Teaching, Learning and Student Engagement

Teaching & Learning_1ATU Donegal supports the enhancement of teaching and learning. We offer a range of professional development opportunities which promote high quality student engagement and learning.

We focus on new approaches to teaching and learning, teaching and learning research and the digital enhancement of teaching and learning.

Learning Enhancement Projects for ATU Donegal 

ATU Donegal Teaching, Learning and Student Engagement are delighted to launch the ATU Donegal Learning Enhancement Projects Fund 2020 funded through the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 
Learning Enhancement Projects (LEP’s) will allocate funding to support small and larger scale teaching and learning enhancement initiatives. Expression of interest for LEP’s will open on 4th November and close on 15th November 2019. 
Please click here for the Expression of Interest form and submit final application to TLSE@lyit.ie

The following Learning Enhancement Projects were successful in receiving funding under the National Forum call 2020:

Project Title Team Leads and Team Members
Lightboard Studio: For the improvement of student communication skills and digital content generation. Dr Robert Coyle- Team lead
Dr Kim McFadden, Dr Garrett Farrell, Cormac Murphy, Julia Wilson, Tina Parnell, Mike Guckian, Christopher Mc Eleney, Patricia Warren- Team members
Artificial Intelligence enabled Smart Learning Pathan Faisal Khan- Team lead
Debdeep Bose- Team member
Business Law in Action: Developing workshops using an interactive methodology for 1st year business student success Dr Deirdre McClay- Team lead
Brónagh Heverin, Michael Farren, Claire Henderson
iCERI – Conference attendance Dr Shane Wilson- Team lead
Mary Gallagher- Team member
The Entrepreneurial Journey: developing learning resources for students Dr Simon Stephens- Team lead
Professor John A Dobson, Clarke University MA- Team member
Utilisation of Audio Visual (AV) Technology To Enhance Teaching And Learning In Engineering Christopher Roulston- Team lead
Jonathan Morrow, Paul McLaughlin, Kieran O’ Grady, Michael B Corry, Jamie Farren- Team members
Taking the first step: how to move from using Blackboard as a content repository to using it to engage with students online, enhancing the student learning experience Paul McGuckin- Team lead
Dr Anne Burke, Patricia Doherty- Team members
Peer Mentoring for Student Success Siobhan Cullen- Team lead
Orla Callaghan, Claire Henderson, Brónagh Heverin
Place of Sanctuary Share & Learn Events Siobhan Cullen- Team lead
Brian McGonagle, Irene Heavy, Fr Liam Boyce, Siobhan Howe- Team members
The use of Socrative as a formative assessment tool to enhance student learning and engagement across three Schools in Letterkenny Institute of Technology Dr Joe English- team lead
Aisling Bonner, Patrick Brennan, Mary Dunnion, Ben George, Lucia Ramsey- Team member
Raising learner and staff cultural awareness in the School of Tourism Eloise McGinty- Team lead
Alison Cannon, Ciara Quinlan- Team members
SWiM - Supporting Women in Mechanical Engineering Dr Nicola Anderson- Team lead
Lauren Hegarty, Niamh Davis, Manon Villiard, Margot Picard, Sinead Harkin- Team members
Video Imaging of Basic Microbial Aseptic Techniques for Food Safety Testing Cathy Hannigan- Team lead
Dr Anne Nelson- Team member
Mock Trial for Interdisciplinary Learning Brónagh Heverin- Team lead
Siobhan Cullen, Dr Louise McBride, Marianne Dee, Daireen Laverty, Tara Gallagher- Team member
Tackling Online Sexual Misconduct Dr Sharon McLaughlin- Team lead
Brídin Bell, Chris McCallion- Team members

Data Collection
Dr Eílis Flanagan will oversee the collection of data from staff and students who are involved in LEPs to capture the main insights from the implementation of the initiatives. Key data will be collected from LEP teams about the nature of the impact of their projects as well as how impact was achieved. The methodology for creating this evidence-base of teaching and learning enhancement will involve the use of a survey and a collective intelligence workshop. All LEP team members will be required to attend this workshop and share their experiences of implementing their LEPs. The collective intelligence approach will involve gathering feedback from staff and students about the design, content and delivery of their projects and to develop an understanding of the key priorities for professional development. LEP teams will also be invited to create digital stories about their experiences of implementing the LEPs and involvement in this approach is optional. All staff and students will be offered support with creating their digital stories. The research findings will be disseminated via key national and international events, conferences and the National Forum panel reviews.  This will also align with ATU Donegal’s strategic plan and research agenda.  

Professional Development in Teaching and Learning

ATU Donegal offers all staff who teach or who support teaching a wide range of professional development opportunities in teaching and learning. We offer accredited professional development at level 9 from special purpose awards in areas such as Educational Leadership and Management through to the MA in Learning and Teaching.

We also provide on-going opportunities for more informal professional development opportunities linked to the National Professional Development Framework for all staff who teach in higher education through workshops, seminars and digital badges.  The following digital badges are available in ATU Donegal:

  • Mentoring in Teaching and Learning
  • Postgraduate Research Supervision.

ATU Donegal will offer the following seminars as part of the National Forum series this academic year: 2019/ 2020

  • Information seminar on Learning Enhancement Projects for ATU Donegal (30th October 2019)
  • ISSE workshop, Dr Siobhán Nic Fhlannchadha, Project manager ISSE (29th January 2020)
  • Making Connections: Research and Professional Development, Prof Merrilyn Goos, University of Limerick (28 May 2020)
  • Assessment and Feedback Workshop, Professor Kay Samball, University of Napier (16 June 2020)
  • Evidence Based Strategies for Those who Teach International Students, ATU Donegal (29th October 2019)

ATU Donegal seminars offered in 2018:

  • Digital Pathways into Learning Languages (23 November and 19 January)
  • Getting Started with On-Line Teaching (10 December)
  • Digital Badge in Postgraduate Supervision (7February)
  • Evidence Based Teaching (7 February)
  • Evaluating Student Success in Widening Access initiatives (22 May).

Mentoring in Teaching and Learning 

All new teaching staff have the opportunity to be assigned a mentor to support and guide their professional development in teaching and learning. 

All staff are invited to meet as part of the ATU Donegal Peer Learning Network. These informal monthly sessions explore different aspects of teaching and learning.  The themes for this semester are:

  • Student Success (November)
  • Bring your own device (November)
  • Assessment (February).

Teaching and Learning Research

ATU Donegal is partner in a number of National Forum Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund Projects:

PDP for ATU Donegal: A unversity wide approach to professional development for those who teach which supports success for students in higher education 

Project Lead: ATU Donegal

This project will enable ATU Donegal to implement the Professional Development Framework across the entire institution.

For further information contact Dr Lynn Ramsey on lynn.ramsey@atu.ie.

The REAL project (Reimagining Experiential Academic Learning). Using experience to teaching and learn in law: A framework for engagement, assessment and transferability

Project Lead: ATU Donegal
Project Partners: University of Limerick, Institute of Technology Carlow

This project will develop an innovative model of experiential learning for law students, including all the resources to support its implementation. This model will be transferable to other disciplines. 

For further information contact Siobhan Cullen on siobhan.cullen@atu.ie.

Digitally Enhanced Teaching and Learning

ATU Donegal supports the enhancement of teaching and learning with technology.  We have a workshop series to support staff engagement with the virtual learning environment. Technical support for the virtual learning environment is provided by Dan Friel, dan.friel@atu.ie.

Staff have the opportunity to undertake in a minor award at level 9 in Technology Enhanced Learning, delivered by the ATU Donegal Department of Law and Humanities.

ATU Donegal is a partner in the National Forum’s Data-Enabled Student Success Initiative (DESSI) which supports the development of learning analytics in teaching and learning.

Student Engagement

ATU Donegal is one of five institutions selected to participate in the National Student Engagement Programme 2016 Pilot (NStEP) and is a member of the NStEP working group. As part of our commitment to student engagement we focus on: 

  • enhancing the capacity of students for engagement higher education by focusing on student training, and
  • enhancing the capacity of our institution for student engagement by focusing on institutional analysis and evaluation.

ATU Donegal is leading the national work stream on student engagement in strategy and decision making.