Learning about Impact and Looking to the Future: Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund Projects 2014-18

Learning about Impact and Looking to the Future: Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund Projects 2014-18

Creator(s)

Organisation(s)

National Forum

Discipline(s)

Teaching & Learning

Topic(s)

Assessment & Feedback, Digital Learning, National Forum Publications, T&L Practice

License

CC BY

Media Format

PDF

Keywords

Submitted by

Description

This report aims to provide a high-level overview of the impact of the 32 Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund projects funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning up to December 2018 and to share lessons learned about achieving, sustaining, capturing and communicating impact in higher education.

Benefit of this resource and how to make the best use of it

The Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund projects 2014-18 represented an investment of circa €4.74m over five years in teaching and learning in Irish higher education. The evidence presented in this report indicates that this investment resulted in enhanced learning experiences, advances in underpinning systems and structures and a culture of enhancement which has developed significantly in the years since 2014. In addition, Ireland’s international reputation as a leader in the area of teaching and learning was reinforced.

Related OER

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.

This publication will be a helpful, collaborative resource to all teaching staff at and beyond TUS. It may also generate further ideas for improving practice and enhancing student engagement. This first compendium has led to further publications where ‘pedagogical communities of practice’ continue to share our knowledge.

The self-assessment guidelines contain policy-oriented questions with good practice examples from countries that have successfully implemented policies for FLPs in their higher education systems. These examples are drawn from the national case studies implemented under the IIEP research, as well as from a broader review of the literature. The guidelines also include key bibliographical references for further reading related to these policy questions.

The learner population in tertiary education is becoming increasingly diverse, and students’ lives are also increasingly complex. The responsibility on educational institutions to provide equitable access for all is now strongly embedded in Irish legislation, and national tertiary education strategies contain more specific goals to implement a Universal Design approach, (SOLAS, 2020; Higher Education Authority, 2022).

The aim is to move towards a system where ‘Inclusion is Everyone’s Business’, where all staff play their part in delivering an inclusive educational experience.

Universal Design, or UD for short, offers us an evidence-based approach to engender this mindset, and is increasingly seen as a central tenet of our response to rising diversity, (Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, 2022). But how can we embed a UD approach in our institutions?

That’s where ALTITUDE – the National Charter for Universal Design in Tertiary Education – comes in to play.

Funded by the HEA under PATH 4, the ALTITUDE Project is an extensive cross sectoral collaboration involving six national agencies, fifteen higher education (HE) institutions and six Education and Training Board (ETB) representatives, nominated by Directors of FET to represent the Further Education and Training sector.

The vision of the project looks to a future in tertiary education where ‘all learners are transformatively included through universal design in education’, deriving the name ALTITUDE. It seeks to move us in that direction by supporting HEIs and ETBs to make sustainable progress towards systemically embedding a UD approach…. – one which places human diversity at the heart of tertiary education design, and fosters student success for all learners.

The ALTITUDE Charter, and the associated toolkit and technical report, build on significant existing work on UD in the Irish tertiary education landscape (Kelly & Padden, 2018), and through these outputs, provides a clear roadmap for institutions to make progress.

Drawing from national and international literature, the Charter recommends key strategic enablers, which institutions should put in place over time to support the sustainable implementation of UD, and proposes collaborative action to work towards goals under 4 key pillars of our institutions:

– Learning, Teaching & Assessment;
– Supports, Services & Social Engagement;
– the Physical Environment;
– and the Digital Environment

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