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Learning Innovation Unit

Teaching and Learning workshops 2010/11

Bringing together the Statistics and the Surveys to improve our understanding of the First Year Student Experience

Facilitator: Aisling McKenna, Institutional Research and Analysis Officer
Date: 29th November 2010
Time: 10am – 12noon

Considerable work is ongoing within DCU in an effort to understand the 1st year undergraduate student experience.  Statistical profiling and monitoring of their progress provides the university with a statistical picture of who our first year students are, where they come from, their previous educational attainment, and their academic progress throughout the academic year.  A university wide student survey of first year undergraduate student has been completed for the last 3 academic years, and provides valuable insights into students motivations for choosing DCU, and their experiences of academic, campus and student life early in their academic career at DCU.  This evidence provides DCU with an opportunity to apply this evidence into policy and practice in improving the first year student experience.  This session will:

  • Review the data gathered, and the current analysis completed internally on the 1st year student experience.
  • Broadly summarise and discuss the findings from the HEA Study of Progression in Higher Education, specifically addressing DCU's position within that.
  • Review and discuss the current first year student experience survey; in particular inviting the input of the participants on the 2010/11 survey to be launch in early December 2010.

Accelerated Learning: Advanced learning and problem solving techniques: practical lessons from cognitive science

Facilitator: Dr. David Delany, CAPSL, Trinity College Dublin
Date: , 7 December, 2010
Time: 10:30am – 4:30pm

This practical 1 day course will introduce participants to a novel approach to deep learning and adaptive problem solving. These techniques are based on research in cognitive science into the development of superior mental performance, and are designed to improve levels of meaningful learning, creative thinking and deep insight skills of researchers in both the sciences and the humanities. Puzzles and case studies illustrate the application of the techniques to improving the depth and quality of thinking in areas as diverse as neuroscience, business, the fine arts, law, genetics, philosophy, and engineering.

The course will be delivered by Dr David Delany, a neuroscientist working with Trinity College’s Centre for Academic Practice and Student Learning (CAPSL). Dr Delany runs a version of this course for academics and researchers within TCD in addition to staff and postgraduate students in a wide range of external institutions, including Cornell University, New York.