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The aim of TEACH CoLab is to increase staff competency to engage in collaborative online learning across disciplines and beyond institutional and national boundaries to address societal challenges. The time has never been more opportune to examine the place of health in the lives of humanity and examine it from multiple perspectives, enabled by online technologies. Perhaps for the first time, health and people are at the heart of politics and at the centre of global debate in our COVID19 world and the landscape has changed forever, particularly in relation to the power of online learning. TEACH CoLab builds the capacity of staff in digital pedagogies to examine themes related to health, community, determinants of health, and human rights. It enables sharing within the School of Health Sciences, across the Institute and with community and academic partners in Ireland and the US.

The TU Dublin IMPACT initiative transformed teaching and learning (T&L) through:

1. A repository that collates new and existing quality open access educational resources (OER) was established, supported by a bespoke peer review model that encourages an evidence-based approach to T&L OER creation.
2, A teaching team culture within a University-wide engaged learning community was launched, recognising and encouraging best practice in programme design to enhance the student experience. Staff who teach were supported through continuous professional development (CPD) through an associated CDPD framework.
3. A rigorous ‘As Is’ review captured the breadth of University T&L projects (past, present and pipeline projects), explored areas of alignment to, and identified gaps within, the TU Dublin T&L strategy and the student experience.
4. A model to drive sustainable awareness of, and interest and enthusiasm in, T&L was established and included a communication strategy that showcases learning enhancement project findings across TU Dublin.
5. An operating model that supports the sustainable integration of ongoing T&L project outcomes into T&L policy, process and practice, was developed through consultation and collaboration across the initiative.
Ultimately the initiative galvanised our innovative T&L practice for student success through widening our community, enhancing our capacity and changing culture.

Bookended by puberty and culturally defined adult roles, it is now established that adolescence extends from age 10 to age 24. The inner workings of the adolescent brain and how these workings develop and are expressed in behaviours and engagement with the external world have been the focus of an explosion of research inquiry. Seated in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, cognitive abilities such as decision-making, planning, self-control, social interaction and self-awareness only develop by the mid-twenties. In addition, the brain regions governing risk-taking and reward are intensely active in adolescence, and so influence behaviour, which is also shaped by context and expectations of others.

To realise student success, higher education institutions must take into account that the majority (88% in 2017/2018) (HEA, 2018) of their students are still adolescents, without fully developed cognitive, social, emotional and self-regulatory capacities, living and learning in a socio-cultural environment that offers less external regulation than ever before. The knowledge that many students in higher education are in developmental transition spotlights opportunities to construct academic and campus contexts that supports this transition.

Drawing on this knowledge, and expertise in occupational science/therapy, psychology and neuroscience, we held ‘DOTS – Developing Opportunities for Transitions in Students’ Seminar to inform stakeholders of the biobehavioural transitions that influence undergraduate wellbeing and academic achievement in the current socio-cultural climate. The seminar was led by Dr. Eithne Hunt (Dept. Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy), Dr. Samantha Dockray (School of Applied Psychology), and Prof. Yvonne Nolan (Dept. Anatomy & Neuroscience), and 64 attendees gathered across academic and professional services and HEIs nationally. Presentation topics ranged from brain development in adolescence, to risks and opportunities relating to student life, and practical strategies for enhancing student success. Cross-sector participation was facilitated through panel discussion on learning, teaching, assessment and student support strategies. Opportunities for HE staff and structures to leverage the potential of developmental transitions that influence academic experiences and graduate attributes were discussed. The seminar was well received by staff across a range of disciplines, in particular, attendees commented on the range of perspectives presented, the strong evidence-base, and the applied value of the content presented, as it relates to the students’ experience in HEIs.

Chaired by National Forum board member, Professor Paul McSweeney (Vice-president for Learning and Teaching at UCC) who introduces the fifth and final stage of our Gasta Marathon led by Gasta Master, Dr Tom Farrelly (MTU). The session also features our second poster showcase.

The final Scholarship Hour is followed by the closing session of VIT&L Week where participants were invited to review the week’s activities through exploring the visual note-taking developed in real-time during each day of VIT&L Week to capture and share ideas discussed and explored by the National Forum and its partners from the Irish higher education sector.

Chaired by National Forum board member, Professor Jacqueline McCormack (Vice President of Online Development at IT Sligo), the fourth Scholarship Hour opens with National Forum Teaching and Learning Research Fellow, Professor Chris Lynch (UCC), sharing his initial research findings on findings from his research into Working with Higher Education Institutions and Professional and Regulatory Bodies to Enhance the Competencies of Future Professionals.

This presentation is followed by the fourth stage of our Gasta Marathon led by Gasta Master, Dr Tom Farrelly (MTU).

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