Learning Innovation Unit - trategic Acitivites - 2006 Call

Learning Innovation Unit

Small Group Teaching Models
Application for Funded Pilot

Issued: 09/05/06
Closing: 02/06/06
Reference: LIU/2005-2006/Small Group Teaching


As part of the implementation of the Learning Innovation Strategic Plan, in particular addressing issues of improving the first year experience, the Learning Innovation Unit will provide funding for innovative teaching approaches with small groups, on a pilot basis. Small Group Teaching enables innovation, interaction and increased participation by students, by providing alternatives to the 'traditional' didactic lecture. Applications are invited from lecturers wishing to pilot a new teaching approach which is enabled by small groups. This can be either a recognised model such as Problem Based Learning, Active Learning, Group Discussion, Case Study models etc, or an approach of the lecturer's own devising providing they can demonstrate effectiveness of the model.  

Funding will be made available for implementation of successful pilot applications from October 2006. Applications must be made using the form below. As funding is limited, applications will be evaluated based on the extent to which an applicant demonstrates (either from research or from their own practice) that they can genuinely improve the first year student experience. Clarity of information provided, detailed implementation and resourcing requirements and evidence of effectiveness of the chosen approach will add significantly to the application.

An information session on Small Group Teaching, including suggested approaches, what does and does not constitute Small Group teaching etc,  will be held on May 17th at 1:15 in VBG12. Queries regarding this call should be directed to jean.hughes@DCU.ie.

NOTE: Funding of traditional tutorial sessions, which are supplemental to lectures, will not be considered. The application must use a Small Group Teaching approach as the core teaching model.  

Some useful references on Small Group Teaching include:

Cannon R., Newble D. ( 2002) A Handbook for Teachers in Universities and Colleges: A Guide to Improving Teaching Methods. London: Kogan Page Ltd

Griffiths S., Partington P (1992) Enabling Active Learning in Small Groups. Sheffield: CVCP Universities' Staff Development and Training Unit.

Griffiths, S., Houston K & Lazenbatt, A (1996). Enhancing Student Learning Through Peer Tutoring in Higher Education. University of Ulster, Coleraine.





Application Form

Fields marked with an asterisk (*must be filled in.

You are strongly encouraged to prepare all required information first using a suitable word processing package or text editor, so that you can save this information, and thus protect against any technical problems which may occur during online submission. The information can then be copied and pasted into the appropriate sections below. Note that only "plain" text information will be retained in the form: so any complex formatting (fonts, colours, images, etc.) will be lost. learning.innovation@DCU.ie.

When all the appropriate information has been pasted in, please activate the Submit button below the form.

1. Applicant(s)

*Principal Applicant:
*School or Unit:
*Email Address:



2. Current Teaching Approach

Briefly outline the current teaching approach used for the module(s)

3. Small Group Teaching Approach(es)

Please indicate the Small Group teaching approach you intend to use. You should provide a description of the approach,

any relevant references and evidence of the success of the approach(es)

4. Expected Benefits

Please explain the benefits that you expect your students to derive from you new approach.

You should also explain why these benefits cannot be achieved using your current approach(es).

5. Additional Applicants

Please indicate any additional applicants in your School or Programme who will be involved in the pilot

6. Evaluation

Please indicate when and how you intend to evaluate the pilot

7. Resources Required

Please provide a detailed breakdown of the anticipated costs of the project.

You should include staff costs, training needs and any additional support mechanisms required

(Note: It is envisaged that most funding will be used to pay for the staff costs associated with

small class sizes so this information must be clearly specified).


8. Head of School Approval

Please indicate whether your Head of School is aware of and supports your application?



9. Other Information

10. Submission

When all the required information has been filled in, please activate the Submit button below.

Provided the form has been filled in appropriately, your application will be recorded, and a confirmation page should be displayed in your browser. You should also receive an automatic email acknowledgement, including a copy of all the data you have entered. This should arrive within an hour of submission. If you do not receive this, or all the entered data is not present, or if you have any other problem or question relating to your application, please contact learning.innovation@DCU.ie.