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The Conversations on Teaching & Learning Seminar Series is a series of end of semester seminars/workshops organised by the Teaching & Learning Unit in response to feedback from and consultations with staff regarding their specific requirements. The series is designed to provide a mix of input from both a facilitator and staff themselves where staff can meet their colleagues at the end, of what is often, a hectic semester and experiences can be discussed, common issues identified and teased out, and best practice shared. Staff are invited to attend any or all sessions as appropriate.

 

The following was the schedule for our 2022/23 Winter Programme, which took place from 9th to 13th January 2023:

Maths Stories - overcoming the struggle 

Monday January 9th, 2023, 10:00 - 12:30

Description

This seminar was brought to us by our colleagues from the Mathematics Learning Community (LC), one of MTU’s longest established and most active LCs.

The seminar was capably chaired by Dr Michael Brennan who introduced 3 speakers, 2 internal speakers:

  • Dr Noreen Quinn, a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics, who described how she transformed the learning experience of cohort of Sports and Recreation students to whom she teaches a research methods module. She explained how students seemed to engage and connect more enthusiastically with statistical concepts that similar students had previously struggled to engage and understand because they were asked to apply and present their learning on data they themselves had collected in response to a research question they had formulated.
  • Dr Martin Hill, Head of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, who discussed how the needs of today’s Engineering students’ might best be addressed mathematically.

And one external speaker:

  • Dr Maria Ryan, a Business Lecturer in Mary Immaculate College (Twitter tag @WhyHateMaths) who has conducted extensive research into mathematics anxiety and learning difficulties with mathematics in an educational context. Maria, through her research, has identified the important and pivotal role significant individuals, including parents and the teacher of mathematics, have in fostering a good attitude towards mathematics. She described some of the challenge’s students can face with mathematics together with effective interventions that can be deployed to contribute positively to the teaching and learning of mathematics, as well as helping to change the perception of mathematics.

Presented By

  • Dr Maria Ryan, Lecturer in Business, Mary Immaculate College
  • Dr Michael Brennan, Mathematics Department, MTU Cork Campuses

With special guests:

  • Dr Noreen Quinn, Mathematics Department, MTU Cork Campuses
  • Dr Martin Hill, Head of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, MTU Cork Campuses

Resources:

How Learning Communities are benefitting staff and students across MTU

Tuesday January 10th, 2023, 11:30 - 12:30

Description

Since 2019 the TLU have launched and supported over 40 learning communities across MTU. During this session we heard from Learning Community members about who they are, what inspired them to start/join a Learning Community, what they have achieved and how others might initiate or join an existing learning community.

Professor Jim O’ Mahony also spoke about how funding can be awarded and used effectively to transform teaching and learning both within and across disciplines.

Presented By

  • Prof Jim O’Mahony, Biological Sciences & TLU, MTU Cork Campuses

Learning Community Guest Speakers

  • Dr Lesley Cotter, Biological Sciences, MTU Cork campuses
  • Trudie Murray, Management & Enterprise, MTU Cork campuses
  • Captain Bill Kavanagh, Maritime Studies, NCMI
  • Dr Judith Butler and Dr Annie Cummins, Sport Leisure & Childhood Studies, MTU Cork Campuses
  • Irene O’Mara, Pop, Jazz, Trad, Voice & Theatre Studies, Cork School of Music
  • Dr Sarah Mulrooney, Kevin Busby and Maroun Tabbal, Architecture, Cork

Resources

View Recording

Slide deck presented by

MyCareer: Career Advice on Tap 24/7!

Tuesday January 10th, 2023, 15:00 - 16:00

Description

In this session Annmarie MacFeely from Careers Services gave us an insight into the MyCareer platform. MyCareer is a state of the art, comprehensive suite of online Career Planning, Research and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Job Hunting tools which is now available to all MTU students. Annmarie showed us how MyCareer enables students to access a pocket-sized, mini–Career Advisor which they can access from their mobile phone, 24/7.

We saw how students have access to a range of student friendly tools which provide support in Career Planning, Self-Assessment, CV building and Scanning, Mock Interview Practice and feedback. In addition, students can browse an extensive library of up-to-date bite sized videos, articles and tips on anything and everything to do with Careers.

It’s a great resource for all MTU full time students that they can access whenever, wherever, however it suits them.

Presented by

  • Annmarie MacFeely, Careers Service, MTU Cork Campuses

Resources

View Recording

Slide deck presented by:

MTU SATLE 2022-23 Funding Call - Information Session

Wednesday January 11th, 2023, 11:30 - 12:15

Description

This session provided information about the distribution of funding allocated to MTU under the ‘Strategic Alignment of Teaching and Learning Enhancement Funding in Higher Education Call for 2022-23’ (SATLE 2022-23). This non-competitive fund announced by the Higher Education Authority and the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (NFETLHE) in August 2022 totals €6.3m, of which MTU has been allocated €437,000.

The funding asks institutions to focus on innovations in education for sustainable development; digital transformation; and academic integrity. Building on the successful delivery of SATLE 2019 and SATLE 2020, MTU’s approach to the allocation of funding seeks to provide activity across all three areas through strategically targeted institution-wide activity and Teaching, Learning, Assessment and Student Engagement (TLASE) enhancement projects.

Participants will hear about MTU’s funding allocation across four strands of activity, i.e.:

  1. The opportunity to engage in an institution-wide development programme to proactively address academic integrity through assessment design.
  2. An MTU-wide competitive call for TLASE enhancement projects, aligned to MTU’s Strategic Plan and SATLE 2022 funding call themes.
  3. Design and Development of Open Education Resources
  4. Invitations to host TLASE Seminars of interest to MTU and the wider higher education sector

Full information about the national funding call can be found on the NFETLHE website .

Resources

View Recording

View Slide Deck

MTU Staff CPD Opportunities related to TLASE for 2022/23

Wednesday January 11th, 2023, 14:00 - 15:00

Description

Every academic year, the Teaching and Learning Unit (TLU) and AnSEO - The Student Engagement Office in collaboration with other departments and functions offer an important range of relevant, useful and accessible formal continuing professional development opportunities related to teaching learning, assessment and student engagement (TLASE) to MTU staff as follows:

National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Digital Badges

These offerings provide staff with opportunities to reflect on and identify potential changes to their practice with the ultimate aim of providing an enhanced TLASE experience for both themselves and students.

The purpose of this session was to provide more information about each of the above programmes and to provide participants with it’s an opportunity in some cases to hear from previous participants in terms of what they learned and how it has impacted on their practice.

Presented by

  • Dr Tom O’Mahony, Electrical and Electronic Engineering & TLU, MTU Cork Campuses
  • Linda O’Sullivan, AnSEO & TLU, MTU Cork
  • Dr Marian Hurley, AnSEO – The Student Engagement Office, MTU Cork Campuses
  • Deirdre Goggin, Recognition of Prior Learning and Work Based Learning Company Advisor, Extended Campus, MTU Cork Campuses

Resources

View Recording

View Slide Deck

Enabling transitions to MTU: Reflections on the autistic experience

Thursday January 12th, 2023, 09:30 - 10:00

Description

In Ireland, it is estimated that 1 in 100 people are autistic. In the UK 1 in 7 are neurodivergent. With the number of students attending university at a record high, the awareness of autism and neurodiversity is timely. In 2019, as part of the National Access Plan, the Disability Support Service (DSS), MTU Cork Campuses, started the Enabling Transitions Project focusing on the participation needs of autistic students within MTU, with a view to informing ideas and practices within the higher education community.

This session explored:

  • Insights from the Enabling Transition project
  • Using UDL practices in communication
  • Reflections on sensory processing as a concept and how it impacts on how you function and interact with your environment

In addition, participants were invited to:

Presented by

  • Julie O’Donovan, Disability Support Service, MTU Cork Campuses
  • Sandra Power, AnSEO – The Student Engagement Office, MTU Cork Campuses

Resources

View Recording

View Slide Deck

RAFT: Reimagining Assessment & Feedback Together-Looking Back & Next Steps

Thursday January 12th, 2023, 11:00 - 12:00

Description

Have you been thinking there might be a different way to design your Assessment and Feedback activity?

In September 2022, the Teaching and Learning Unit (TLU) invited 23 staff from across MTU “to get on the RAFT” and partake in a year-long, National Forum funded project to identify (and hopefully solve!) an assessment and/or feedback challenge in collaboration with their students.

Funded under MTU’s allocation of the ‘Strategic Alignment of Teaching and Learning Enhancement 2020’ (SATLE 2020) funding, this pioneering group of 23 colleagues across 14 departments took an action research approach to develop, plan, implement and evaluate 16 different assessment and feedback interventions.

Activity emerged across some core themes including:

  • Peer Assessment and Feedback
  • Standardised Rubrics
  • Co-creating criteria with students
  • Feedforward and Exemplars
  • Supporting Large Classes
  • Programme level change

Attendees at this seminar where heard from some of these colleagues and learned what they did, how they did it and the impact this had on them and their students.

Presented by

  • William Carey, AnSEO/Teaching & Learning Unit, MTU Cork Campuses
  • Dr Tom O’Mahony, Electrical and Electronic Engineering & TLU, MTU Cork Campuses

Resources

View Recording

View Slide Deck

 Re-Connect – Digital Habits, Problematic Internet Use & Habit Redesign

Friday January 13th, 2023, 09:00 - 11:00

Description

Students need to use the internet to support their studies and are a group identified with low wellbeing and high loneliness. Re-Connect is a workshop that has been developed in MTU in response to research findings that highlight difficulties caused by problematic internet use for students.

The workshop is being rolled out in MTU and aims to support students in developing awareness of their internet use and its affects. The workshop also enables students with tools which can help to develop healthy internet habits or redesign habits that are causing them problems. The workshop to date has got excellent feedback from staff and student participants and aligns exactly with the government strategy for healthy campuses.

Student problematic internet use can be addressed in a way that few other issues affecting health and wellbeing are. The workshop has been developed to address a student need as evidenced by research, it is a university cross collaboration, developed with student input, honed with professional expertise empowers students to redesign those habits for wellbeing and academic performance.

This workshop is designed for lecturers who might want to deliver the Re-Connect workshop with their students.

This workshop was delivered by Oonagh O’Brien and Catherine Murphy, who gave an overview of the Re-Connect programme, the research that drove its development and they shared resources and facilitation techniques to enable delivery of Re-Connect to student groups.

Presented by:

  • Oonagh O’Brien, Lecturer, Computer Science, MTU Cork Campuses
  • Catherine Murphy, TLU and Senior Lecturer & Placement Manager, Accounting & Information Systems, MTU Cork Campuses

Resources

View Slide Deck

 Giving MTU Students the EDGE

Friday January 13th, 2023, 11:00 - 12:00

Description

EDGE is the new graduate development framework for MTU students that seeks to enhance student engagement, to strengthen industry relations and to further enrich our students’ immersion in society, for the benefit of the entire MTU community.

EDGE provides an opportunity for MTU students to gain recognition for the life lessons they have learnt along their way to earning their degree. As students engage in new activities, or activities they are already doing, completing this award will help students step outside of their comfort zone, recognise and develop new skills, enhance their personal attributes and enable them to articulate these skills and attributes more clearly. This, in turn, will enhance graduate employability and success in life after college, giving MTU students the EDGE!

In this information session, we learned:

  • What is the EDGE Award Programme
  • How MTU Students will benefit from EDGE
  • How the EDGE Award Programme works
  • How you too can contribute to EDGE

Presented by

  • Dr Angela McGlynn, AnSEO – The Student Engagement Office, MTU Cork Campuses
  • Johnny Tan, AnSEO – The Student Engagement Office, MTU Cork Campuses
  • Niamh McDonnell, HR Specialist, Clearstream Global Securities Services Ltd

Resources

View Recording

View Slide Deck

  Being a Better Coach and Mentor: A 3-part series - Resilience Coaching 1

Friday January 13th, 2023, 13:00 - 13:45

Description

This ¾ hr workshop, part 1 of a 3-part series, explored resilience coaching. Resilience is not exclusively being able to ‘bounce back’ from adversity, but rather a set of tools, exercises, activities that build resilience in a person, enabling them not just to survive, but thrive through the small and big life events. This workshop was not just for coaches or mentors, but for anyone who functions within an environment that requires a deeper level of listening i.e., teachers, lecturers, team leaders, team members, support staff, parents etc.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this workshop, participant’s had a broader understanding of the resilience concepts and research outlined below:

  1. Neuroscience and resilience: our brain under threat
  2. Positive and negative emotions – how they can work for us
  3. The resilience-battery
  4. Systems and a ‘well’ human system
  5.  Individual protective and resilience-building factors (and some team RB factors) connected to the domains in the PR6 and the related Jess™ RB behaviours
  6. Specific resilience-building elements in the social collaboration and physical health human system domains, such as,
    • Flow
    • Gratitude expression
    • Sleep quality
    • Exercise habits
    • Nutrition habits

7.  Specific resilience-building in the cognitive and emotional human system domains, such as

    • Managing thoughts and self-talk’
    • Being in the moment
    • Managing F.E.A.R
    • Other related interventions

CPD credit

This workshop counts towards Continued Professional Development credit contributing to a Coach/Mentor/Supervisor EMCC Global Individual Accreditation.

Presented by

  • Shelley Crawford, TLU, MTU Cork Campuses

Resources

View Recording

When does the Conversations on Teaching & Learning Seminar Series take place?

To begin with, this series typically took place twice a year – either at the start or end of semester 1, end at the end of semester 2. However, experience showed that staff were most receptive to this series at the end of a semester.

Hence, this series now typically runs twice during the academic year – winter and summer. The seminars are held at the end of semester once classes finish, i.e. from week 13 onwards. So, watch this space and keep an eye out for notifications via email, the TLU website news and what’s on sections or on social media.

 

How is the series structured?

Each series consists of several seminars/workshops held over a two-week period with each seminar/workshop typically lasting around 2 to 3 hours. The seminars/workshops are designed to be a mix of input from facilitator and opportunity for discussion/ networking with colleagues and always promise to be stimulating and thought-provoking for participants.

Who should attend these workshops?

These sessions are offered free of charge and are open to all MTU staff. Each session aspires to be relevant to both early career and experienced staff.

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