Friday, May 14, 2021
|Time||Click here for Conference Opening, Keynote and Plenary Link|
|9.00||Conference Opening and Formal Welcome|
|09.10||Keynote Dr Helen King, Associate Director of Academic Practice, University of West of England|
|10.00 – 10.45||
Plenary session: Excellence in Teaching: Reflections and Insights
Panel: Eoin Everard (LIT), Fionnuala Tynan (MIC), Roisin Cahalan (UL)
|10.45 – 11.00||Coffee Break|
This conference is kindly funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning
This has been an extraordinary year. Many of us have been working in isolation and yet we have been able to come together in new ways. Things have happened in our teaching that wouldn’t have happened before. Things have happened that couldn’t have happened before. This keynote is an opportunity to share, celebrate and learn from what has worked well and from what didn’t go quite as we intended, and to consider what all this has meant for our professional learning and the development of our expertise as teachers in higher education.
Dr Helen King’s career in educational development spans over two decades and has included leading roles in UK-wide learning and teaching enhancement projects and organisations, as an independent consultant collaborating with colleagues in the UK, USA and Australia, and institutional roles (currently, Deputy Director of Academic Practice at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK). She has broad interests across a range of learning, teaching and assessment themes but her particular passion is in supporting colleagues’ professional development. Her current research is exploring the characteristics of expertise in higher education teachers. She holds a Senior Fellowship of the Staff & Educational Development Association (SFSEDA), a National Teaching Fellowship (NTF), is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA), and an Honorary Associate Professor with the University of Queensland.
This presentation is based on qualitative research on experiential active learning in a criminal justice processes and sentencing module. There were 8 students involved in the research, which was designed to investigate the extent field trips to an operational prison facilitates students to bridge the pedagogical gap between their academic knowledge and the practicalities of the criminal justice and sentencing processes. The analysis of findings based on qualitative data clearly indicate that students do indeed make connections between theory and practice through experiential active learning opportunities and this in turn facilitates their progression through the dimensions and levels of deep and flexible understanding. A field trip to an operational prison and one-to-one semi-structured interviews were used as a means of gathering data. The research findings illustrate that students misconceptions, preconceptions and misunderstandings about the criminal justice and sentencing processes were removed during the field trip, and students gained an appreciation of experiential learning as a teaching methodology in the cognitive and affective domains.
Interprofessional Education (IPE) at the Intermediate Care Facility – UL Allied Health Students engage in internationally recommended Interprofessional Education at the on-campus Intermediate Care Facility (UL)
Interprofessional Education (IPE) is advocated by the World Health Organisation as a necessary step in the training of a future health workforce, which is ready for collaborative practice (World Health Organisation, 2010). IPE is described as students from two or more professions learning from, with, and about each other to enable effective collaboration and to improve health outcomes (World Health Organisation, 2010). However, implementation of practice-based IPE remains limited and insufficient worldwide (Herath et al., 2017). Innovative collaboration between the University of Limerick and UL Hospitals Group led to the development of the Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) on the University of Limerick campus, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This afforded a unique IPE opportunity for University of Limerick Allied Health students who were co-located for practice placements in the ICF. Student responses to their interprofessional learning experiences were extremely positive, highlighting the many benefits of this innovative and collaborative approach to student learning.
Louise Kiernan, Kellie Morrissey, Eoin White, Niall Deloughry
In 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we launched the MSc in Design for Health and Wellbeing at UL’s School of Design. Intended as a studio-based, practice-based programme, we had to swiftly redesign the MSc to allow our students to engage in collaborative design education almost totally-online. In this presentation, we report how we 1) team teach online across all design modules to prioritise holistic learning from diverse expertise; 2) collaborated with the UL Hospital Group to ensure our students had access to immersive learning and clinical expertise; 3) worked with industry partners who provided concept development opportunities and feedback on student work, and 4) utilised online, collaborative workspaces to allow our students to engage in iterative processes of product development and prototyping, and allow their diverse backgrounds to cross-pollinate and inform each other’s emerging design practice. We then propose a strategy for online delivery of studio-based courses based on our experiences.
The disruptive change brought about through COVID-19 has brought about a shift in how all stakeholders; management, lecturers, and especially students have experienced the landscape of higher education during that period. In this presentation based on conversations with colleagues and students looks at the positives and the potential costs of this disruptive change.
Disruptive change is usually associated with the idea that the changes that come about are irreversible, he presentation will ask the question as to what elements of the change that we want to hold on to and elements of the old system that we need to hold on to.
The presentation will use Jamboard as a tool to engage participants in reflection and to facilitate people to respond and agree or disagree with the presenters’ perspective on the changing HE environment to create a vision of the future of HE post 2021.
Since March 2020 we have seen an unfathomable increase in online small-group teaching sessions across the region.
During the pandemic the UL School of Medicine have delivered over 2,600 virtual Problem-based Learning (PBL) tutorials (over 600 hours per month). These facilitated sessions are essential to the pre-clinical phase of our BMBS program.
• To identify key elements involved in the successful transfer of PBL tutorials to an online format.
• To reflect upon progress/developments from an emergency intervention to implementation of longer term
• To examine what has worked well locally and the challenges faced, summarizing feedback from different
• To summarize “best practice” strategies for online small-group session delivery and consider future
We will invite comments and questions as this is a great opportunity for us all as educators to collaborate and problem-solve, sharing newly-acquired insights and knowledge to promote excellent quality in remote tutorial provision.
In 2020 the first Alumni Mentoring Programme was set up in the School of Law in UL. The second iteration of the Programme moved online due to the Covid 19 pandemic. A pre and post programme survey was conducted with students on the programme. Forty students took part in the programme. Alumni from a variety of professional backgrounds mentored the students in small group and individual meetings. The programme also offered individual CV review clinics and a postgraduate study application workshop. The programme was very much led by the needs identified by the students in the pre programme survey. This paper will present the data on what the students themselves wanted to achieve from the mentoring programme. Challenges of running the programme as well as benefits for both the individuals involved and the School itself will also be outlined.
This paper will explore the experience of translating a Problem Based Learning (PBL) exercise from the offline to an online environment, the latter necessitated by Covid 19. The exercise, known as the LULITMI Market Place of Ideas in Democracy and Administration, was originally conceived as a collaboration between UL and LIT but its most recent iteration only involved 175 1st year UL students on a public administration module. The paper will set out the original and modified rationale for the PBL exercise and will describe how its delivery was adapted for the online space. It will also discuss the challenges, costs and benefits of running such an initiative in the online environment. Finally, the paper will consider whether the enforced online PBL experience actually provides valuable insights into how a more blended form of PBL could enhance student experience but could also enable deeper collaboration between higher education institutions.
In UL, the students on the MSc. Speech and Language Therapy programme complete a Conversation Partner Scheme (CPS) as part of their practice education in their first semester of the programme. This involves conversation training workshops followed by face-to-face conversations with people with acquired communication disorders (PwACD) in the community. An in-person format was not possible under public health restrictions in Autumn 2020. The introduction and expansion of online meeting platforms provided an opportunity for innovation for teaching and practice, and all components of the scheme moved online. Due to the novel approach and potential challenges for online communication with PwACD, we investigated the feasibility and participant experience of the online CPS. Eighty-five online conversations took place. Although the online format was acceptable to students and PwACD, many students highlighted the value of in-person contact. Both groups agreed that the CPS was important for student training and communication skills development.
Orla Slattery, Jean Reale, Anne O'Byrne
The growing recognition that people with intellectual disability (ID) have a fundamental human right to further their educational goals is providing HEIs with an important ethical mandate to bring about meaningful change in the sector. The CGLPD at MIC aims to support the inclusion of adult learners with ID in an inclusive educational environment that is dedicated to supporting their holistic learning development. This paper charts the development of the Pathways to Engagement through Technologically Enhanced Learning, or PETEL project. Operating in conjunction with the CGLPD programme, this auxiliary project aims to: (a) support the development of a UDL based inclusive blended learning strategy to support online learner engagement; (b) empower people with ID to become independent learners through the effective use of technology. This paper will offer an exploration of the twofold aims of the PETEL project and reflect on some of the strategies and learnings which have emerged.
Covid-19 has necessitated a rapid movement into the online teaching and learning space. While this is doubtless been a challenge to all concerned and has not been without its drawbacks, this sudden transformation has also made us engage with technologies and pedagogies that may offer previously unforeseen benefits. The real challenge, as we exit Covid and Emergency Remote Teaching is to retain these learnings and add to our skillsets rather than simply returning to the old normal.
This presentation proposes means by which a theoretical framework (Redmond, 2018) for student engagement can integrated with practical interventions (Ryan 2021) to promote student engagement in an online environment. It will outline the presenters plans for research in this area while encouraging others to adopt appropriate approaches in their own practice.
Redmond, P., Heffernan, A., Abawi, L., Brown, A., & Henderson, R. (2018). An online engagement framework for higher education. Online Learning, 22(1), 183-204. doi:10.24059/olj.v22i1.1175
Ryan, M. (2021). Compendium of Active Learning: Strategies for Student Engagement. LIT Quality Teaching & Learning
Feedback, if effectively provided by the teacher and utilised by the learner, enables improvement in academic performance. It is also critical for health professional students to develop feedback literacy early in order to prepare them for a professional career of lifelong learning and critical thinking. The study aim was to identify a feasible, sustainable approach to improve feedback literacy among health professional students. A mixed-methods approach grounded in constructivism was employed. An online platform with individualised modular feedback was used to support the development of personal learning actions. Poor engagement by participants resulted in the co-construction of a suite of modules to develop feedback literacy with stakeholders. All stakeholder groups reported short- and long-term benefits with this approach, but also highlighted challenges towards its implementation. Balance must be achieved between; the timing of the introduction of feedback literacy and, the workload required to achieve these skills with current programme demands.
Michael F. Ryan, Mark O'Connor & Sarah O' Toole
Active Learning for student engagement has been LIT's signature pedagogy for over a decade now and is central to its current Teaching and Learning Strategy (2018-2023). It will also be a significant pillar in the pedagogical framework for the new AIT-LIT Technological University. During 2020-2021 (supported by the National Forum's Strategic Alignment for Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund), LIT embarked on a number of strategic initiatives to support staff capacity-building for student engagement through Active Learning. These initiatives included: the publication of a Compendium of Active Learning for Student Engagement, the accreditation of a Special Purpose Award in Active Learning for Student Engagement and the allocation of staff bursaries for innovative practice. This presentation will provide a brief overview of these initiatives and the insights gained from them.
In the spring of 2021, staff from the library, ITD and CTL delivered 39 digital skills workshops to students. Over 1,400 students attended these short workshops where they received an introduction to using tools like Panopto and Audacity, were taught about how to find copyright free images for assignments, how to make posters, and how to use Word, Excel and Powerpoint for their college work. This talk will report on how a collaboration like this worked well for the delivery of an innovative programme of student-focused content and will invite the audience to discuss student digital skills and the role universities play in this, inside or outside the curriculum.
Michael Connelly, Karl Rinne, Colin Fitzpatrick
Engineering modules usually have significant laboratory content; complementary to and enhancing understanding of theoretical material. Typically students carry out experiments during a weekly two-hour session in on-campus laboratories using expensive benchtop instruments with technician/academic support and benefit from peer-to-peer interaction. However in the current COVID situation this was not possible, hence the need to use innovative solutions to enable remote experimental work. This can be achieved by using sophisticated low-cost electronic modules as integral components in electronic circuits and for test & measurement. This presentation will focus on the overall design/implementation methodology of some typical remote laboratory experiments in the Electronic & Computer Engineering programme at UL. Although a comprehensive student feedback survey has yet to be carried out, from the feedback we have received, the student experience seems to have been excellent and as such the remote laboratory approach has great potential to enhance student learning.
Though not unique in UL, but unique in my department, I teach through using Problem-Based Learning (PBL),
My modules normally present theoretical software concepts, which, in honesty, can be boring! With PBL, I present a problem as semester starts, students work in groups, I give short lectures (not ‘pure’ PBL) and I facilitate. With the pandemic, thrown into a virtual world, I changed to ‘on-line PBL’. With no groups of co-located students, it was difficult to discuss within groups or to have all teams discuss and debate a single concept. I had to change how I do things. The result – a student comment as class finished up ‘Very fun learning’!
In this talk, I will discuss how I implement PBL in my lectures, with a specific focus on changes that I have made due to the move to on-line learning during the pandemic.
Edwina Rushe & Eimer Ni Riain
As a result of Covid-19, the 1st year MSc Occupational Therapy students embarked on their first placement within an online simulated setting over a two-week period. A range of digital learning tasks were piloted throughout this period utilising digital platforms such as sulis, mentimeter, videos as well as live talks to promote and compliment learning. Reflection took a central role within this learning, as students worked through the Occupational Therapy process using a case study to enhance knowledge and OT practical skills.
Students provide video footage of their initial OT assessment explaining the Occupational Therapy role and also engaged in small group simulation assessments tasks from OT practice. Practical session such as dressing interventions were also completed within small groups with the practice education team. To develop reflective capacity and expand clinical reasoning verbal and written peer to peer feedback was provided in collaboration with educator feedback and support.
One of the biggest challenges facing design education is in teaching students to better understand human behaviour, cognition and emotion in order to help them make informed decisions about products, services and systems they will create, which in turn impact our future; including our health, wellbeing, economy and planet. This talk will address the creation of a new module – Psychology for Design – ran for the first time in 2021 at UL’s School of Design, which applies principles of psychology to design processes and artefacts, and culminates in students undertaking a redesign of a product to take into account academic research in psychology. I will present a series of redesigns by our students in order to structure a discussion of how to relate abstract, complex social science to practical skills for design students, and also contribute a series of implications from my own practice for running similar classes in the future.
Research methods courses — especially those including statistics — have a reputation for being both difficult and boring. This project aimed to document innovative methods, either for teaching students difficult concepts or for enhancing student engagement (or both!). Thirteen participants were recruited via purpose and snowball sampling methods, with participants coming from a relatively diverse range of countries and disciplinary backgrounds. Participants completed semi-structure interviews online, which were inductively analysed. Asynchronous, blended and flipped approaches were popular, allowing students to self-pace, and also for difficult concepts to be carefully explained. A number of specific examples of explaining concepts were documented. There exist a pool of inspired and inspiring people teaching research methods, each of whom have great insights for teaching. Combined, these should produce better and more engaging courses.
Rosie Gowran, Jenn McKee, Kimberly Mathis
Twenty frontline healthcare professionals across Ireland registered on the Post-graduate Certificate in Posture, Seating, and Wheelchair Mobility. Key learning outcomes included: Perform comprehensive postural care/seating assessment; demonstrate proficiency and practice skills. With COVID-19 restrictions many students were unable to travel to campus, limiting ‘normal’ essential face-to-face practical labs. Committed to meeting learning outcomes, a collaborative solution focused approach occurred between teachers and students.
Virtual practical group hubs were organised in seating clinics, students’ homes and university campus. Practice lab set up toolkits were provided to students. Instruction was live streamed via Big Blue Button, hosted from lecturer’s remote clinic. Sessions were monitored with technical support from teaching assistants.
Learning objectives to perform and demonstrate practical skills was achieved with detailed feedback provided to students on demo videos submitted. The successful role out of virtual laboratory hubs opens up opportunity to connect post-graduate professional learning and teaching in this space internationally.
Marie Walsh & Scott Cavanah
Which window is important to you? Is it your living room, your bedroom or perhaps a window from your childhood home? What do you see from the window and what does it mean to you?
These were just some of the questions that 70 students grappled with recently as part of the Out My Window project. This was an international collaborative project between Animation students from Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) and Bradley University (BU) in Illinois. Each student was asked to choose a window and to describe what they saw and felt as looked out. That description was then sent to their partner on the other side of the Atlantic for them to use this information to then create a piece of art (using any style/medium).
This presentation by Dr Marie Walsh (LIT) and Scott Cananah (BU) will present the Out My Window project as a case study to explore the significant Teaching & Learning questions/lessons that emerged. Lesson 1: how can we as educators motivate students to take on work that has no grade? Lesson 2: what are the key factors that make an international project a success? Lesson 3: how technology has become the magic wand that makes international projects possible!
With a switch to online learning, the pressure to maintain and achieve learning outcomes for practical modules was a tricky obstacle to manoeuvre. A virtual online lab was created for pre-service teacher education students to explore and have concrete experiences of programming and electronic experiments. These experiences were created using a combination of physical hardware and virtual simulation software. A collaborative problem solving approach to solving assigned tasks was facilitated using a set of online tools on the Microsoft Teams platform. This presentation explores the implications and students feedback from experiencing online virtual labs for Technology Teacher Education modules. Positive and negative aspects of teaching online labs are explained. This may help inform future blended learning approaches to teaching and learning for student teachers as we return to more on-campus activity.
This presentation will outline how Salmons (2021) Taxonomy of Collaboration was used in a Level 9 module in Collaborative Practice which was delivered online in January 2021 for students on the MA Interdisciplinary Design Practice in Limerick School of Art and Design. The presentation will outline the taxonomy and its application with concurrent digital collaborative tool MIRO. Understanding novel taxonomies can be key to innovative and engaging delivery, especially in the new paradigm of online and blended learning. I present Salmons taxonomy as a useful tool which can be used to mindfully implement active learning, to understand stages of collaboration and allow students to articulate and foster trust level and comprehension when using parallel, sequential or synergistic collaboration methods.
Ciara Breathnach, Rachel Murphy and Tiziana Margaria.
Transcribathons are rooted in the ethos of citizen science and have been used by projects like Europeana and the Folger Library to digitise, make accessible and preserve the digital outputs to conservation standards. Over three years we worked together to embed digital humanities and computer science methods in a level four history module and a taught postgraduate history module. Using manuscript sources and a practice based learning mechanism, historians have worked with computer scientists to develop effective ways of streamlining the data transcription process. We discovered a difficulty threshold, identified knowledge gaps and worked together to arrive at solutions. By testing various methods and removing the more onerous levels of encoding from the process of transcription we have developed an innovative application that supports our learners and meets our data enrichment goals. In this panel we discuss our aims, our methods and outcomes from pedagogical and interdisciplinary perspectives.
Diarmaid Lane & David Tanner
Many students experience some challenges on transition to higher education and these range across social, economic, and academic dimensions. Current international research highlights the importance of supporting students in developing Spatial Thinking skills on entry to university and the positive impact that this can have on performance and retention (Uttal et al., 2013, Lowrie et al., 2017, Sorby et al., 2018). In this presentation, we describe the fundamentals of Spatial Thinking skills and we highlight that the development of these skills is perhaps a ‘missing link’ in the Irish education system. A ‘discipline diving’ approach was used to examine the views of academic teaching staff in relation to Spatial Thinking at the University of Limerick before committing to the development of a Spatial Thinking intervention for first year students. The presentation will highlight the opportunities (and challenges) for transforming teaching and learning across university disciplines through Spatial Thinking.
Patricia Kieran, Anne Ryan and Marie Parker-Jenkins
This paper will reflect upon the educational possibilities and implications of the universal design for learning (UDL) approach to on-line teaching and learning. It will critically reflect upon the flexibility of the UDL approach adopted for the ‘Beliefs, Belonging and Boundaries: towards greater inclusion in contemporary Ireland’ National Forum Seminar, held in Spring 2021. The seminar’s content and modes of presentation were designed for maximum accessibility and inclusion for the diverse T&L needs of a range of seminar participants and presenters (Katz & Sokal 2016). The seminar set out to foster safe, high-quality dialogue, networking and on-line engagement around a range of complex and sensitive issues including: Black Lives Matter; Deaf Education and Audism; Academic Freedom and LGBTQ experiences; Beliefs around Personal Finance; Non-religious perspectives and beliefs; teachers’ beliefs and boundaries; children’s blended religious identities; belief fluidity; and a feeling theory of belief.
As part of its UDL, the seminar, which took place on the Teams platform, provided simultaneous interpretation in Irish Sign Language with an ISL interpreter, spotlighting and captioning; teams chat; small group dialogue in break-out rooms; panel and plenary discussions; downloadable seminar resources and speakers’ bios and presentations on the Seminar’s Padlet pages; an on-line anonymous seminar evaluation. In the light of participant feedback and organiser self-evaluation, the paper will reflect upon the impact which this event had on the organisers’ understanding of UDL and their own reflective professional practice in teaching and learning.
'Quick Tips for Teaching Online' (https://www.ul.ie/ltf/blog/) is an innovative cross-campus blog series collaboratively coordinated through ULs Learning Technology Forum (LTF). It runs as part of the Irish Universities Association Enhancing Digital Teaching and Learning (EDTL) project at UL. Throughout the 2020/’21 academic year the blog accommodated a flexible, low-bandwidth, self-service professional development opportunity aiding staff who teach with learning to teach online during and beyond the migration to online teaching.
LTF members and academic guest contributors across ULs campus community are openly invited to contribute posts to the series to showcase their work and provide insights into effective online teaching practices, strategies, and innovations. In its inaugural year, 20 posts have been made.
This paper looks at the emergence and resulting application of the 'Quick Tips for Teaching Online' blog series and presents how it has grown to become an effective way to showcase online teaching practices across the UL community.
Sultan Samah A Alenezi
The extraordinary developments in information and communication technology (ICT) in recent decades have contributed to creating new teaching and learning tools (Kazancı and Caner, 2020; Mai and Bao, 2020). Among those that have been employed as e-learning tools is the blog. According to Latha (2020), the blog creates an opportunity for learners to discuss their ideas, negotiate meaning, clarify their knowledge, and obtain feedback for refining their ideas before posting their work. Furthermore, regular interaction via the blog enhances collaborative learning skills among learners supported by Sociocultural theory concepts. This study investigates the effect of the use of the blog as one of the interactive Web 2.0 tools in learning and teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) writing in the Saudi context, in order to explore: I) the perceptions and attitudes of Saudi EFL learners towards implementing blogs in English writing classes, and II) the perceived advantages and challenges of adopting this method of teaching and learning.