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At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
IT Skills Grow in the Community
For one semester during the 2nd year of the Masters in IT course, students do a project within their service learning module as a consultant for a community organisation.
"It’s something that all the student’s need, a link module that will put the practical into effect," Pat Byrne Director of the Master’s degree in Information Technology said. "They need some way of putting their theory into practice, so we designed it in that way."
Students are focus on being consultants to a charity in the local community. During their service learning modules, students initially go and talk to the charity about how they are currently using IT and some of the things they would want to do in the future using IT. Students would then be required to assess some of the work that had been done in the charity and would make suggestions as to how they might be applied to further their aims. It is then that the students would act as a consultant, putting their skills from the classroom into actual practice.
"The students will come away, think about these needs, formulate some plans, and put those suggestions to the organisation in question and perhaps give them a variety of choices as to where they want to go or how the students can help them."
Some of the projects the Masters in IT students have developed with community organisations include, a website for the Gaf Youth Cafe and networked computers at the Galway Centre for Independent Living.