The TEU and DCU Students' Union collaborate on an Accessibility Awareness Week in May, to align with Global Accessibility Awareness Day.
The DCU Teaching & Learning Day is normally a highlight in the annual calendar of events.
Keep some space in your diaries for DCU Teaching & Learning Week 2023 which will take place from August 28th - Sept 1st and is open to all DCU staff.
Over the course of this week, we will consider the topical theme of Intelligence in Teaching Today. The theme has emerged in response to the rise of ChatGPT which has raised many questions about the future of artificial intelligence in higher education, the way we design our assessments, and how we might prepare our students to live and work in the world today.
You are invited to short talks, panel discussions, and workshops to unpack the central issues and learn about potential solutions from teaching colleagues right across the university. Events will take place through a series of in-person and online sessions.
Check out the programme and register for sessions of interest today!
The Dublin City University (DCU) Teaching and Learning Week 2021 took place in early September. This event is run annually by the Teaching Enhancement Unit (TEU), traditionally over a single day, face to face. In 2020, Teaching and Learning Day became Teaching and Learning week with online events scheduled over a full week. This format was adopted again for 2021 with the event run over three consecutive days.
Donlon (2021) discusses the myriad changes forced upon academic conferences during the Covid pandemic but lauds the creativity in formats and reimagined solutions that have ensued. Once such format referenced, “a combination of live-streamed presentations and pre-recorded content”, was the approach taken for the 2020/2021 Teaching and Learning events.
The theme of the 2021 event was influenced by the wealth of resources from webinars, blogs, and academic papers discussing the impacts to teaching of the current Covid-19 pandemic (many available in the NIDL resource bank.) All highlight the significant shift in educational practices caused by the move to online teaching and learning. This change has not been easy; learning new pedagogies and technologies, trying to engage and support students, all whilst living and working through pandemic anxiety and fatigue has been challenging. The Teaching & Learning Week event sought to offer an opportunity to pause, reflect, and consider the impact of this on future teaching approaches but utilise a playful approach to ward off Zoom fatigue and create an engaging learning environment.
As well as the now traditional Zoom presentations, the 2021 event included novel learning formats including recorded fireside chats with students, virtual worlds with Topia, and synchronous and asynchronous escape rooms activities on the below themes:
- Enhancing engagement in the online space through playful practices
- Promoting a pedagogy of care
- Impactful technology integration beyond Covid
Feedback indicated that the Escape rooms were particularly interesting to staff and having participated they are likely to use this form of immersive problem-solving experience to engage their own learners “I think that the Escape is a fabulous idea” “Thanks for a really interesting session, …. I'd be very interested in using some of/replicating your session for a tutorial class in a first year module”. Two escape rooms were offered as part of the programme; one to support podcasting skills and the other to promote Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approaches in the Moodle virtual learning environment. In addition, the playful approach was continued in the social spaces of Teaching & Learning week. A Topia virtual world was designed to encompass areas to sit and chat as well as a virtual dance floor where numerous participants were able to share their moves!
Over 100 participants attended the live sessions and over 220 engaged with the online resources and activities on the custom Moodle page this year. In conjunction with Teaching and Learning week, new episodes of the Edge of Discovery podcast series dropped; some specially recorded as submissions for the annual CPD event.
Increasing staff workload can lead to less time to focus on professional development activities (Foster & Warwick, 2018) and during a global pandemic where educators have been frantically trying to change pedagogies and embrace new technologies, this has never been more relevant. In the spirit of bringing the best back from Covid and to enable the ongoing engagement of DCU staff, all online resources will remain available on the custom Moodle page.
Donlon, E. (2021). Lost and found: the academic conference in pandemic and post-pandemic times. Irish Educational Studies, 1-7.
Foster, T., & Warwick, S. (2018). Nostalgia, gamification and staff development–moving staff training away from didactic delivery. Research in Learning Technology, 26.
In 2020, whilst a different format to prior years, the Teaching Enhancement Unit welcomed DCU staff to Teaching & Learning Week 2020, September 14th through 18th.
A hybrid learning approach spread over a week was used to help showcase good practice and ensure that the DCU community could continue to share and engage in discussions about teaching and learning during these extraordinary times. A variety of insights from award winners at this year’s President's Awards for Excellence in Teaching & Learning were offered, live workshops on topics such as "contract cheating" and "students as partners in assessment", as well as podcasts and online discussions which were centred on the theme of Pedagogy in Practice: Teaching excellence, in class and online.
This mix of synchronous and asynchronous resources and activities were offered through our Moodle instance, internally called Loop, supported by Zoom webinars and recordings which enabled staff to engage with the resources as best suited them. The Edge of Discovery podcast series was launched as part of the event and to date has notched up over 175 downloads. The Loop page had over 3,300 interactions by DCU staff incorporating 415 unique visitors. Importantly, the online space facilitated learning to continue beyond the designated week with over 200 interactions occurring post event. This highlights one of the benefits of a longer online versus a finite face to face event. A further comparative is planned to examine the relative impact of our annual Teaching & Learning event across both formats.
The TEU were delighted to create an opportunity for so many DCU staff to connect with each other and engage with best practices around pedagogy online during these unusual times. Sincere thanks to all our contributors who made Teaching & Learning Week such a success: Ann Marie Farrell, Martin Brown, Joanne Lynch, Lucien Waugh-Daly, Suzanne Stone, Orla Bourke, Roisin Lyons, Fiona O’ Riordan, Rob Lowney, and Orna Farrell. The materials will remain available to review for the upcoming semester.
We look forward to planning the next Teaching & Learning Week for August 2021.
The Hot Topic sessions run by the NIDL at DCU provide an opportunity for bite size professional development on topical matters related to digital teaching and learning. Set up to promote research-informed practice, they take the form of round-table sessions that run for no longer than an hour approximately once a month. These sessions take place over lunchtime so they are ideal for staff who want to hear about different perspectives on teaching in a timely and engaging way.
The format of these sessions is quite relaxed and collegial - we send out a general invitation to all members of staff to come along to discuss a topic of the day. After a brief introduction to a selection of current research, questions are posed and the topic is opened up to the floor for discussion. Frequently, the conversation stirs up a range of heated viewpoints and through debate, and maybe even disagreement, attendees leave the room more informed than when they walked in. Itís an enjoyable way to think about teaching issues, hear about current research, and participate in a stimulating conversation with other university staff.
So far, topics have been wide-ranging and previous titles include:
- Open Educational Resources: Unknown, unused and unloved?
- The VLE is Dead: Life in Post-Apocalyptic Learning Environments
- The Battle for Open
- Turning Teaching Upside Down: Should the classroom be flipped?
- Social Media: A deep or surface approach to professional learning?
If you'd like to see how the Hot Topic sessions work, or maybe even propose a Hot Topic idea, come along to the next one and join in!
Webinars can be very effective forms of professional development and a great way to get an insight into what other colleagues and institutions are involved with. The TEU offers a selection of webinars covering a wide variety of teaching and learning topics. In addition to webinars provided by DCU we also highlight webinars provided by other institutions. Please click here for the schedule. (insert link to events page)
The workshops provided by the TEU can be broadly classified into two categories - regular workshops available to all staff and requested workshops for schools/units or programme teams. The details on regular workshops are available in the calendar below and a list of workshops that we provide upon request for schools/units or programme teams is available through our Events Calendar.