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Tutors is an professional and intuitive platform for the creation of compelling educational content. It is open source, well documented and now used by upwards of 160 modules at Waterford Institute of Technology. The platform employs the latest thinking in the production of media-rich web content, with a focus on delivering a simple, easy to navigate, elegant and compelling student experience. A central goal of Tutors is to fostering the sense on an online community of learners. These interactions are promoted by a set of non-intrusive measurements (we call TutorsTime) which help students and educators understand the use of the student’s time on a module.

A book chapter was also published as part of the initiative, which can be found here https://reader.tutors.dev/#/talk/wit-hdip-comp-sci-showcase.netlify.app/unit-3/talk-1-course-philosophy/course-philosophy.pdf

Developed from the initiative ” Enhancing Online Language Learning: Training the trainers and engaging the learners” the LILAC Project aims to help language teachers and learners to transform digital challenges into opportunities and acquire the digital proficiency needed to maximise the benefits afforded by e-learning.

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.

FYMMO – Final Year Matters – Moving On is an initiative that supports students in their final and penultimate years in their undergraduate degree, as well as graduates. The purpose of the initiative is to provide information, guidance and advice to help transitioning students; it works in conjunction with our First Year initiative as a ‘bookend’ to the undergraduate student experience. Additionally, it supports the lecturing staff with resources that are available to them to utilise and reinforce their teaching.

The aim of this interdisciplinary initiative is to create a sustainable, long-term intervention to embed technology enhanced learning in research led teaching, ensuring that students have a highly developed awareness of the potential for proactive learning through digital methodologies, and to help teaching staff further develop their capacity to integrate our portfolio of digital resources and datasets into their teaching materials.

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.

This is a Moodle alternative to tools like Trello, Padlet, wallwisher etc. The plugin has many advantages over the existing commercial alternatives including areas such as accessibility, data protection and the fact that the student contributions when they use this tool can be easily used for assessment. The plugin will be available for all Moodle users worldwide free of charge.

This is a resource developed from the project: Re-Making the Creative Arts Canon, Re-Imagining the Creative Arts Curriculum.

This T&L initiative brought together more than 100 NUI Galway students working in Music, Film, Drama, English, and Digital Humanities, to work together to address the neglect of key figures from the Creative Arts Canon (as performed by arts organisation) and the Creative Arts Curriculum (as taught in universities).

The Festival of New Work

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This report arises from the #Openteach: Professional Development for Open Online Educators project, which is funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.The #Openteach project team are based in the Open Education Unit (OEU) at Dublin City University (DCU).

The main aim of the #Openteach project was to produce, and evaluate, evidence-based open professional development for part-time online educators. In anearlier phase of the project a literature review called Teaching Online is Different: Critical perspectives from the literaturewas completed in order to identify online educator roles and the associated competencies for effective online teaching (Ní Shé, Farrell, Brunton, Costello, Donlon, Trevaskis, Eccles, 2019). Concurrently, we conducted a needs analysisreport of the target population, online students and their online educators (Farrell, Brunton, Costello, Donlon, Trevaskis, Eccles, Ní Shé, 2019). These reports were used to guide the development of the professional development resources for the #Openteach open online course.

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