Learning Innovation Unit, Dublin City University

Learning Innovation Unit

Jennifer Burke

Jennifer BurkeOn June 29th 2007 the Learning Innovation Unit lost a good friend and colleague, Jennifer Burke. While Jenn had fought a 5 year battle with cancer, it is indicative of her approach that most people did not know that she was ill.

Jenn was lively, intelligent, vivacious, energetic, optimistic and dedicated to her work as a Learning Technologist. Her interest in and commitment to educational technology in particular and teaching and learning in general were defined by passion and unceasing dedication to advancing this area. In 2005, ‘The Moodle Team’ (Jenn, Morag Munro (LIU) and Denis Cahalane (ISS)) were nominated and subsequently won the President’s Award for Teaching Excellence. This is just one tangible example of the high regard in which Jenn was held by DCU staff and the quality of the professional, timely and valuable service she provided to them. 

Jenn was well known and highly regarded, not just in DCU, but amongst the national and international elearning community, in particular the Moodle Community. In 2006/2007 Jenn was Chair of ILTA (the Irish Learning Technology Association) having been a significant force behind the development and growth of this organisation. She also contributed significantly to the NDLR (National Digital Learning Repository) project, EDIN (Educational Developers of Ireland Network) and to FACiliTATE (the Irish Problem Based Learning Network). In each of these cases, as well as representing DCU, Jenn frequently volunteered for additional services such as web site development and provision and support of Moodle resources to support the project.

As well as handling elearning issues, Jenn always willing to take on general teaching and learning areas and routinely supported our wide range of activities including the Teaching Excellence Awards, the Travel Scheme and the Learning Innovation Fund Projects scheme. In December 2005, we launched the new LIU website www.DCU.ie/ovpli/liu which Jenn designed and implemented and of which she was particularly proud. In 2006, Jenn coordinated the design and production of a comprehensive wall planner documenting all LIU training and development activities for the academic year.   

Jenn was a ray of sunshine in the LIU, always in good form, always positive and optimistic. We sincerely miss her warmth and presence and we will remember her for many years to come.

The Jennifer Burke Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

The Jennifer Burke Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning is awarded annually by the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA) and DCU. The award, presented for the first time in 2009, is made in memory of Jenn.

Please visit the Jennifer Burke award page for further information