University College Cork

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The Toolkit includes an introduction to generative AI and lexicon of terms, guidelines for ethical use, recommended adjustments to common modes of assessment to mitigate against the potential risk of unethical use, and discipline-specific case studies of good practice that share innovative forms of learning, teaching and/or assessment.

The Academic Integrity, Academic Misconduct, and Resources pages of the UCC Skills Centre website contain guidance for students on these topics, including a series of short videos, “The Minute Methods: Academic Integrity Skills” that cover a range of topics from the principles of academic integrity to the pitfalls of essay mills.

This seminar presented an overview of current policy, research and practice relating to student wellbeing in higher education and how the curriculum can be leveraged to enhance wellbeing. It showcased a range of innovative curricular wellbeing initiatives in UCC and MTU.

Visioning the Future: Artistic Doctorates in Ireland was a twelve-month research project based at University College Cork but with a national focus. Artistic Doctorates are practice-based PhDs that include artistic practice on an equal footing with critical writing. Visioning the Future focussed on Artistic Doctorates in Dance, Film /Screen Media, Music and Theatre. The project focussed on previous practice / research into the pedagogies and potential of the Artistic Doctorate and how this relates to the unique ecology of Ireland. It aimed to contribute to the development of national policy and protocol to support the establishment of best practices in the sector and to develop an Open Educational Resource (OER) for supervisors, students and examiners. We hosted an International Online Seminar Series (fifteen seminars over three months during summer 2020) with international / national experts and a broad spectrum of stakeholders including PhD students. This series is available as a digital resource. We also conducted research into policy / protocol related to the Artistic Doctorate in Irish HE as well as a series of interviews with staff / students in Ireland, this data as well as the archived seminar series contributed to the development of a lively integrated OER.

Bookended by puberty and culturally defined adult roles, it is now established that adolescence extends from age 10 to age 24. Funded by the National Forum SATLE2019 scheme, and launched during VIT&L 2021 week, the new Canvas course Brainpower developed by Dr. Eithne Hunt (Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy / Graduate Attributes Programme, UCC); Dr. Samantha Dockray (Applied Psychology, UCC); and Professor Yvonne Nolan (Anatomy & Neuroscience, UCC) with input from students and higher education staff explores the ramifications of this research and gives participants an opportunity to reflect on what this information may mean for them within their work or role in higher education.

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 are only fully developed 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 (HE) institutions must take into account that the majority 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.

Brainpower is a free, online, self-paced course, focusing on harnessing the power and potential of adolescent brain and behaviour for enhanced learning, wellbeing and student success in higher education. Within each of the six modules (each approximately 60 minutes duration) there is a variety of instructive media, including recorded Panopto lectures, videos and short readings. Supplemental information in the form of suggested reading lists, podcasts, and videos is provided. The Brainpower modules are provided in a predefined sequence with content unlocked step by step. Modules will be unlocked once the previous module is completed. 

These resources – A web page “Short Guide 8: Reimagining Practicals” and article “The Use of Virtual Reality in the Teaching of Challenging Concepts in Virology, Cell Culture and Molecular Biology” (link below) – come from the initiative: Enhanced Active Learning in Virology, cell culture and molecular bio Technology (ELEVATE).

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frvir.2021.670909/full

The ELEVATE initiative brought together disciplinary experts from the School of Microbiology, the School of Computer Science and IT, and the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) at University College Cork. This initiative was built on a strong pedagogical foundation and it was guided by a vision to create and explore experiential and immersive learning approaches to teaching and learning, in partnership with students. In addition to co-creating innovative bespoke virtual simulations in Virology and Molecular/Cellular Biology, the team also applied active learning approaches to the study of abstract molecular concepts.

The successful development of bespoke virtual simulations was a significant breakthrough for the ELEVATE initiative and it provides a roadmap for future initiatives to follow. Multilingual realisation of abstract challenging concepts has been made possible and the knowledge gained through this experience will be shared openly with colleagues. It is important to note that while the technology underpinning virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) has advanced at pace, knowledge around the integration of virtual simulations into teaching and learning practice remains scarce, particularly in the areas of virology and molecular/cellular biology. Dissemination through the ELEVATE initiative will therefore provide leading guidance to disciplinary and non-disciplinary experts.