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2014-2015 has been a very busy year for the Learning and Teaching Unit in the Athlone Institute of Technology.  The LIN Postgraduate Diploma in Learning, Teaching and Assessment underwent an “exceptional review” in November in keeping with the recommendations of the validation panel in 2011. The updated programme was presented by the Business School as part of its portfolio for programmatic review with all amendments approved. In addition the impact of the programme was noted by the expert programmatic review panels for each of the schools of business, engineering and science. To date in AIT, 19 participants (14 AIT, 5 External) have been awarded the postgraduate diploma, and 369 modules or special purpose awards were successfully completed (AIT 244, External 125).

During this academic year we offered the following special purpose awards: Certificate in Learning and Teaching, Certificate in Technology Enhanced Learning, Certificate in Action Research for Educators and the Certificate in Inclusive Practice. Participants were from AIT, other IoTs and from universities in Ireland and China.

On May 19th 2015, ten participants from AIT, GMIT and IADT commenced the mandatory capstone module for the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Learning, Teaching and Assessment. All accumulated 55ECTS at level nine using a personal flexible pathway, undertaking accredited CPD in a selection of the following institutes: AIT, DIT, GMIT, IADT, LIT, WIT, DCU and NUIG. The flexible pathway which is underpinned by the LIN professional values was designed to meet the needs of teaching and support staff at different career stages.

For further details of all our CPD offerings contact landt@ait.ie

The Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT) in Dun Laoghaire, will host the 5th Irish Symposium on Game-Based-Learning (iGBL) as a two-day event in the IADT on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th June 2015.

Now in its fifth year, iGBL is an international conference that provides a forum for academics, students and practitioners to disseminate research, exchange ideas and best practice on the use of games and gamification for enhancing teaching and learning. The conference has always aimed to be as inclusive as possible, bringing together teachers, students, industry and researchers who share a common interest in using games for learning in education and industry.

The conference offers the opportunity to present, discuss and network with other like-minded practitioners, as well as providing a great opportunity to learn more about the different developmental approaches, educational applications and organisational opportunities for games. iGBL2015 will present an energetic and compelling programme with a focus on new developments in games, Game-Based Learning and Serious Games.

New this year, iGBL2015 is introducing a student presentation and/or demo session with industry sponsored prizes. The theme for iGBL2015 is “Boosting GBL through Creativity” with a focus on the creative influences that enrich the gamers’ experience.

To complement this wider perspective, this conference is expanding beyond the use of games and gamification to embrace the broader gaming environment. This expanded theme incorporates the creative influences associated with gaming and learning, such as game design elements, narrative, animation, or user interface. These creative aspects of the gamers’ experience contribute significantly to the appeal and effectiveness of Game-Based Learning.

Important Dates:

  • Abstract Submissions Deadline: 10th April 2015
  • Author Notifications: 1st May 2015
  • Final Submissions: 8th May 2015
  • Conference: Thursday 4th June & Friday 5th June 2015

Waterford Institute of Technology, through its School of Lifelong Learning and Education, provides a range of accredited professional development opportunities in the broad area of teaching and learning for Institute staff and for external colleagues working in a range of educational settings and sectors. For those wishing to attain Level 9 qualifications, programmes on offer range from the general MA in Education and the MA in Management in Education (MAME) to the specifically teaching focused MA in Learning and Teaching in Further and Higher Education (MALT). A number of individual modules from these programmes, including Practical Pedagogy, Research Supervision Skills, and Blended Learning, are also offered as part of the Institute’s staff CPD programme. The Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning, which also sits within the School, supports the School’s role in staff CPD and delivery of a more responsive flexible curriculum using technology.

For those interested in shorter courses in specific areas, WIT provides a range of Special Purpose Awards at a variety of levels: these include Level 9 awards in Assessment and Evaluation and in Mentoring, both of which are recognised as part of the LIN PG Diploma pathway, and Level 6 awards in Practical Teaching and Learning Strategies and in Adult Literacy Studies. For colleagues wishing to register with the Teaching Council as further education teachers, accredited teacher education programmes for this sector are offered at both Level 8 and Level 9. In addition, applications from individuals wishing to pursue doctoral research in education will be welcomed and considered at any time. For further information on the programmes mentioned above and on all programmes offered by the School of Lifelong Learning and Education at WIT, visit our website.

At DkIT, the development of excellence in learning and teaching is led by our Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and our Student Learning and Development Centre. An essential element in enhancing learning and teaching has been the offering of a professional development pathway through our Master of Arts in Learning and Teaching. Since 2010, over 75 staff members have participated in this programme, with a further 20 commencing in February 2015, thus contributing to the development of a community and culture of good practice, which, in turn, enhances our students’ experiences. The programme, in which reflective practice grounded in scholarship is a key component, consists of five one-semester modules. In the final module, participants produce a piece of research in the form of a journal paper. This has significantly increased the level of research activity and engagement with scholarship in the area of learning and teaching within the Institute. Also, for the first time a group of colleagues from second level and further education in the North East will undertake the first two modules of the programme which comprise the Certificate in Learning and Teaching, with the possibility of progressing to the Masters.

CELT also organises regular learning and teaching master classes and workshops for academic staff. Recent events have included topics such as the Ethics of SOTL, writing assessment criteria, writing for publication as well as a suite of workshops in the area of technology-enhanced learning. The Centre offers training to programme teams and supports colleagues in attending external CPD events. Colleagues are also supported in applying for and organising seminars in conjunction with the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning.

The Learning Innovation Network (LIN) has welcomed the findings and publication of the report to the European Commission on improving the quality of teaching and learning in Europe’s higher education institutions. The high Level Group who prepared the report was chaired by former President of Ireland Mary McAleese.  We also welcome that the report contains recommendations for all stakeholders of higher education including HE institutions, policy makers and public authorities.

We are very encouraged that the statement “teaching matters as much as research matters” is reiterated through the report and that the recent efforts in Ireland of establishing the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education had been noted by the authors.

The substance of the report endorses the goals and priorities of LIN since 2007.  In particular as LIN’s core activity is developing and supporting Academic Professional Development (APD) in order to have a positive impact on the student experience.  We previously welcomed the publication of the Hunt report and stated that we were in a strong position to implement some of the recommendations it contained, particularly those relating to staff development[1].  This report echoes some of the priorities in Hunt and we welcome that.  It consolidates the importance of our project goals and provides direction for those at policy and governmental level.  While the accredited professional development opportunities available through the LIN framework are not mandatory they are available to staff across the 13 IoT’s and DIT.  Through the LIN framework we believe that we can make a significant contribution to make to the implementation of recommendations 4 and 11 in Ireland. Parallel to the LIN APD programmes some institutes have developed their own APD awards. This means that APD is a coherent element of continuous professional development in the Institute of Technology sector.

We believe that the APD provided through LIN enables participants to have an impact on other recommendations such as those relating to enhancing the enterprising and innovative skills of our students and to ensure that students can access the counselling, guidance and mentoring supports they may need as they proceed through and beyond the HE system.

LIN would welcome the opportunity to contribute to the prioritisation of teaching as outlined in this report, should it become policy at European and national level.



[1] http://www.lin.ie/publications/lin-statements/

Programme LIN 2013 jpeg