Learning Innovation Unit, Dublin City University

Learning Innovation Unit

Teaching Reflections

In this Edition of Teaching Reflections

By Morag Munro, Head of LIU

Through our work in the Learning Innovation Unit (LIU) we are continually reminded of the importance of reflection on practice. We are also conscious of creating opportunities both to share teaching and learning experiences and to learn from each other. It is for these reasons that we have developed Teaching Reflections, a bi-annual publication, offering updates on teaching and learning activities, experiences and practical learning shared by DCU colleagues.

In this issue

This first issue offers a selection of articles across a variety of topics relating to teaching and learning. 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 strategies for providing useful feedback that won't result in lecturer overload. Problem Based Learning (PBL) is an approach 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.

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 TechnologyMargaret Farren and Yvonne Crotty discusss the action research approach to learning employed in the e-learning strand of DCU's MSc in Education and Training Management. In the first of our regular ‘Useful Resources’ section, Ellen Breen complements the theme of developing one’s practice with her suggestions for library resources available to assist in developing your teaching.

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.  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.

The Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) has been available to DCU staff and students since 2003. In this edition Elaine Walsh & Eamon Costello offer some tips for using Moodle, based on their experiences in Oscail. Another learning technology used by a number of DCU staff is Camtasia. You can learn about David Molloy’s experiences using Camtasia with remote students in this edition.

Finally, in this edition of Teaching Reflections you will find details of a number of forthcoming awards, funding calls and events which include: the Jennifer Burke Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning; the NAIRTL Awards for Excellence in Teaching; the DCU President’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Learning; and the Learning Innovation Fund (LIF) Conference and
Publications scheme.

Many thanks to all DCU colleagues who have contributed to this edition including article authors, Margaret Keane and Madeleine Patton in the LIU. I hope that Teaching Reflections will become a focus for discussion and debate on teaching and learning related issues in DCU. With that in mind, I 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.

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