A one hour period where the centre is staffed by at least one tutor whom will have specifically advertised software and ICT skills. Students can come into the centre and request assistance without appointment from these tutors during the Drop-In times. Drop in times are available from the centre's timetable. Each Drop-In session is of one hour duration and has a focus on different core software subjects, all tutors however, have competency in the core software languages taught within university modules. Centre management ensures all staff are knowledgeable, approachable and respectful of students' needs. Staff are aware that their role is never to do the students work, but to help them learn their subjects. This ethos is crucial towards improving learning outcomes.
Centre management liaise with faculty and students to ascertain which ICT related modules are viewed as difficult and address these by implementing additional learning support for these areas. These are tutorial style sessions that target core concepts and content, the understanding of which is critical for students' success in these modules. The session are advertised by email to the relevant student group and representatives. Students must register for these sessions and attendance at these sessions is taken to monitor the actual uptake of this support. The centre in all cases consults with the relevant faculty member regarding the material covered within these sessions. Sessions are of a 1 hour duration (unless specifically requested otherwise) and when applicable, related session notes are posted on the ICT Learning Centre website.
The centre implements other ICT skills workshops throughout the semester, these can cover software tool usage skills, non core software languages and other subjects that are of interest within the software domain. Students are encouraged to discuss and request such workshops with centre management. Examples of workshops implemented being: Python Language workshops, Git open source software development version control manager and Advanced Unified Modelling Language (UML) design.
The centre also runs for later stage students an introductory course related to the Oracle Certified Professional Java Programming Exams (OCPJP) for those students interested in persuing an industry recognised certification in programming.
Peer Supported Learning Group (PSLG) is a proactive learning method that targets difficult modules. It fosters cross year support between students on the same course, encourages students to support each other and to learn co-operatively under the guidance of trained student leaders from the year(s) above. Students meet for their session once a week in the centre where the leader will employ interactive learning strategies to guide their further learning of the subject matter. In general, each group's session focuses on the material covered in the relevant module during the previous week. The aim being to engage the group in discussion towards ensuring all those attending have a clear understanding of the content and concepts they have to master. For more information on PSLG learning please see the Peer Supported Learning Centre website. For PSLG sessions and times currently being facilitated within the ICT Learning Centre, see the centre's timeable slots under the heading PSLG.
The ICT Learning Centre is located in the CSIS building (room CS1046), the room has a large amount of glazing maximising natural light making it an excellent study environment. The manager's office is located within the centre, promoting a good level of access to students while ensuring that the centre offers an environment that facilitates learning. The centre has 6 white boards and a central study table which can be used to facilitate student group study sessions.
The centre is equipped with 15 networked computers in 5 clusters of 3 machines affording good levels of privacy at each computer. Students of the CSIS department may use their network logon details on the center computers. All other UL students can access each of the centre's computers via an individual computer id and password that is displayed on the side of each centre workstation. Students can also use their personal laptops availing of the wireless connectivity in the centre.
The centre is open to use as a study environment during the academic semester (weeks 1 to 15) from Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm. Access may not be possible during times when the centre is being fully utilised for targeted sessions, workshops, courses, PSLG sessions or other advertised centre learning initiatives. General learning support for ICT subjects can be obtained by students from weeks 3 to 12 of the academic semester during the allocated Drop-In times as advertised on the centre's timetable.
The centre's library currently boasts over 180 books. The books are available for use by students within the confines of the centre. The library includes books on the following ICT related topics:
Various Programming Language Titles for Java, C++, C# etc
Object Oriented Design
Data Communications and Networking
Human Computer Interaction
Multimedia and Graphics Design
Having the text on location allows students to study relevant topics in an environment allowing clarification to be sought which supports subject understanding. The centre will continue to expand this useful resource in the future as we feel strongly that the ability of centre staff to recommend and allow students immediate access to such relevant text has positive learning outcomes.