Sparq at CIT activities take many forms but have a number of identifiable traits. Our emphasis on all Sparq events is to develop a culture of partnership between students and Institute staff.
Conversations should be purposeful, not solely focused on problem solving, but on working together to develop solutions and build strategies to meet the challenges of the future.
Examples of recent Sparq at CIT events include Faculty Fora with the Faculty of Engineering and Science, TableTalk events with the Faculty of Business & Humanities, as well as introduction days to Sparq at CIT with the Crawford College of Art & Design and the National Maritime College of Ireland.
TableTalk: Faculty of Business & Humanities
In April, 2016, CIT’s very first TableTalk event in conjunction with the Faculty of Business & Humanities was held. A mixture of 24 class representatives, 8 faculty staff, and 8 facilitators had themed discussions in small groups based on student experiences at CIT over lunch in the Training Restaurant at the Tourism & Hospitality building. Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive with 100% of the attendees reporting they would recommend the event to a colleague. Quotes as students and staff in attendance:
- "Would 100% recommend it!"
- "It was very beneficial to give ideas, to see each other’s views and just to simply get to know the staff and students of our courses & depts."
- "There was no pressure to talk so it was very easy for me to get my points across"
- "Do the same again, it was a great experience!"
Faculty Forum: School of Science & Engineering:
In March 2017, students and staff of the Faculty of Engineering & Science came together to discuss teaching and learning . A wide range of topics were discussed by 60 staff and class representatives including curriculum, quality, feedback and assessment. Feedback from the group will now be used to inform actions within the faculty for the coming academic year.
- "I like the models of partnership – has given me a lot to think about"
- "Everyone seems to be on the same page."
- "I’m feeling more confident about talking to staff"
- "Students and staff have more in common than they realise"
- "This shows there are better ways to communicate with lecturers"
Discussing the First Year Experience: Dept. of Physical Sciences
The teaching team from the Department of Physical Sciences were interested in learning more about how their students were experiencing first year. First year students and staff were invited to have facilitated purposeful conversations based on aspects of the curriculum, assessment and feedback and making the transition to third level education. The content of these conversations was captured for department staff to reflect on and adjust for the next academic year. Quotes from students and staff in attendance were as follows:
- "It was great to hear the staff perspective"
- "I got to see what other students struggled with compared to me so I didn't feel so alone"
- "This was informative in terms of issues faced this year"
- "I enjoyed talking about the experience of 1st year and sharing the good/bad things about it."
- "It put everything in perspective, all of the issues were raised on the course and positives were also brought up"
- "I liked the informal aspect of sitting with students instead of in front of them"
- "We got the student’s view point that has not been given before"