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This series of workshops was held in Semester 1 2015/2016, and the following are details of the sessions held together with links, where possible, to the relevant resources and recordings:





Title & Descriptor



30th September 2015

The importance of a good module aim

Having a module aim helps relate the topic to the whole. Clear module aims are really useful in helping to select content. This seminar will introduce the concept of thoughtlines and how module aims can be used to remind students of the aim(s) and how material is related to the aim.

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2nd October 2015

Technology Enhanced Learning: Online collaboration

Collaboration offers students the opportunity to actively engage in knowledge construction and idea sharing and so facilitates problem-solving, teamwork and communication skills while also increasing motivation. Difficulties can be encountered when assessing group work, or students themselves may experience difficulties to do with the collaboration itself, e.g., managing version control and sharing files. In this session we look at the benefits of online collaboration in addressing these and other issues. From collaborative writing software to mind maps, online collaboration tools can make group work far more effective and productive for students and make monitoring, assessment and feedback easier for the lecturer.



7th October 2015

Module Organisation

Having a good module structure and being well organised really helps students develop understanding. This session will explore this concept, provide examples of how to structure and organise a module.

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14th October 2015

Understanding through Active Learning

The literature on teaching and learning continues to endorse the use of active learning and in-class discussions to develop understanding. In this session a few of the more frequently used in-class techniques will be demonstrated.

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16th October 2015

Technology Enhanced Learning: Continuous Assessment

It can be hard work gathering, organising and providing feedback on continuous assessment submissions. This session will look at the use of technologies which may be able to ease some of the burden by providing a set of tools which can, at a basic level, help students to "house" their work and help you access it. These same tools can also be used as part of a continuous assessment process to help students enhance their critical thinking and critical reflection skills, demonstrate mastery of learning outcomes, document ongoing activities and processes, etc.



21st October 2015

Threshold concepts

Within every topic there are elements that are central to the topic but which students really struggle to understand. If they don’t develop an understanding they may never get the topic. This session will introduce and explain this concept and why we need to identify and focus on these concepts

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28th October 2015


The ability to explain a concept clearly is crucial to developing understanding. This is especially true for Threshold Concepts. In this session the art of explaining concepts is introduced and some recommendations for dealing with difficult concepts are provided.

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30th October 2015

Technology Enhanced Learning: Reflective practice

Often, the link between ‘doing’ something and ‘understanding’ something is reflection. Encouraging your students to reflect can help them to make the connection or critical link between theory and practice. It can be difficult and time consuming, however, to find an effective and efficient vehicle for reflective practice that facilitates both secure student reflections over an extended period of time and the provision of timely feedback on their submitted reflections. This session looks at some tools and technologies that can address these issues and help facilitate reflective practice, as an assessment or as a learning activity, in teaching and learning.



4th November 2015


How a module is assessed has long been recognised to have a huge impact on what and how students learn (think Leaving Certificate Exams). Here, some guidelines for developing assessments that promote understanding will be presented.

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11th November 2015


Good quality feedback can have a huge impact on student learning and performance. In the Feedback session, we will highlight some ways of getting good quality feedback to students fast.

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18th November 2015

Ways of Thinking

Increasingly, its being recognised that subjects tend to have a specific “way of thinking” that is quite unique to that subject. Experts have adopted and internalised that inner logic. For our students to develop proficiency in our subject areas that inner logic needs to be verbalised and made explicit. This session will introduce the concept and provide some examples of how to reveal the inner logic.

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20th November 2015

Technology Enhanced Learning: Facilitating discussion

As a lecturer, discussion is important. In a face-to-face context, it can take up a substantial amount of class time and be a key driver of learning and engagement due to its interactive nature. In an online context, lecturers can continue to harness the power of discussion outside of the classroom in modes such as demonstrations, observations, peer-review and reports. In this session we look at how online spaces such as Twitter, Asynchronous Discussion Boards and Video Chat have the potential to be highly interactive spaces for instructors and students. As an instructor, those spaces can be used to promote continuous participation of students where each student is actively contributing to an ongoing dialogue rather than being passive observers. Those spaces and the tools provided in them, can encourages expression of feelings, values, opinions and beliefs. They can build confidence and ability for self-expression in students and help students in developing critical evaluation skills.



25th November 2015

Empathy and Respect

Stephen Brookfield talks about how when teaching something that we love, how difficult it is for us to empathise with students that find the topic boring. The more that we teach the topic, the further removed we become from our first experiences of learning it and the less empathy we are likely to have. Yet empathy and respect strongly correlate with student motivation and motivation is essential to developing understanding. This, final session will explore the importance of empathy and respect.

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