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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence




A short on-line survey was undertaken by Fr Alan Hilliard, Coordinator of the Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy Service at TU Dublin. Peer Mentors (second year students who volunteer to support first year students) were asked to reflect on their experiences of college life during lockdown. They were also asked their opinion on the challenges facing incoming first years. The findings have very specific insights that can assist us as we prepare to welcome our new first years and indeed all students back to college. The students surveyed are based in the College of Engineering and Built Environment. The paper is two thousand five hundred words and can be disseminated to students forming the basis of a facilitated discussions as we try to identify the unique challenges over these few months.

‘This is an important piece of work with key insights to help us and our students in what we know will be a challenging academic year. Therefore, in my opinion, we should disseminate it as widely as possible’. Prof. Mike Murphy, Director, Digital & Learning Transformation. TU Dublin

‘The survey makes for interesting reading. It really comes through that the online learning is having a huge impact on the socialisation aspect, and that face-to-face activities such as Peer mentoring and extra-curricular activities are difficult to replace with the virtual. The key messages on motivation and organisation, and the value of supportive staff, socialisation and the interactive environment are really important’. Dr Brian Gormley, Educational Developer - Student Success, National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

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