Learning Innovation Unit, Dublin City University

Learning Innovation Unit

Teaching Reflections

In this Edtion 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 Edition

Trudy Corrigan provides an overview of the DCU Intergenerational Learning Project. This innovative initiative brings together DCU students and older people in a teaching and learning opportunity that values the equitable role of both participants as tutors and learners.

In their article Learning the Law: Simulation in Legal Education Noelle Higgins and Yvonne Daly outline the outcomes of a project that aimed to assess the impact of simulations in the teaching and learning of law.

The UREKA (Undergraduate Research and Knowledge Award) Diagnostics for Monitoring Disease (DiaMonD) training programme has been hosted by the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute (BDI) at DCU since April 2006. In her article Involving Undergraduates in Research: the DiaMond UREKA Experience, Aoife McCormack provides an overview of the initiative, which allows undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct challenging and meaningful research projects in a state-of-the art, collaborative research environment.

In Bin the Lab Notebook… for Better Scientific Learning Ciarán Fagan argues that the hardbacked laboratory notebook has had its day. Instead, he proposes laboratory report templates as a more effective mechanism for providing regular, ongoing feedback to students and for improving learning.

Eabhnat Ní Fhloinn outlines the benefits of the DCU Voluntary Maths Tuition Programme – a joint initiative between the Maths Learning Centre, the Access Service and BITE (Ballymun Initiative for Third-Level Education) – where DCU students provide pupils with free, one-to-one mathematics tuition.

Classroom response systems (CRS) can be a useful way to increase student interaction in large lecture environments. In their article Altering the Learning Environment Using Classroom Response Systems, Eilish McLoughlin and Odilla Finlayson describe their experiences using CRS in DCU’s School of Physical Sciences and School of Chemical Sciences.

Under the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance (DRHEA) partnership DCU were allocated five places at the DRHEA eLearning Summer School, which was held in the DIT from 21-25 June. Liam Meany, one of DCU’s participants, reflects on the week.

Also in this edition we celebrate Eilish McLoughlin’s National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) award and the winners of the 2010 DCU President’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching. On the back page you will find details of a number of forthcoming awards, funding calls and events including: the Jennifer Burke Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning; the DCU Learning Innovation Fund (LIF) Project scheme; and the DCU LIF Conference and Publications scheme. Finally, in our Useful Resources section Catherine Bruen, manager of The National Digital Learning Resources (NDLR) service has compiled some useful sources of freely available Open Educational Resources (OER).

Many thanks to all DCU colleagues who have contributed to this edition. 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, available at www.dcu.ie/ovpli/liu/Teaching-Reflections.

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