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Developing Digital Pedagogy: The Impact of National Strategy and Enhancement Themes in an Irish Institute of Higher Education

  • Nuala Harding
  • Lisa O’Regan
  • Moira Maguire
  • Mark Brown
  • Seamus Ryan
  • Geraldine McDermott
  • Orna Farrell
  • Morag Munro
  • Gerry Gallagher
  • David Cranny
  • Conor McKevitt
  • Edel Healy
  • Ronan Bree
  • Don Faller
  • Anne Mulvihill
  • Jeremy Bird
  • Akinlolu Akande
  • David Doyle
  • David Dowling
  • Dina Brazil
  • Gina Noonan
Conference paper

Abstract

The Irish Higher Education sector has experienced a variety of key policy developments in the recent past. The publication of a ‘National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030’ was followed by the establishment of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (NFETL) and the subsequent publication of ‘A Roadmap for Enhancement in a Digital World’ 2015–2017. In tandem, the National Forum devised the first national enhancement theme ‘Teaching for Transition’ and more recently ‘Assessment for, as and of Learning’ with research funding allocated. This paper will discuss two current national educational research projects that focus on the development of digital pedagogy. The first focuses on supporting transition through enhancing feedback in first year using digital technologies. Y1Feedback is a two-year (2015–2017) multi-institutional change project involving two universities and two institutes of technology (IoTs). Informed by both an analysis of current assessment and feedback practices across the four partner institutions, in addition to a review of the literature, a number of themes for action emerged, including embedding assessment and feedback literacies, provide opportunities for dialogic feedback and fostering sustainable feedback practices that encourage self-regulated learning. These informed the development of a range of approaches to implementing technology-enabled feedback. A complementary project, the Technology Enhanced Assessment Methods (TEAM) for Science and Health Practical Settings project, also funded by NFETL, involves four IoTs. The development of both technical and soft skills is considered essential in terms of both student learning and employability, in Science and Health Practical Settings. The IoT sector, in particular, places a major value on producing graduates who are ‘workplace ready’ with an emphasis on developing practical skills. Assessment plays a key role in influencing student learning, effort and engagement. The TEAM project (2016–2018) is exploring the potential offered by digital technologies to address concerns such as over-assessment, authenticity and graduate skill development, particularly as there is considerable scope for improvement in practical assessment practices at undergraduate level. This paper will outline the activities in the project phases for each project. In keeping with the timing of the projects, findings will be presented. The paper will explore how these projects are both supporting national strategic objectives and used to leverage curriculum enhancement within an Irish institute of Higher Education including the engagement of students as partners and the development of digital and assessment literacies amongst staff and students.

Keywords

Curriculum enhancement Digital and assessment literacies Digital pedagogy Feedback 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author wishes to acknowledge the contribution of colleagues involved in the national projects. Lisa O’Regan, Maynooth University, leads the Y1Feedback project and the Technology Enhanced Assessment Methods (TEAM) for Science and Health Practical Settings project is led by Dr. Edel Healy, Dundalk Institute of Technology.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nuala Harding
    • 1
  • Lisa O’Regan
    • 2
  • Moira Maguire
    • 3
  • Mark Brown
    • 4
  • Seamus Ryan
    • 1
  • Geraldine McDermott
    • 1
  • Orna Farrell
    • 4
  • Morag Munro
    • 2
  • Gerry Gallagher
    • 3
  • David Cranny
    • 3
  • Conor McKevitt
    • 3
  • Edel Healy
    • 5
  • Ronan Bree
    • 5
  • Don Faller
    • 6
  • Anne Mulvihill
    • 6
  • Jeremy Bird
    • 7
  • Akinlolu Akande
    • 7
  • David Doyle
    • 7
  • David Dowling
    • 8
  • Dina Brazil
    • 8
  • Gina Noonan
    • 9
  1. 1.Learning and Teaching UnitAthlone Institute of TechnologyAthloneIreland
  2. 2.Centre for Teaching and LearningMaynooth UniversityMaynoothIreland
  3. 3.Centre for Excellence in Learning and TeachingDundalk Institute of TechnologyDundalkIreland
  4. 4.National Institute for Digital LearningDublin City UniversityDublinIreland
  5. 5.School of Health and ScienceDundalk Institute of TechnologyDundalkIreland
  6. 6.Faculty of Science and HealthAthlone Institute of TechnologyAthloneIreland
  7. 7.School of ScienceInstitute of TechnologySligoIreland
  8. 8.Faculty of ScienceInstitute of TechnologyCarlowIreland
  9. 9.Teaching and Learning CentreInstitute of TechnologyCarlowIreland

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