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A brief showcase of existing MTU Crawford initiatives that nurture wellness within teaching and learning, followed by an online talk and Q&A, delivered by Rhonda Schaller (Pratt Institute, Brooklyn). Rhonda is a Fulbright Specialist in contemplative and wellbeing pedagogy.

The DkIT Embedding Employability project represents the latest step in the Institute’s commitment to our graduates’ employability. Funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, as part of their SATLE Fund 2019, the project has offered staff, students, and employers an opportunity to exchange employability best practice.

The goal of stimulating and promoting the creative capacity of both students and staff in higher education is at the core of this project. This initiative aims to foster a culture of creativity in higher education, building the capacity of staff so that they have greater awareness about the nature of creativity, how it applies in their particular discipline, and how they can actively cultivate it in their students.

The challenges stemming from our rapidly-changing, and increasingly unscripted world, demand that higher education institutions reflect upon the competencies which students will require in order to thrive in this context. Coupled with traditional discipline-specific knowledge, there is a growing demand for graduates to develop and demonstrate a variety of transversal competencies, among which is creativity; that is, the ability to generate ideas and outputs which are perceived as both novel and valuable within a given context. As such, educators have an important role to play in creating a culture which fosters creativity, including modelling creative practices and behaviours, establishing conditions which promote creativity, and developing students’ belief in their own creative potential. Indeed, this project is based on the principle that everyone has creative potential which can be actively fostered.

Credene Project

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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

This new interdisciplinary 10 ECTS module for PhD students responds to an identified need for careers and employability support and was developed with industry partners. It supports PhD students with career planning, critical reflection and decision-making, enabling them to establish networks and build readiness for future careers in academia and/or industry. The module is in three streams (Careers, Skills and Work-based Learning) and features many innovative aspects:
– a blended learning design and 5 ECTS module option to give a flexible learning experience
– 5 interactive online sessions which build student employability skills
– 4 face-to-face sessions to enhance collaboration and engagement
– An online Skills Audit which helps students to critically reflect on, develop and articulate the skillset developed during their PhD and an Interview Practice Exercise to apply their interview skills to a role-play scenario
– a work-based learning experience that creates real value for industry partners and offers students valuable learning experiences that are not readily available elsewhere

A range of supporting activities enhance the student experience by encouraging shared and self-directed learning: online journaling and discussion boards; podcasts; videos; skills webinars and industry events. A new Industry Mentoring Programme (IMPART) was designed to complement the module.

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.

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.

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