Learning Innovation Unit, Dublin City University

Learning Innovation Unit

Dr Ann Coughlan

Learning Innovation Officer

Ann Coughlan


I joined the Learning Innovation Unit in January 2008, having previously worked as a contract researcher/project manager in Educational Development (2005-2007) and at NUI Maynooth (2002-2005).  I completed my PhD in Geography in NUI Maynooth in 2002 following a BA in Anthropology and Geography.  Prior to this I worked in the financial services sector. 

As Learning Innovation Officer I have the following main responsibilities:
  • Academic Staff Development, through teaching and learning training sessions for academic staff; a postgraduate teaching and learning programme; lunchtime seminar series; and other relevant activities e.g. currently the focus is on learning outcomes training.
  • President’s Awards for Teaching Excellence and the annual Teaching and Learning Day.
  • Primary liaison with Student Support & Development on student induction, orientation and general learning issues.
  • On-going review and updating of the DCU student learning resource – ExL @ DCU [Excellence in Learning at DCU] www.dcu.ie/exl

Recent relevant projects include the following:

2007/2008: DCU Student Learning Resource Portal
This project was commissioned by the Learning Innovation Unit in collaboration with Student Support & Development in DCU in recognition of the importance of the first year experience.  It involved the development of academic support material for an on-line student learning resource portal. See www.dcu.ie/exl The project is ongoing.

2007/2008: DCU Postgraduate Teaching and Learning Programme for Tutors/Demonstrators
This project was commissioned by the Learning Innovation Unit in DCU.  I designed materials and facilitated delivery of a pilot programme in teaching and learning for postgraduate tutors and demonstrators.  It is intended that this programme will be run again in 2008/2009 with a view to developing it for accreditation.

2007: Postgraduate Skills Development: Examples of current practice and emerging issues in National University of Ireland Maynooth, Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University.
I acted as Project Editor for this HEA funded inter-institutional, collaborative project between Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University and NUI Maynooth.  

2006: Supporting Non-Traditional Groups in Higher Education
This was a collaborative, inter-institutional, HEA-funded project between NUI Maynooth, NUI Galway and Dublin Institute of Technology.  I acted as project officer and liaised with the seven universities and the DIT. The outcome was the development of a database of teaching, learning and support interventions across Irish higher education institutions in relation to under-represented groups as defined by the HEA.  I also compiled the case studies in booklet form for the publication Every Student Matters.  

Should anybody have ideas or feedback in relation to development events/activities I would welcome your input.  Similarly, any feedback in relation to ExL@DCU www.dcu.ie/exl would be welcome. You can contact me at Ann.Coughlan@dcu.ie or by phone on +353 (0)1 7005429.