Short Term Contract – Research Student

December 4, 2014

NALA has been running a Distance Learning Service since 2000. This Service is designed to provide learning opportunities to adults who wish to improve their literacy, numeracy and ICT skills from the comfort of their own home. Support is provided to learners through the post, over the telephone and increasingly, online. In addition, NALA offers accreditation at Levels 2 and 3 on the National Framework of Qualifications for Ireland through its QQI validated programmes. Each year, NALA responds to the needs of an average of 5,000 callers. Of these, just over 600 engage in learning activities with its DLSNALA conducts an annual evaluation of its Distance Learning Service and publishes these reports on 

To evaluate NALA’s Distance Learning Service in 2013, we would like to analyse existing data on learners who engage with NALA’s Distance Learning Service.

Examples of the type of information we would like to examine more closely will include:

  • Gender profiles – comparing online learners versus learners supported over the phone exclusively
  • Geographic distribution of learners
  • Employment status and any linkages to area of study
  • Time spent on site
  • Topics studied
  • Awards studied versus applied for
  • Previous experiences with education and literacy supports

To do this we are looking to recruit an appropriately skilled research student to work with us on a short fixed term contract. This person will report to the Distance Learning Co-ordinator and provide data for the purpose of writing an evaluation of NALA’s DLS in 2013.

Interested parties are invited to send an email to before 5pm Friday 13 December explaining why they would be interested in this role, and outlining their experience and qualifications to do so.

Candidates should have the following attributes:

  • Have completed a degree programme and be working on a postgraduate qualification
  • Strong ICT skills, including experience with CRMs, databases and learner management systems
  • Experience of using both quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Experience of using the SPSS programme
  • An understanding of the role of NALA and of its Distance Learning Service

Candidates will be shortlisted based on the above criteria. Canvassing will disqualify.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview in Dublin on Tuesday 17 December. Please do not reply if you are unavailable on this date.

The successful candidate will be provided with training on both of NALA’s systems in December and be expected to become familiar with the systems in advance of starting to research data in January 2014. Dates will be agreed with the successful candidate.

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