Learning Innovation Unit, Dublin City University
Learning Innovation Unit
Welcome to Teaching Reflections
By Morag Munro, Head of LIU
Through our work in the LIU we are continually reminded of the importance of reflection on practice. We are also conscious of creating opportunities to share teaching and learning experiences and to learn from each other. It is for these reasons that we have developed Teaching Reflections. In this edition you will find updates on teaching and learning activities, experiences and practical learning based on the activities of DCU colleagues. In Giving Feedback – a Valuable and Necessary Process Richard O’Kennedy, Vice President for Learning Innovation, gives a comprehensive overview of why provision of student feedback is essential, and offers some strategies for providing useful feedback that won't result in lecturer overload. Problem Based Learning (PBL) is used on a number of DCU programmes; but what is it like to apply PBL to your teaching? Carol Barron reflects on her experience of introducing PBL into an undergraduate nursing programme. The All Ireland Society for Higher Education (AISHE) is a professional society whose goal is to bring together and support those people who are concerned to advance Irish Higher Education. In this edition Barry McMullin reviews the most recent AISHE conference and explains how you can join the society. Library article, by Ellen Breen, Library .... [INSERT DETAIL]. Action research is research conducted in order to develop one's own teaching practice that involves a systematic cycle of planning, action, and evaluating. In their article Learning Through Action Research and Technology Margaret Farren & Yvonne Crotty discusss the action research approach to learning employed in the e-learning strand of DCU's MSc in Education and Training Management.
Over the past year the LIU and other DCU colleagues have been involved with a number of the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) Enhancement of Learning projects. You can find out more in Jean Hughes’ SIF update. Another of the LIU’s key activities over the past few months has been the development of the DCU Teaching Enhancement Cycle (TEC). The TEC is a cyclical process for gathering feedback on one’s teaching practice in order to self evaluate and move to positive, actionable change. The TEC web resource provides a range of tools for gaining and reflecting on feedback. You can access the TEC resources at http://www.dcu.ie/ovpli/liu/Teaching-enhancement-cycle/index.shtml. The LIU will be holding information sessions on TEC for DCU staff in the near future. We are also coming to the end of the third iteration of our postgraduate tutor training course. This 8 week course aims to introduce postgraduate students acting as tutors and demonstrators to pedagogical theory and practice in the context of their teaching roles.
The Moodle VLE has been available to DCU staff and students since 2003. In this edition Elaine Walsh & Eamon Costello provide some tips for using Moodle, based on their experiences in Oscail. In addition to our provision of support for Moodle, new learning technologies that the LIU have been experimenting with over the last year include Camtasia, Audacity and Mahara. Camtasia is a screen capture software program that allows you to record what is on screen and to play back the result back as a video. You can learn about David Molloy’s experiences with using Camtasia with remote students in this edition. Audacity is free software resource that you can use to quickly create podcasts while Mahara is an ePortfolio and social networking application. Mahara provides students with tools to create and maintain a digital portfolio of their learning, and social networking features to allow students and staff to interact. Please contact the LIU if you are interested in using Camtasia, Audacity or Mahara in your teaching.
Finally, in this edition of Teaching Reflections you will find details on a number of events, awards and funding calls, including the weekly LIU writers group for Educational Researchers; the Jennifer Burke Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning; and the Learning Innovation Fund (LIF) Project scheme and Teaching and Learning Conference and Publications scheme.I hope that you enjoy this edition of Teaching Reflections. I would encourage you to comment on any of the articles in this edition via the comment box at the end of the online version of each article, available at http://www.dcu.ie/ovpli/liu/Teaching-Reflections/.