The 37 students of Trinity’s first exclusively online education programme graduated earlier this month at a ceremony held on campus.
The course, which took the form of a postgraduate diploma in applied social studies and was offered by the School of Social Work and Social Policy, was delivered entirely online and moves College a step closer to its target of 1,000 online students by 2019.
The course was delivered using live tutorials once a week in which students and professors could discuss and debate key issues in the module and engage with animated presentations and videos.
Dr Stephanie Holt, course director for both the online postgraduate diploma and the online one-year masters in applied social studies, told Trinity News about the significance of the course. “Making education accessible has always been a core aim of the school of social work and social policy and is reflected strongly in the college’s current strategic plan,” she said. She added that the online courses have proven very attractive to people who cannot attend full-time studies on campus due to family and work commitments or for geographical reasons.
Speaking to Trinity News, Dr Julie Byrne, assistant professor to online education development, echoed Holt’s sentiments: “I think the online education courses are an excellent way to open up education access to people who find it difficult to attend college at a fixed time and place each week… The online learning model we use here at Trinity combines asynchronous elements that can be done at a time and in a place that suits the individual student.”
Applied social studies is one of six online courses offered by Trinity, including a postgraduate certificate in dementia, a postgraduate certificate in advanced radiotherapy practice, a postgraduate diploma in managing risk and system change and a postgraduate certificate in clinical exercise. There are no requirements to attend class on campus and so the courses are accessible all over the world.