Learning Innovation Unit, Dublin City University

Learning Innovation Unit

DCU Learning Innovation Fund (LIF) 2006/2007

President's Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning: Winners

Adrian Redmond, Oscail

…he answers promptly and succinctly any and every query, that comes his way. He actually took the time to personally welcome each of his MS1 students to his class this year as they introduced themselves. In Adrian's class, no question is too small or stupid. He has a presence in Moodle such that we really feel as if we have our own personal tutor each, not just someone who drops in to answer the postings. This is a man, even with the advanced level of knowledge of education required to lecture, who can still impart the absolute basics of algebra to a fully-grown man with absolute clarity and sincerity of heart. Every answer is clear and useful, relevant and prompt. In addition, there is one for EVERY question asked. Although not having much exposure to Adrian Redmond’s teaching style and only having contact with him via Moodle, you can tell that this is a man who takes his job truly above and beyond the call of duty.

…..Most of all I have absolutely no hesitation at all when posting a query in MS001, because Adrian really gives the impression that your question is welcome, and not trivial in any fashion …………if he can turn what is essentially a virtual environment into somewhere where people actually feel welcome and encouraged to ask questions and learn, I can only imagine what the man is capable of in a classroom.

……In recent times, he has taken over one of the toughest jobs in teaching i.e. teaching Mathematics in an online environment to distance education students. The students he teaches are highly diverse. Most are in full time employment, many have families and they have widely varying degrees of prior formal education and mathematical competency.

Mr Redmond adapted to online teaching instantly. He has an intuitive sense of all that is good about teaching: he is friendly but professional; helpful while encouraging thought and discussion. In the modules that Mr Redmond teaches students ask more questions on average; students respond helpfully to other students above the average; and students log into their course more frequently.

His skilful use of this technology has encouraged collaborative learning that is a unique model within the discipline. Students and teachers collaborate in an asynchronous online environment as if they were using a blackboard in a classroom. Specific Mathematical problems have been discussed line by line in this way. Some commentators have said that Mathematics cannot be taught online - these people have never taken a course with Mr Redmond.