Embedding Wellbeing in the Curriculum – Establishing a national learning community


Curricular approaches to well-being are important and impactful, as universal supports for all students. This OER is a padlet of resources and talks from the April 2024 jointly hosted UCC and MTU seminar on this critical area for teaching and learning enhancement in Irish higher education.

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The curriculum is the only guaranteed point of contact between a university and its students (Hughes, 2018). Therefore, curricular approaches to well-being are particularly important and impactful, as universal supports for all students. These include both explicit curricular and co-curricular content and broader teaching and learning approaches and structures, for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Within and across higher education institutions, collaboration is critical to avoid unnecessary duplication of resources and expertise, and the voices of staff and students are essential.

This seminar aligned with university policies on student success and healthy campuses and national and international priorities and brought together academic and professional services staff, student representatives and policy makers with a range of contributions from national and international speakers, including:
• Professor Cate Denial, Bright Distinguished Professor of American History and Director of the Bright Institute at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, USA
• Professor Peter Felten, Executive Director Center for Engaged Learning, Elon University, North Carolina, USA
• Dr. Ross Woods, Senior Manager, Teaching and Learning, Student Success, Health and Wellbeing, Higher Education Authority (HEA)
• Ms Caroline Mahon, National Healthy Campus Coordinator, Higher Education Authority

Building on our previously funded seminar NSS83UCC2021 Curricular Approaches to Wellbeing in Higher Education (May 2022), this 2024 seminar launched a national learning community on this important area for teaching and learning enhancement in Irish higher education. This learning community is one of the special interest groups within the newly formed Student Mental Health Research Network, affiliated with the Irish Research Council SFI-IRC Pathways Programme funded Student Mental Health and Wellbeing on the Island of Ireland U-Well Study.

Related OER

In the denouement of the COVID-19 pandemic, talk of a return to “normalcy” in higher education belies the great challenges and ongoing disruptions that yet lie ahead for many institutions. Public perceptions of the value of postsecondary education continue their downward slide, placing institutions in the position of having to demonstrate their worth and find solutions to declining enrollments. Data and analytics capabilities continue to evolve, introducing new opportunities and new risks to the institution. Chief among these capabilities, generative AI promises to change teaching and learning in ways many of us have yet to fully understand or prepare for.

For this year’s teaching and learning Horizon Report, expert panelists’ discussions highlighted and wrestled with these present and looming challenges for higher education. This report summarizes the results of those discussions and serves as one vantage point on where our future may be headed.

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URL: https://padlet.com/jimfromcork/embedding-wellbeing-in-the-curriculum-lc-x4dl1k4swyau9jq6