Learning Innovation Unit, Dublin City University

Learning Innovation Unit

Eilish McLoughlin, School of Physical Sciences

Eilish McLoughlin plays a key role in the teaching and learning of Physics at DCU. Her involvement runs the gamut of teaching-related activities, from Science outreach and student recruitment, via student retention and innovative teaching, to developing Physics modules for industrial training and research in Physics education. Through her energy, enthusiasm, organisational talent and excellent communication skills Eilish has made a significant difference to many students, both within and outside DCU. She manages to combine great sensitivity to the needs of all her students with a read dedication to teaching Physics in an exciting, rigorous and thorough fashion.

Among her very many activities and achievements are the following:

Core teaching activities in both lecture and laboratory modules. To these she has brought enthusiasm and originality, playing a vital role in modernising teaching methodology and transforming the labs from a prescriptive to an exploratory learning environment. Her work in developing Problem-based Learning and actively promoting the use of Moodle has been central to the establishment of DCU as one of the leaders in Physics pedagogy in the Irish context.

A range of activities designed to help students settle in to university life. Her orientation programme has been adopted by other Schools within DCU, and student retention rates in her own School have shown a marked improvement.

Involvement in numerous ventures outside DCU. She represents the School of Physical Sciences on the North Dublin Access Programme and organises talks and activities for students both in schools related to this programme and in a wide range of other schools. She has been chairperson and leader of the Irish Physics Olympiad team since 2003, is an active member of the Institute of Physics in Ireland has run courses for primary-school teachers to enable them to introduce Science teaching into their classrooms and has been closely involved with recent successful conferences held in DCU. This list is by no means exhaustive.

In addition to her extensive teaching and learning profile, Eilish also maintains significant research activity in the area of surface science and has published a substantial amount of material in recent years.

Among the many positive comments about Eilish from her students are the following:

Eilish provided us with a knowledgeable insight into the field of education which was very much complemented by her fundamental understanding of Physics.

Eilish is a wonderful, dedicated, friendly and helpful woman who will share her time with anyone upon his or her request. She somehow finds time to listen to what all the students have to say, and never undervalues our opinions. She gets on well with everyone but also ensures that everyone is keeping on top of their work. Her commitment to her job is evidently driven by a passion for communicating Physics to people of all standards. She has a wonderful way with people, whether dealing on a one-to-one basis or talking to a whole class. She does this with great enthusiasm and a great sense of humour.

Eilish is known among her students for her uncanny ability to articulate complex ideas in a precise and exciting manner. She is considered a creative lecturer who encourages active student participation in a fun and friendly atmosphere. She is always a friendly face on the corridors and is someone I would feel comfortable turning to if I had any difficulties, college-related or personal.

Eilish is admired for her dedication, commitment and expertise. But she is loved for her friendly and charismatic personality.

She is inspirational.