop Brendan Leahy, Chairperson of MIC Board of Trustees and Governing Authority

    To the Students and Staff of Mary Immaculate College,

    On behalf of the Board of Trustees and An t-Údarás Rialaithe, I write to express our gratitude at this strange time of Covid-19. We have received updates on the huge efforts on the part of all to face the challenges posed to the teaching and learning environment by the Coronavirus. It cannot be an easy time for anyone. But it has triggered much co-responsible re-imagining of how things are done with flexibility and compassion, generous collaboration across the College and beyond, as well as sustained attention to the many practical issues thrown up by new arrangements. So a big thanks to all, not least to Prof. Eugene Wall and the senior management team.

    Moments of anxiety for the future are inevitable in the current crisis and I appreciate that Mary Immaculate College will constantly need to continue monitoring the needs of students and staff in response to the twists and turns of the coming weeks and months. Keeping up the positive spirit of solidarity, so much in evidence in these past weeks, in the face of adversity will clearly be vital as we move forward.

    We are in the middle of what one day will be the subject of great analysis by experts of all kinds. The crisis such as we are living through is of rare proportions. Thanks for doing your part in this moment of the College’s history. I offer for your consideration the well-known words of Saint John Henry Newman: “God has created me to do him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another… I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons… Therefore, I will trust him... If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him… He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, he knows what he is about.” And Catherine McAuley’s wise words, “Don’t let crosses vex or tease; try to meet all with peace and ease.”

    As we move into Easter, I wish you well. May this season be a time of deep personal renewal for all of us because, as Pope Francis put it recently, drawing on the great Gospel story of Jesus calming the storm, we are all alike in the same boat, together experiencing a storm that when it ceases, will find us on a new shore, with new resolve to work for a world united in new forms of collaboration and support.

    Bishop Brendan Leahy

    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.

    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.
    • 'Cúla4 ar Scoil' do Ghaelscoileanna & Scoileanna Gaeltachta. Clúdófar croí-ábhair an churaclaim ar nós: Gaeilge, Matamatic, Stair agus Tíreolaíocht, ach cuirfear béim freisin ar an gcruthaitheacht, na healaíona béil agus ar chúrsaí sláinte agus folláine. Ag tosnú ar an Luan 20 Aibreán, chraolfar gach maidin ag a 10 am. Starting on Monday 20 April at 10am and broadcast every morning, this new programme on TG4 will cover core curriculum subjects such as: Irish, Maths, History and Geography, but there will also be an emphasis on creativity, the arts and health & well-being.
    • www.schooldays.ie has a selection of resources for study and fun
    • Give Back - Directory of free products/services available during COVID-19
    • 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.
    • Limerick Primary Care Child and Family Psychology: Family Resource Pack
    • The National Parents Council (NPC) has developed a short, free online course called 'Learning at Home - for Early Years', which features Prof. Emer Ring, Dean of Education at MIC.
    • Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI): Supporting your child through online learning - A parent/guardian guide.
    • The Department of Children and Youth Affairs has set up Parents Centre, a central information point where parents can get high-quality, trusted information and support, as well as Let's Play Ireland, an online portal providing access to a range of play resources for children (developed with a number of partners including MIC).

    Helpful articles/resources for students, educators & parents

    Subject-specific resources/activities

    • 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.
    • For the Three Muses Activity Pack, a free creative educational resource for home-learning from three Limerick museums, click here.
    • Teaching Catholic Kids (produced by Our Sunday Visitor)
    • Catholic Kids Media YouTube Channel
    • Grow in Love  Free access to videos, stories, songs, activities.  Email: trial@growinlove.ie; password: growinlove.
    • Look to Him and Be Radiant  Free resources and links for sacraments, the liturgical year, saints, and more.
    • Diocese of Limerick - Family Resources 
    • EWTN Kids: Kid friendly online tours of a virtual Catholic community. Children can play interactive games, learn about the Mass, Church, patron saints, and much more through visiting the Church, homes, library and factory in the town.
    • MagnifiKids! The children's version of the popular publication Magnificat. Both are currently available for free online. MagnifiKids! features the Mass readings, simple explanations, and lessons in an attractive, child-friendly layout.
    • PALM Ireland (Physical Activity & Locomotor Movement): This website (and Twitter account) is a  compendium of resources for teaching PE, phys lit., FMS, coaching, and physical activity.
    • The SFI (Science Foundation Ireland) website has a number of primary school STEM resources available.
    • A weekly art class with Póilín Nic Géidigh each Tuesday at 1pm on Instagram. More details here.

    Special Educational Needs (SEN)

    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

    • http://www.tearma.ie
    • http://www.teanglann.ie
    • Acmhainní Gaeilge do Thuismitheoirí
    • Fuaimniú chun cabhrú le páistí le léitheoireacht; sintéiseoir saor in aisce ar www.abair.ie. Roghnaigh Corca Dhuibhne do Ghaeilge na Mumhan; léifidh an ríomhaire ar ais duit aon Ghaeilge a chuireann tú isteach.
    • Matamaitic trí Ghaeilge don Ghaelscoileanna /do scoileanna Gaeltachta
    • Is píosa bogearra saor in aisce é Readlang a aistríonn aon leathanach ón ngréasáin ó Ghaeilge (nó teangacha eile) isteach in aon teanga eile.
    • Siopa leabhar Chló lar-Chonnacht
    • Liosta d’fhoilsitheoirí Gaeilge
    • Cúrsaí idirghníomhacha ar line
    • Tuairisc.ie (nuachtán Gaeilge ar líne. Tá mír oideachais ann do scoláirí meánscoile agus is féidir leat é a leanúint ar na meáin shóisialta) – www.tuairisc.ie
    • Moladh na Maidine - á reáchtáil ar Twitter (#MoladhNaMaidine) & Facebook, is sraith de mholtaí laethúla é seo chun daoine de gach aois a choimeád gnóthach agus iad sa bhaile).
    • Is stáisiún cairte ceoil é Raidió Rí-Rá a chraolann go hiomlán i nGaeilge! Is féidir éisteacht leis 24/7 ar líne, ar DAB nó is féidir aip Raidió Rí-Rá a íoslódáil saor in aisce.
    • Scrúduithe cainte na hArdteistiméireachta: Cé nach bhfuil siad ar siúl i mbliana, tá acmhainn ag TG4 anseo, a d’fhéadfadh a bheith úsáideach fós.
    • Gaeilge Abú! Clár tarraingteach Gaeilge don Teastas Sóisearach.
    • Nótaí, gearrthóga físe agus gníomhaíochtaí chun cabhrú leo siúd atá ag staidéar ag tuairisc.ie anseo.
    • Podchraoladh ‘Cúpla’ le hÓgie Ó Céilleachair
    • www.gaelchultur.com – suíomh le hacmhainní foghlama agus eolas faoi chúrsaí Gaeilge.
    • www.ranganna.com – is féidir Gaeilge a fhoghlaim ag an leibhéal a oirean.
    • Mar thacaíocht do mhúinteoirí Gaeilge na tíre seo, tá roinnt acmhainní pleanála cruthaithe agus roinnte ar Scoilnet
    • Do dhaoine le mic léinn sa mbaile atá ag ullmhú don Ardteist, seo láithreán gréasáin a bheadh an-úsáideach agus an-chabhrach dóibh i láthair na huaire. Tá mír Chomh maith leis son tá mír ar scoil.net a bhaineann leis an Teastas Sóisearach amháin agus is féidir é sin a aimsiú ón roghchlár 'Choose a Level' ag barr an leathanaigh. Nasc anseo.
    • Beidh Tráth na gCeist Idirghníomhach do Theaghlaigh á chraoladh ag Glór na nGael ar Facebook Live uair sa tseachtain ón Domhnach seo chugainn ar aghaidh. Cláraigh anseo.
    • Áis do mhúinteoirí agus d’fhoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge. Nasc anseo.
    • @TG4Foghlaim: Ag teacht go luath ar #TG4Foghlaim, sraith iomlán bunaithe ar pháipéar Gaeilge na hArdteistiméireachta. Díreoidh @aislingphatrick ar ghnéithe éagsúla gach seachtain.
    • Seó Baile – Conradh na Gaeilge. Ceardlann ar líne chun an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn ar bhealach taitneamhach - tá an cheardlann seo in oiriúnt do dhaltaí meánscoile idir 15-17. Déanfaimid seimineár beo ar líne chun eolas faoin nGaeilge a roinnt leis na daltaí, faoi na háiteanna ar féidir leo an Ghaeilge a úsáid agus faoi na deiseanna fostaíochta atá ann dóibh. Cláraigh ar an nasc seo.
    • Aistear tríd an Inchinn: Is í an inchinn an ball beatha is mó tábhacht agus, b’fhéidir, is lú a bhfuil tuiscint againn air. Féachann an saothar seo le cur lenár dtuiscint uirthi trí mheán téacs agus dathúcháin. Mínítear go gonta cruinn gnéithe éagsúla den inchinn le cabhair íomhánna, mapa inchinne agus cartúin.Is féidir an leabhar a íoslódáil anseo.
    • Ciorcal Comhrá Ar Líne: ‘Bí i dteagmháil lena chéile – 6 Chiorcal Comhrá atá á reachtáil ar líne’. Nasc anseo.
    • COGG Acmhainní Ar Líne: Soláthar áiseanna teagaisc trí Ghaeilge. Seirbhísí taca & taighde. Nuachtlitir Mhí na Márta ar fáil anseo.
    • Tá 30 imleabhar nua ón bPríomhbhailiúchán Lámhscríbhinní digitithe, innéacsaithe agus ar fáil ar www.duchas.ie anois. Baineann an t-ábhar leis na 1930idí.
    • Tá acmhainn nua don Ardteist eisithe ag Foclóir Bheathaisnéisí na hÉireann le 40 beathaisnéis de dhaoine cáiliúla in Éirinn. Nasc anseo.
    • ETBI - @ETBIreland, Boird Oideachais agus Oiliúna Éireann: Ag tacú le do pháiste ag foghlaim ar líne - Treoir do thuismitheoir/chaomhnóir
    • Folláine: Aireachas as Gaeilge – 6 nod fiúntach don cholainn agus don intinn

    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

    • Online dictionary Tearma.ie
    • Online grammar guide Teanglann.ie
    • Irish for Parents resources
    • Pronunciation when helping children with reading; free synthesiser at www.abair.ie. Choose Corca Dhuibhne for Munster Irish; the computer will read back any Irish you input.
    • Maths through Irish for Gaelscoileanna/scoileanna Gaeltachta
    • Readlang is a free piece of software that translates any webpage from Irish (or other languages) to any other language.
    • Cló lar-Chonnacht bookshop
    • List of Irish language publishers
    • Online interactive courses
    • Tuairisc.ie (online Irish newspaper. It has an educational section for secondary school pupils and you can follow on social media).
    • Moladh na Maidine – run by Conradh na Gaeilge on Twitter (#MoladhNaMaidine) & Facebook, this is a series of daily recommendations to keep people of all ages busy while at home).
    • Raidió Rí-Rá is a music chart-station broadcasting entirely in Irish! All the charts can be heard on the station, plus the latest news, sports news and film news. It can be heard 24/7 online, on DAB radio or you can download the Raidió Rí-Rá app for free.
    • LC Irish oral exams: Even though they are not taking place this year, TG4 has a resource here, which may still be useful.
    • Notes, video clips and activities to assist those studying for the JC and LC at Tuairisc here.
    • Gaeilge Abú! is an engaging JC Irish programme.
    • Cúpla le hÓgie Ó Céilleachair Podcast
    • Gaelchultúr Irish language courses and learning resources, and its user-friendly and comprehensive e-learning website that lets you learn authentic, every-day Irish independently and at your own pace at Ranganna.com.
    • In support of Irish teachers, Scoilnet has created and shared a number of planning resources, which are now available for free. 
    • For Leaving Cert. students at home this website may be helpful to you; just scroll down for a series of links relating to various aspects of the curriculum. There is also a section on the site relating to the Junior Certificate which can be accessed using the 'Choose a Level' menu at the top of the page. 
    • Glór na nGael will broadcast a live Interactive Family Quiz program on Facebook Live once a week. Sign up here.
    • A resource for teachers and learners of Irish. Click here.
    • A complete series based on the Leaving Certificate Irish exam which will focus on various aspects each week is coming soon to @TG4Foghlaim, #TG4Foghlaim.
    • Seó Baile – Conradh na Gaeilge: An online workshop to experience Irish in a fun and engaging way - the roadshow is suitable for secondary students aged between 15-17. We will present a live online seminar to share information about the Irish language, about the places where students can use their Irish and about employment opportunities available to them. Register on this link.
    • The brain is our most important organ and perhaps the least well understood. This colouring book seeks to increase our understanding of the brain in a succinct engaging way using text, images, brain maps and cartoons. Download the book here.
    • Online Conversations: ‘Be in touch with each other - 6 Conversation Circles being hosted online’. Link here.
    • COGG Online Resources:Provision of teaching aids through Irish; also support services & research. March Newsletter available here.
    • Thirty new digitised and indexed volumes from the Main Manuscript Collection (material from the 1930s) now available on www.duchas.ie/en/nws.
    • The Dictionary of Irish Biography has released a new Leaving Cert resource of 40 biographies of leading Irish figures. Available here.
    • Writing Competition: The Local Authority Waters Program are giving you the opportunity to write "Water Stories" and win prizes. Irish language stories welcome. Further information here.
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