We are delighted to launch the first DigitalEd book of case studies, sharing a collection of digital teaching, learning and assessment stories, from across the Connacht Ulster Alliance (CUA), including GMIT, IT Sligo and LYIT. This book is being released as we come to the end of another challenging year in higher education, and it provides an opportunity for all us to celebrate and value teaching and the student learning experience.
In this special publication, colleagues from across the CUA share insights and innovations on their teaching and learning practice over the last two years. Many will touch on their experiences of adapting to remote learning and teaching during COVID, and also reflect on lessons learnt and plans for the future.
There are 20 interesting and engaging case studies, that have been prepared by 30+ contributors from across the CUA. The cases will be presented across eight themes including:
Theme 1: Building Digital Teaching and Learning Capabilities
Theme 2: Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Theme 3: Transforming Assessment
Theme 4: Student Engagement and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)
Theme 5: Supporting Students in an Online Learning Environment
Theme 6: Supporting Academics in an Online Teaching Environment
Theme 7: Embedding Employability
Theme 8: Students as Partners and Co-creators
Please note: there is a short video available for each case study theme introduction. Go to www.DigitalEd.ie/Book where you can view each themed video presentation.
The journey will begin with the story of building digital teaching and learning capabilities in GMIT and the wider CUA with DigitalEd.ie knowledge platform, under the iNOTE project.
This will be followed by a case study on developing Universal Design for Learning in IT Sligo and plans to expand a UDL toolkit across the CUA.
Moving on to the theme of assessment, this will cover alternative assessment method experiences during COVID, the value of MS Lens and Socrative Pro for online assessments, a case on an applied visual immersive building regulation assessment, and the wide ranging benefits of ePortfolios as a transformative assessment and learning tool.
Exploring the theme of student engagement, we will learn about technology enhanced learning tools, that are having real impact in the digital classroom and how to foster transformational learning in higher education. One particular case study guides us in scaffolding learners in the online learning environment, and a further case study explores the value of engaging and assessing students through the use of the ABC Learning Design Framework. Interesting insights are shared by LYIT colleagues in the area of video imaging and the challenges of Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) standardisation.
Moving to the theme of student support, we learn about an innovative online course on the English language skills and how this is supporting international students across the CUA. In addition, a new Academic Writing Skills Badge, developed by the iNOTE team in IT Sligo is now beginning to gain traction across CUA programmes of study.
A stand out digital teaching and learning support initiative available to GMIT staff, is called the AMA Clinics (Ask Me Anything!) by the learning technology design team in the Teaching and Learning Office. Since May 2020, 400+ one to one clinics have been delivered. This case study will explore the challenges presented to the learning technology consultants and lessons learned to date.
On the theme of Employability, we will learn about the value of a new online Careers module and embedding employability in GMIT, and how this course will be shared across the CUA through the HigherEd 4.0 project and the new Technological University emerging.
Finally, under the theme of students as partner, two interesting cases will explore digital education initiatives in culinary education and a Power App for interactivity in Maths, supporting STEM online education.
On behalf of the DigitalEd and iNOTE project team, we would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to all the authors who have shared their teaching and learning experiences in this special DigitalEd book of cases. In addition, many thanks to the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Ireland, who have funded this publication, as part of the VIT&L celebration week 2021.
Enjoy all the learning and teaching stories!
Dr Carina Ginty