TEU, Events

The Teaching Enhancement Unit hosts a number of events throughout the academic calendar; these include scheduled workshops, webinars and "hot topic" sessions. 
2021 Winners

2021 Winners Announced

(L to R Top Row) Dr Monica Ward, Dr Diarmuid Torney, Aishling Silke, Dr Barbara Dignam, David Kennedy, Dr Cameron Peers (L to R Bottom Row) B. Rel. Ed. School Placement/TOP Online Programme Team: Marie Conroy Johnson, Dr Enda Donlon, Dr Elaine McDonald, Dr P.J. Sexton, Dr Audrey Doyle

More than 200 people attended the (virtual) Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, 19th May 2021.

In his opening address, DCU President, Professor Daire Keogh spoke of how “the awards recognise the exceptional work of DCU’s teachers and support staff during what has been a very challenging period. They have gone above and beyond, showing extraordinary resilience, agility and creativity in the way they have pivoted to online Teaching and Learning.” 

Professor Keogh also remarked that “what also emerges strongly from this year’s citations is the empathy and support our teachers have shown their students, going above and beyond to ensure that they continue to receive the transformative education they deserve.”   

"Student appreciation is also captured in statistics with a record 700 plus nominations received.  This year saw the largest ever number of team nominations and getting through this year has truly been a team effort" said Professor Keogh.

The award ceremony presentation slides highlight some of the wonderful comments provided in the nominations.

This year's recipients of the President's Awards for Excellence in Teaching are...

Teaching Support Category
Dr Cameron Peers, School of Health and Human Performance

”To use a good analogy that I heard recently, staff were thirsty for knowledge with the move to hybrid delivery. Sometimes we felt like we were hit with a water cannon instead of being given a glass of water, Cameron has been that glass of water!”

Team Award
B.Rel.Ed. School Placement/TOP Online Programme Team, School of Policy and Practice: Dr Audrey Doyle, Dr Enda Donlon, Marie Conroy Johnson, Dr PJ Sexton, Dr Elaine McDonald

“I am continually astounded at the Team’s success in implementing a rapidly executed but thoroughly considered alternative to the type of school placement rendered impossible by the pandemic. They equipped students at immense speed with the additional technological skills and encouragement needed for the new reality.”

Special Award for Distinctive Approaches to Teaching
David Kennedy, School of Human Development

“It is clear this has not been an easy period of time for anyone regarding online learning and online teaching, but having a lecturer with this amount of enthusiasm and clarity within their module in an online setting really helped facilitate my learning over the course of the year.”

Special Award for Distinctive Approaches to Assessment and Feedback
Dr Barbara Dignam, School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music

“Barbara has revitalised the assessments in her modules to make them relatable for the modern student, and to give students a strong sense of ongoing development and achievement.”

Special Award for Distinctive Approaches to Innovation in Teaching
Dr Diarmuid Torney, School of Law and Government

“Diarmuid is by far the most organised and prepared lecturer I have ever worked with. He is very structured with his course content, and having such a great handle on his teachings brings confidence to his students. His insight into climate change policy is unrivalled and learning in Diarmuid's lectures is effortless.”

New Lecturer/Tutor Category
Aishling Silke, School of Language, Literacy and Early Childhood Education

“Aishling advocates strongly for her students and even more importantly is the biggest advocate for the early childhood education sector, and has instilled this advocacy in each student she teaches.  She has just been a wonderful lecturer from the first time she taught us, to the sheer dedication she has put in with organising  placement during the current pandemic - her love for DCU and education makes learning fun and motivates us, our students, to do our best!” 

Overall Academic Winner
Dr Monica Ward, School of Computing

“Monica was an amazing teacher before March 2020, but she became even better since then as she, almost single handedly, guided our School and Faculty to a successful pivot to online teaching due to Covid-19. We would be lost without her and she really deserves this award for her extra special contribution this year above all other years. She is an excellent teacher to both staff and students. The feedback from students has been consistently positive and is usually sprinkled with words such as ‘enjoyable’ and ‘enthusiasm’".  

President's Awards for Excellence in Teaching 2020/2021

  • Are you a current or former DCU student who would like to recognise someone who has made a significant impact on you during your time at DCU?
  • Are you a staff member who would like to see a colleague's outstanding contribution to teaching and learning in DCU recognised and rewarded?
  • Would you like to nominate someone for their outstanding contribution to teaching and learning at DCU?

The President's Awards for Excellence in Teaching recognises outstanding contributions to DCU's teaching and Learning Activities.

Deadline for receipt of nominations: Friday 26th February 2021 - 4pm.

The President's Awards for Excellence in Teaching recognises outstanding contributions to DCU's Teaching and Learning activities (see what is Teaching Excellence). The awards are considered under four categories - Teaching Support, New Lecturer/Tutor (with teaching experience of three years or less), a team award and overall Academic  award.  Nomination Forms can be found below for all categories.

2020 Winners
Who can nominate?

Students/Alumni: Students and alumni can nominate individuals or teams who they feel have made a significant and outstanding impact on their learning experience in DCU. Please note the exception to this is current PhD students who may NOT nominate their supervisor.

Colleagues: Individuals/teams can be nominated by colleagues with direct experience of the nominee's teaching, heads of school or anyone else who wishes to acknowledge their outstanding contributions to teaching and learning in DCU.

Nomination Process

Nominations can be made using the appropriate online form provided below. Please note that up to two additional nominators can be included on a single nomination. Where a larger number of people wish to nominate an individual/team, multiple nominations should be made. Where an individual, for example, a Class Rep, wishes to nominate on behalf of a class this can be stated in the nomination however greater emphasis will be placed on nominations received by individual nominators rather than on behalf of a group.  Each nominator and supporter(s) will receive an email acknowledging the nomination.

Students wishing to nominate staff should use the following form

Staff may nominate through appropriate links below.  

Academic or New Lecturer Category Teams and Teaching Support Category

Guidelines when making a nomination
  • Self-nomination is not permitted and canvassing for a nomination on one’s own behalf is strongly discouraged
  • Nominations from current PhD students for their supervisors are not accepted.
  • The more specific information you can provide the better the nomination will be. Nominators should give examples of the impact, significance, difference the nominee has brought to their teaching.  To achieve this carefully consider and answer the questions provided in the nomination form.

Staff nominated under the Academic staff and New Lecturer/Tutor categories are be invited to augment their nomination(s) with a short supporting portfolio using a specified template:

All nominations are evaluated by an evaluation panel made up of a sub group of Associate Deans, external evaluator from another third level institution and DCU’s President.  DCU’s Faculties and relevant units are represented. The evaluation process is described below:

Academic and New Lecturer categories

In the case of these two categories, a shortlisting process is employed.


Shortlisting is carried out by a group comprising the Deputy Registrar/Dean of Teaching and Learning, Associate Deans for Teaching and Learning/Education (one from each Faculty) and the Head of the Teaching Enhancement Unit. Shortlisting is based on the nominations received, so it is important to include as much pertinent information as possible in the original nomination. Those shortlisted will be invited to proceed to stage two of the evaluation process by submitting a supporting portfolio to support their nomination and to further illustrate their teaching approaches.

Final Evaluation and Selection

The shortlisted nominations are evaluated by a sub group as indicated above.


Teams nominated will be asked to submit a short supporting portfolio.

Teaching Support Category

Nominations for this category are evaluated on the basis of nominations received only. No additional information will be sought from nominees and there is no shortlisting process.


There will be an overall award winner in each of the three categories. In addition, at the discretion of the evaluation panel, up to three additional special awards may be made. All of those nominated, including those not shortlisted, will be recognised at this event.

How to nominate
  • Complete the appropriate nomination form:

 Academic/New Lecturer Tutor Teams and Teaching Support

Key Information
  • Deadline for receipt of nominations: Friday 26th February at 4pm 
  • There are four award categories: Academic StaffNew Lecturers/Tutors (with less than 3 years teaching experience) Teams and Academic Support Staff.
  • Staff nominated under the Academic staff category may, after an initial evaluation of nominations, be invited to augment their nomination(s) with a short supporting portfolio
  • Staff nominated under the New Lecturers/Tutors category will also be invited to augment their nomination(s) with a short supporting portfolio. 
  • Teams nominated will be asked to submit a short supporting portfolio.
  • A nomination can be made for an individual member of staff or a team.
  • An individual or team may be nominated more than once.
  • Nominations can be made by an individual member of DCU staff, DCU students, DCU alumni, or any combination of these.
  • Nominations will be considerably strengthened if they include student testimonials.
  • Evaluations will be conducted by a panel comprised of a subgroup as identified above.
  • For academic staff nominations, awards will be made in three areas - Teaching Assessment, Feedback and Group Teaching. In addition, an overall award for Teaching Excellence will be made in the form of a teaching enhancement grant, to be used to further enhance the winner's teaching practice and/or student learning: Academic Staff - €2,500, New Lecturers/Tutors - €1,000, Team Award - €1,000, Academic Support Staff - €1,000.  In addition, at the discretion of the evaluation panel, up to three additional special awards may be made.
  • Winners will also receive a commemorative President's Awards medal.
  • Winners' names will be displayed on a specially commissioned plaque located in the foyer of the DCU Library.
  • Awards will be presented by the University President at an awards ceremony in May.
How to nominate
  • Complete the appropriate nomination form:

Academic/New Lecturer Tutor Teams and Teaching Support

Previous Winners


The TEU and DCU Students' Union collaborate on an Accessibility Awareness Week in May, to align with Global Accessibility Awareness Day.

Check out DCU Accessibility Awareness Week

T&L Week 2020

T&L Week 2020

Our Teaching & Learning Day is normally a highlight in the annual DCU calendar of events. Whilst a different format to prior years, the Teaching Enhancement Unit welcomed DCU staff to Teaching & Learning Week 2020, September 14th through 18th. 

A hybrid learning approach spread over a week was used to help showcase good practice and ensure that the DCU community could continue to share and engage in discussions about teaching and learning during these extraordinary times. A variety of insights from award winners at this year’s President's Awards for Excellence in Teaching & Learning were offered, live workshops on topics such as "contract cheating" and "students as partners in assessment", as well as podcasts and online discussions which were centred on the theme of Pedagogy in Practice: Teaching excellence, in class and online.

This mix of synchronous and asynchronous resources and activities were offered through our Moodle instance, internally called Loop, supported by Zoom webinars and recordings which enabled staff to engage with the resources as best suited them. The Edge of Discovery podcast series was launched as part of the event and to date has notched up over 175 downloads. The Loop page had over 3,300 interactions by DCU staff incorporating 415 unique visitors. Importantly, the online space facilitated learning to continue beyond the designated week with over 200 interactions occurring post event. This highlights one of the benefits of a longer online versus a finite face to face event. A further comparative is planned to examine the relative impact of our annual Teaching & Learning event across both formats.

The TEU were delighted to create an opportunity for so many DCU staff to connect with each other and engage with best practices around pedagogy online during these unusual times.  Sincere thanks to all our contributors who made Teaching & Learning Week such a success:  Ann Marie Farrell, Martin Brown, Joanne Lynch, Lucien Waugh-Daly, Suzanne Stone, Orla Bourke, Roisin Lyons, Fiona O’ Riordan, Rob Lowney, and Orna Farrell.  The materials will remain available to review for the upcoming semester.

We look forward to planning the next Teaching & Learning Week for August 2021.

The TEU both organise and promote a variety of teaching and learning related workshops.

For a list of upcoming conferences please visit conferences page

If you are organising a conference that you would like to add to our list please contact teaching.enhancement@dcu.ie

The Hot Topic sessions run by the NIDL at DCU provide an opportunity for bite size professional development on topical matters related to digital teaching and learning. Set up to promote research-informed practice, they take the form of round-table sessions that run for no longer than an hour approximately once a month. These sessions take place over lunchtime so they are ideal for staff who want to hear about different perspectives on teaching in a timely and engaging way. 

The format of these sessions is quite relaxed and collegial - we send out a general invitation to all members of staff to come along to discuss a topic of the day. After a brief introduction to a selection of current research, questions are posed and the topic is opened up to the floor for discussion. Frequently, the conversation stirs up a range of heated viewpoints and through debate, and maybe even disagreement, attendees leave the room more informed than when they walked in. Itís an enjoyable way to think about teaching issues, hear about current research, and participate in a stimulating conversation with other university staff.

So far, topics have been wide-ranging and previous titles include:

  • Open Educational Resources: Unknown, unused and unloved?
  • The VLE is Dead: Life in Post-Apocalyptic Learning Environments
  • The Battle for Open
  • Turning Teaching Upside Down: Should the classroom be flipped?
  • Social Media: A deep or surface approach to professional learning?

If you'd like to see how the Hot Topic sessions work, or maybe even propose a Hot Topic idea, come along to the next one and join in!

Webinars can be very effective forms of professional development and a great way to get an insight into what other colleagues and institutions are involved with. The TEU offers a selection of webinars covering a wide variety of teaching and learning topics. In addition to webinars provided by DCU we also highlight webinars provided by other institutions. Please click here for the schedule. (insert link to events page)

The workshops provided by the TEU can be broadly classified into two categories - regular workshops available to all staff and  requested workshops for schools/units or programme teams. The details on regular workshops are available in the calendar below and a list of workshops that we provide upon request for schools/units or programme teams is available through our Events Calendar.