Donegal NUI students bring the classroom to the community

Eamonn McFadden

Reporter:

Eamonn McFadden

A number of Donegal students based in NUI Galway have been playing an active role in their locality in a programme designed to merge classroom learning with beneficial community work.

A number of Donegal students based in NUI Galway have been playing an active role in their locality in a programme designed to merge classroom learning with beneficial community work.

NUI Galway biomedical science recently held a presentation day, to showcase the projects which they completed as part of the community knowledge initiative (CKI) module. The module introduces students to the concept of “service-learning” and aims to link classroom learning and community service to enrich learning experiences and emphasise civic responsibility.

Roisin Reid from Lifford and Adrianne McGee from Falcarragh, were members of the group who worked on a project with Irish Therapy Dogs.

Jamie McGettigan from Letterkenny was in the “Health Connect Mentors Group”.

The module gives the opportunity for students to learn and develop through active participation in experiences that meet real community needs. The module is integrated into the students’ curriculum to provide structured time to think, talk and report on their activities, while also working as part of a team.

The main projects this academic year included the Health Mentors Group and the work with the therapy dogs, as well the development of a smart phone app designed to deliver video-based footage of curriculum-based biology laboratory practicals to Leaving Certificate students.

Programme Director, Dr Maura Grealy, said: “The programme has surpassed my expectations in promoting student development awareness of community needs, organisational skills and confidence; they have done great work and I am very proud of them.”