2012 Conference Book of abstracts

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Inspiring creativity, innovation and change in higher education

Inspiring creativity, innovation and change in higher education

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  • 1. THE FIFTHLIN CONFERENCE 11TH OCTOBER 2012 Inspiring creativity, innovation & change in Higher Education book of abstracts Visit www.LIN.ie
  • 2. conference sponsorsThe organisers gratefullyacknowledge the support of thesponsors for their significantcontribution to the conference.
  • 3. contentsTable of ContentsForeword 1General Information 2Conference Programme 3Keynote Speaker: Ewan McIntosh 4Keynote Speaker: Lord David Puttnam 5Sub-theme 1: Creativity – oral presentations Table of Authors 6Abstracts 7Sub-theme 2: Innovation – oral presentations Table of Authors 13Abstracts 14Sub-theme 3: Change – oral presentations Table of Authors 20Abstracts 21Poster abstractsSub-theme 1: Creativity 27Sub-theme 2: Innovation 30Sub-theme 3: Change 34LIN funded projects - introduction 37 LIN funded project abstracts 38
  • 4. forewordDR marion palmerWelcome to the Ashling Hotel for the 5th Annual Learning Innovation Network (LIN)Conference. LIN is a major collaborative project between the thirteen Institutes ofTechnology and Dublin Institute of Technology. LIN has established itself as the leadingteaching and learning initiative in the sector. The network aims to enhance the studentexperience by providing opportunities for staff to complete accredited teaching andlearning professional development programmes.LIN has had another extraordinarily productive year. Since the formal launch of thepostgraduate diploma in Teaching, Learning and Assessment at the last LIN conferencewe have continued to develop flexible accredited programmes for staff in institutes in aninnovative way. In the last year LIN has again increased the rates of participation on LINprogrammes and this semester the first LIN post graduate diploma will be awarded in AIT.A number of teaching and learning programmes run across the higher level sector havenow been mapped to the LIN framework, which allows greater choice and flexibility forlecturers completing accredited professional development.As a result of additional funds granted to the project by the HEA in 2011, LIN providedfunds for a number of collaborative, teaching and learning projects in the institutes. Theoutputs from these projects are significant and are being presented at today’s conference.They include; the development of two new LIN modules; one online/blended module onresearching educational practice and one focussing on teaching students with specialeducational needs; the production of a number of case studies, teaching materials,exemplars, webinars and reusable learning resources on criteria based assessment,generic skills in higher education and academic professional development; presentationsfrom leading educational experts such as Stella Cottrell, Mick Healey and Jude Carrollstimulated discussion around some of the challenges that face higher educationalpractitioners today; and an evaluation and review of the LIN project.I would like to acknowledge and thank the HEA for granting permission and funds for the2012 conference. I am confident that it will be another stimulating and thought provokingevent and that you will leave here today with creative and innovative ideas to use in yourprofessional practice.Dr. Marion PalmerLIN Coordination Group Chair, IADT. 1
  • 5. general informationCONFERENCE THEME ABSTRACT REVIEWERSInspiring creativity, innovation & change in Higher Education We wish to thank the following abstract reviewers who participated in the selection process for the presentations at the AnnualSUB-THEMES Conference. Margaret Keane Institute of Technology01: Creativity Tallaght, Dublin02: Innovation Paul Gormley National University of Ireland,03: Change GalwayABOUT THE CONFERENCE ORGANISERS Jen Harvey Dublin Institute of TechnologyLIN - The Learning Innovation Network - was established in 2007 with the aim of ‘working Carina Ginty Galway-Mayo Institute ofcollaboratively to enhance learning and teaching in Institutes of Technology’. LIN’s priority Technologyis the provision and support of Academic Professional Development (APD) opportunities Frances Boylan Dublin Institute ofwithin the sector. The annual conference provides much opportunity for attendees to share Technologyexperiences and discuss developments and innovations in the provision of a quality highereducation to an ever more diverse student body. It provides a forum for lecturers and Daniel McSweeney Institute of Technology,support staff to meet and form new networks with colleagues from across the sector who Blanchardstownface similar challenges. John Wall Waterford Institute of TechnologyLIN is run by the LIN Co-ordination Group and each institute has a LIN contact. The LIN Marion Palmer Dun Laoghaire Institute ofcontacts are listed in the table below. Art, Design and TechnologyContact Institute Martin Fitzgerald Limerick Institute ofNuala Harding Athlone Institute of Technology TechnologyDaniel McSweeney Institute of Technology BlanchardstownAnne Carpenter Institute of Technology Carlow CATERINGStephen Cassidy Cork Institute of Technology Lunch and refreshments will be providedJen Harvey Dublin Institute of Technology throughout the day.Brendan Ryder Dundalk Institute of TechnologyMary Anne O’Carroll Institute of Art, Design & Technology RECORDINGCarina Ginty Galway-Mayo Institute of TechnologyAveril Meehan Letterkenny Institute of Technology The three plenary sessions will beMartin Fitzgerald & Michael Ryan Limerick Institute of Technology recorded and will be available for viewingStephanie Donegan Institute of Technology Sligo on www.lin.ie.Rose Cooper Institute of Technology Tallaght, DublinBrid McElligott Institute of Technology Tralee WI-FI ACCESSJohn Wall Waterford Institute of Technology Access for Ashling Hotel Wi-Fi: ashling155Niamh Rushe LIN Co-ordinator – IOTIMarion Palmer LIN Co-ordination Group Chair2
  • 6. LIN conference programmeInspiring creativity, innovation & change in Higher Education8.30 – 9.15 Registration9.15 – 9.30 Opening address: Dr Jim Murray, Director of Academic Affairs, Institutes of Technology Ireland. Keynote address: 60-minute chef: The Ingredients of Creativity and Innovation.9.30 – 10.30 Ewan McIntosh, NoTosh Limited. Animated by Eva Kavanagh, 3rd year BA (Hons) in Animation in IADTSub-themes Creativity Innovation Change An investigation of the influence of Creative peer and teacher led Lessons learned from the delivery classroom based social integration strategies that promote active learning of online courses at the Institute of and active teaching methods on the and enhance the first year experience. Technology Blanchardstown. intentions to persist of first year Carina Ginty & Evelyn Moylan, GMIT. Daniel McSweeney ITB, Page 14 students in higher education. Page 7 Tomas Dwyer, IT Carlow. Page 21 What is ‘the best’ first year experience: Development Education; A Creative principles for enhancement and From zero-hero: Creating an e-learning10.30 – 11.30 Paradigm For The New Challenges innovation of policy and practice. champion.15 minutes per speaker Facing Higher Education. Rebecca Roper, IADT, Michael Carr, DIT, Tony Murphy, Tom Farrelly, Sarahincluding questions Martin Fitzgerald, LIT. Page 8 Yseult Freeney, DCU, Tara Cusack, UCD, O’Toole, IT Tralee. Page 22 Mary Gilmartin, NUIM. Page 15 Engaging staff to inspire change and Undergraduate student collaboration innovation? in international social care research Jen Harvey, DIT, Mary Anne O’Carroll, Blank screen creativity. projects: An innovative approach. IADT, Stephen Cassidy, CIT, Rose Bernard Goldbach, LIT. Page 9 Hugh McBride & Mark Garavan GMIT. Cooper, ITTD, Stephanie Donegan, IT Page 16 Sligo, Martin Fitzgerald, LIT, Daniel McSweeney, ITB. Page 2311.30 – 12.00 Tea/coffee and poster session Keynote address: Development of Higher Education in the Digital Age.12.00 – 13.00 Lord David Puttnam13.00 – 14.00 Lunch Reflecting on the introduction of Exploration of reflection results in The Learning Innovation Network: a reflective journal in a first year ‘valuing learning’ site. A groundbreaking framework for computer science module. Phil O’Leary & Siobhan O’Sullivan, CIT. academic professional development. Aidan Mooney & Susan Bergin, NUIM. Page 10 Niamh Rushe, IOTI. Page 17 Page 24 An activity-based approach to the Expecting the unexpected: A Using a social media tool to improve learning and teaching of research conceptual and practical framework application of academic theory to the14.00 – 15.00 methods - measuring student for creativity in higher education. Pharmaceutical Industry by science15 minutes per speaker engagement and learning. Orison Carlile, Anne Jordon. WIT. students.including questions Eimear Fallon, Terry Prendergast Page 11 Maeve Scott, ITTD. Page 25 & Stephen Walsh, DIT. Page 18 Can we do it better? A discussion Transparent, playful and easy – Using role-play as a teaching and paper on how reflection within a identifying creative ways to facilitate assessment strategy in a changing programme team supports changes and stimulate dialogue between economic environment. and innovations to practice. industry and education. Marie Finnegan, GMIT. Page 19 Breda McTaggart & Orla Walsh, IT Sligo. Joe Coll, LKIT. Page 12 Page 2615.00 – 15.30 Tea/coffee and poster session15.30 – 16.00 LIN review: Professor Sarah Moore, Associate Vice President Academic, University of Limerick16.00 – 16.15 Closing address: Muiris O’Connor, Head of Policy and Planning, HEA 3
  • 7. keynote speaker Ewan McIntosh Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh Limited, a startup that develops products and services with creative companies on the one hand, and then takes the processes, attitudes and research gained there to the world of education. His company works with hundreds of schools and districts, providing ideas, inspiration and research on how to better engage kids. Ewan was a French and German High School teacher, before moving from the classroom into technology research and leadership as Scotland’s first National Advisor on Learning and Technology Futures. He later helped set up one of the most ambitious investment funds from a public service broadcaster in the UK, the $100m 4iP Fund from Channel 4 Television. As well as heading up NoTosh’s work globally with creative corporations, Governments and ewan@notosh.com school districts, Ewan is a “Digital Angel” advisor on the digital agenda to the Vice President http://www.notosh.com of the European Commission, Mrs Neelie Kroes. He is a also a Trustee of the RSA’s http://edu.blogs.com. Opening Minds Curriculum and sits on the Board of Interactive Ontario’s INplay conference, showcasing where play, video games and learning meet. Ewan and his team are all about engaging people, whether they’re voters, customers or kids in a classroom. His latest creative projects include helping to redesign the 40th anniversary summit of the ITU, the United Nations agency responsible for telecommunications technologies, and co-directing the digital side of the Scottish National Party’s 2011 re-election campaign, resulting in a historic landslide majority win that technically “wasn’t possible”. Education projects are varied, working with schools on design thinking and developing leadership, helping create the world’s first TEDx event by and for eight year olds, and turning the textbook on its head through our interactive developments. McIntosh launched the world’s first iPad Investment Fund in 2010, has been at the centre of $5m of creative media investments since January 2010, including $2.5 of nonprofit projects with the MacArthur Foundation to improve the learning of students from North America to India. Companies in which he has invested have won a Media Guardian Award for the Best App of 2010 and another developed one of Apple’s Top 30 All-Time Best Selling Apps, appearing in the Guardian’s Tech Invest 100, 2010. 60-minute chef: The Ingredients of Creativity and Innovation Creativity and innovation are inextricably linked. Deep learning is inherent in the processes used by the world’s most creative, and successful, organisations. So what steps can learning institutions take to borrow these processes and apply them in learning? And what does our knowledge about great learning lend to the creative process itself? In this talk, Ewan McIntosh brings lessons from his firm’s work with leading creative companies together with its research into learning, learning spaces and creativity, to help educators understand how to best use the ingredients of creativity in learning. Ewan’s talk will be animated live by Eva Kavanagh, a third year student of DL 041 BA (Hons) in Animation in the Institute of Art, Design and Technology Dun Laoghaire. Eva is being supported by two colleagues. This will present Ewan’s talk in another light.4
  • 8. keynote speakerLORD PUTTNAM OF QUEENSGATE, C.B.E.David Puttnam spent thirty years as an independent producer of award-winning filmsincluding The Mission, The Killing Fields, Local Hero, Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express,Bugsy Malone and Memphis Belle. His films have won ten Oscars, 25 Baftas and the PalmeD’Or at Cannes. From 1994 to 2004 he was Vice President and Chair of Trustees at the BritishAcademy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) and was awarded a BAFTA Fellowship in 2006.He retired from film production in 1998 to focus on his work in public policy as it relatesto education, the environment, and the ‘creative and communications’ industries. In 1998he founded the National Teaching Awards, which he chaired until 2008, also serving as thefirst Chair of the General Teaching Council from 2000 to 2002. From July 2002 to July 2009he was president of UNICEF UK, playing a key role in promoting UNICEF’s key advocacy andawareness objectives. David is the present Chancellor of the Open University, following ten years as Chancellorof The University of Sunderland. He is President of the Film Distributors’ Association,Chairman of North Music Trust (The Sage Gateshead), Deputy Chairman of Profero anda trustee of the Eden Project.He was Deputy Chairman of Channel 4 Television from 2006 until January 2012. He wasfounding Chair of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA)and for ten years chaired the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television. Hehas also served as a trustee of the Tate Gallery, the Science Museum and many otherorgansiations.In 2007 he served as Chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the DraftClimate Change Bill, having performed the same role on the 2002 Communications Bill.He has also been Chairman of two Hansard Society Commission Reports on therelationship between Parliament and the Public; he serves as Senior Non-ExecutiveDirector on two public companies.David was awarded a CBE in 1982, a knighthood in 1995 and was appointed to the House ofLords in 1997. In France he was made a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in 1985,becoming an Officer in 1992, and a Commander in 2006. He has been the recipient of morethan 40 honorary degrees from Universities in the UK and overseas.In his speech Lord Puttnam will consider the ways in which higher education can be bestbe developed in a digital age. He will look at the impact of digital technologies on learningand their capacity to contribute to a more informed, fulfilled and prosperous society. 5
  • 9. Sub-theme 1: Creativity – Table of AuthorsPresenters title Creative peer and teacher led strategies that promote active learning and enhance the firstCarina Ginty & Evelyn Moylan, GMIT. year experience. Development Education; A Creative Paradigm For The New Challenges Facing HigherMartin Fitzgerald, LIT Education.Bernard Goldbach, LIT. Blank screen creativity.Phil O’Leary & Siobhan O’Sullivan, CIT. Exploration of reflection results in ‘valuing learning’ site. Expecting the unexpected: A conceptual and practical framework for creativity in higherOrison Carlile & Anne Jordon, WIT education. Transparent, playful and easy – identifying creative ways to facilitate and stimulateJoe Coll, LKIT. dialogue between industry and education.6
  • 10. Sub-theme 1: creativity – AbstractsCreative peer and teacher led strategies that promote active learning and enhance the first year experience. Carina Ginty & Evelyn Moylan. Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology carina.ginty@gmit.ie | evelyn.moylan@gmit.ie Most studies of the student experience are driven by the need to improve student learning in the face of declining levels of student involvement in third level education (McInnis 2004). One technique used in teaching practice to tackle this issue is active learning practice, which focuses on a variety of tools used to cognitively engage learners with exploring ideas and accumulating knowledge. This practice has several proven advantages, including increased personal motivation, improving deep understanding, development of critical thinking and development of reflexive abilities that support life- long learning. These have become part of the articulated outcomes for higher education worldwide (MacVaugh & Norton 2011). Since 2009, a new first year learning experience package has been deployed in an institute of technology in Ireland, across a range of disciplines. The learning package consists of two strands: a Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) programme led by students from 2nd, 3rd or 4th year; and a new module titled ‘Learning to Learn’ (L2L) led by lecturers. This paper will explore a number of active learning strategies which assist the development of attributes such as creative thinking, problem solving, team-work and a commitment to continuous learning. It will present effective group communication strategies used by peer assisted learning student leaders, in addition to learning and assessment strategies used by academic staff and designed for first years to support their transition to higher education. This paper will be underpinned by the relevant literature relating to peer assisted learning, active learning and supporting the first year experience. Keywords: First Year Experience, Active Learning, Peer Assisted Learning. 7
  • 11. Sub-theme 1: creativity – AbstractsDevelopment education; A creative paradigm for the new challenges facing higher education. Martin Fitzgerald. LIT Tipperary martin.fitzgerald@lit.ie “Not everything that counts is countable and not everything that is countable counts” (Einstein) Knowledge economies, according to Hargreaves (2003) are driven by creativity and ingenuity but parodoxically the relentless pursuit of profit also generates creative destruction of many of the sources of that profit. The teaching profession also finds itself currently in a paradox; on the one hand teachers are expected to build, create and innovate while at the same time counteract excess, encourage moral responsibility and meet all of societies needs every day. Hargreaves suggests that the knowledge society be renamed the learning society as this would create a shift in perspective removing assumptions and expectations and replacing them with a sense of inquiry and creative curiosity. Creative inquiry in the English context has historically had many iterations (Banaji and Burn 2006) ranging from cognitive based creativity to creative play to creativity as a social good and creativity as an economic imperative. Currently Jackson (2007) suggests that while creativity exists in Higher Education, it is implicit, random and often seen as a distraction from real learning with the exception of very specific and artistically driven disciplines. Now more than ever there is a need for a model of higher education that is creative, wise and offers an alternative and explicit way of exploring teaching and learning. Higher education is currently in need of a new creative paradigm that will allow learners to address the huge global crisis that faces us in a variety of contexts. Development Education (DE) may provide such a paradigm and address Hargreave’s concerns as it incorporates an approach to learning that is sustainable, creative, transformative and empowering. In this paper I hope to outline how the Development Education model might achieve this outcome. Keywords: Creative, empowering, wise, transformative.8
  • 12. Sub-theme 1: creativity – AbstractsBlank screen creativity. Bernard Goldbach. Limerick Institute of Technology bgoldbach@gmail.com Because nothing creates more blank stares of disbelief in third level classrooms than taskings that start with blank screens, this presentation shows techniques that inspire creative multimedia students to create--not copy and paste--or remix. Based on ten years of practise gained as a third level lecturer, the presentation defines creative oases, eureka moments and the development of the e-crit. The techniques used and the technologies highlighted have resulted in third level graduates taking up employment in job positions that were not defined at the time of their CAO applications. The presentation postulates that “blank screen creativity” can empower creative graduates with the portfolio skills needed to actually change their employment prospects and sit at the head table of the smart economy. Relatively new technologies, frozen in screenshots and distilled as short 30-second video clips, will show students engaged in flexible learning using Google Hangouts, long form content viewed as iBooks, and responding to a family of online content delivered to handsets or Kindles as supplementary reading material. “Blank Screen Creativity” has reference points on classroom desktop, student laptops and on mobile phone screens. It encapsulates key facets of learning and technology that can truly empower Irish university students as change agents. Keywords: Google Circles, byod, epublishing, creativity. 9
  • 13. Sub-theme 1: creativity – AbstractsExploration of reflection results in ‘valuing learning’ site. Phil O’Leary & Siobhan O’Sullivan. Cork Institute of Technology phil.oleary@cit.ie | siobhan.osullivan@cit.ie Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) requires the learner to be able to critically reflect on their previous learning from past experiences in order to document their case for assessment for credits on the National framework. This reflective mode where the learner can identify key learning events which contributed significantly to his/her learning; coupled to the task of identifying how to document this learning; is not always easy to get into. The learner often needs help with developing their reflective ability. Focus groups exploring reflection were held in September 2011. Aspects covered included getting into the reflective mode; difficulties with reflection and the benefits of reflection were discussed with twenty-five students. Resulting themes were analysed and are being used to inform staff who are now better able to support students to develop an effective approach to reflection. One of the themes emerging; ‘document as you go’ was significant in that it mirrored one of the six messages of the European Commission Memorandum on Lifelong Learning in 2000; that of Valuing Learning. This resulted in the creation of a ‘Valuing Learning’ space on the Institute RPL website. This is available at www.cit.ie/rpl/valuinglearning/ where a learner is encouraged to document their competencies over time. Staff from a range of disciplines included examples of experiential learning which might be relevant to their particular discipline. This space compliments the Institute website on Recognition of Prior Learning further supporting the learner to value all aspects of what they know.10
  • 14. Sub-theme 1: creativity – AbstractsExpecting the unexpected: a conceptual and practical framework for creativity in higher education. Orison Carlile & Anne Jordan. Waterford Institute of Technology ocarlile@wit.ie Numerous policy documents on higher education promote creativity as a national and international goal. However, ‘creativity is a messy and slippery subject, embarrassing and hard to pin down’ (Pope 2005 xviii). The first theoretical part of this paper provides an analysis of some popular constructs of creativity, before making the distinction between teaching creatively, teaching for creativity and teaching of creativity. Failure to make these distinctions leads to many conceptual and pedagogical problems. Teaching for creativity involves strategies for creative teaching and creative learning in the contexts of higher education, the disciplines, and the epistemological stages of learner development. The values, roles and characteristics of the creative teacher are considered, together with the constraints and opportunities for creative teaching in HE. The conditions conducive to creativity are discussed and some appropriate strategies considered. The second practical part of the paper treats creativity as a generic, transferable skill which can be applied across a range of contexts and disciplinary settings. This is based on a twentieth century rational view that creativity is a form of generic thinking skill, resulting from a sequence of generative and exploratory processes such as: 1) Identification of existing assumption and attitudes 2) Conceptualization of the issue being considered 3) Production of multiple ideas 4) Unconstrained exploration of ideas 5) Evaluation and selection of the optimal outcome A range of problems-solving tools and strategies are presented, together with suggestions for their practical use in the higher education classroom. The contribution of this paper to the discourse is twofold. From a theoretical point of view, it aims to de-mystify the rhetoric of creativity and present a clear theoretical conceptual framework for addressing creativity. From a practical point of view, the paper aims to offer a set of practical pedagogical tools for supporting creative teaching and learning. Keywords: creativity, theory, pedagogy, tools. 11
  • 15. Sub-theme 1: creativity – AbstractsTransparent, playful and easy – identifying creative ways to facilitate and stimulate dialogue between industryand education Joe Coll. Letterkenny Institute of Technology joe.coll@lyit.ie My research aims to identify and create opportunities to inspire, inform and challenge design students through engagement with practicing designers. The evolving outcome of my research is Propeller (http://joecoll.com/testing/propeller-inspires) – an online space that provides students with opportunities to learn from and create connections with industry. In developing the underlying content structure of Propeller, stimulating participation from all stakeholders was of primary concern. As a result, aspects of play, reward and ease of participation have been central to the project. I believe this research is relevant to the wider educational community as it identifies creative ways to have a sustainable and ongoing dialogue with industry. It does this in several ways: Firstly, a key factor that determines the content structure of Propeller is time. I feel it is important to acknowledge the time constraints that people face. Therefore, I developed several ways to contribute that require varying levels of time commitment. From the minimal “Industry Tweet” where professional designers using Twitter are asked to tweet content they feel would be relevant to students, to greater (but still quite minimal) levels of commitment, where practitioners give one hour of their time to provide insights into their design practices and offer advice to students. Secondly, through research into online communities, I developed a sense of play and reward. Although the initiatives and content are informative and relevant, they are seen as playful, rather than academic. Students are offered a reward of work experience if they win a micro “Industry Challenge”. Thirdly, transparency and clarity of communication are key factors to securing engagement from industry. My research demonstrates that industry practitioners appreciate the need and benefit to engaging in higher education and are willing to do so, provided we communicate clearly what is being asked of them, we acknowledge time constraints and make their engagement easy and enjoyable. Note: This research began when I undertook an MA (Research through Practice) in Visual Communication at the National College of Art & Design (NCAD). Completed June 2012 Keywords: Industry, Creativity, Design, Participation12
  • 16. Sub-theme 2: Innovation – table of authorsPresenters title Lessons learned from the delivery of online courses at the Institute of TechnologyDaniel McSweeney, ITB Blanchardstown.Rebecca Roper, IADTMichael Carr, DIT What is ‘the best’ first year experience: principles for enhancement and innovation ofYseult Freeney, DCU policy and practice.Tara Cusack, UCDMary Gilmartin, NUIM. Undergraduate student collaboration in international social care research projects: AnHugh McBride & Mark Garavan, GMIT. innovative approach. The Learning Innovation Network:Niamh Rushe, IOTI. A groundbreaking framework for academic professional development. An activity-based approach to the learning and teaching of research methods - measuringEimear Fallon, Terry Prendergast & student engagement and learning.Stephen Walsh, DIT. Using role-play as a teaching and assessment strategy in a changing economicMarie Finnegan, GMIT. environment. 13
  • 17. Sub-theme 2: innovation – AbstractsLessons learned from the delivery of online courses at the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown. Daniel McSweeney. Institute of Technology Blanchardstown Daniel.McSweeney@itb.ie In October 2007, the Institutes of Technology and DIT submitted their proposal on flexible learning to the higher education authority. The proposal aimed to increase flexible and open learning offerings across the participating institutions. As part of the initiative, the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown developed new flexible online offerings in a range of business, engineering, computing and horticultural programmes. The introduction of flexible offerings presented a significant cultural and operational challenge across the institute. Alignment of academic and administrative process, changes in marketing, establishment of new student support services and changes to admissions were just some of the key changes that took place as a result of participation in the sector wide initiative. Like many other institutions in the Irish HE sector, online classroom technologies played a key role in the delivery of many of these new flexible offerings. Academic staff that had previously only worked in fixed face-to-face classroom environments were asked to engage with students through flexible online platforms. Academics were required to engage in new pedagogies, work with a range of new technologies and facilitate student learning in synchronous and asynchronous learning environments. In the course of the past five years, the academic staff at the institute have developed and delivered fifty-seven new modules using online classroom technologies. In that period they have amassed a wealth of practical experience in the development and delivery of flexible online offerings. This session aims to present a range of lessons learned and best practice including methods of student induction, facilitating online engagement, learner feedback, delivery of effective online classroom sessions, methods of communication and much more. The presenter will outline what has worked for ITB and aim to facilitate discussion on what is considered best practice elsewhere in the sector. Keywords: flexible learning, online classrooms, best practice.14
  • 18. Sub-theme 2: innovation – AbstractsWhat is ‘the best’ first year experience: principles for enhancement and innovation of policy and practice. Michael Carr1, Tara Cusack2, Yseult Freeney3, Mary Gilmartin4, Rebecca Roper5 1 DIT, michael.carr@dit.ie 2UCD, t.cusack@ucd.ie 3DCU, yseult.freeney@dcu.ie 4 NUIM, mary.gilmartin@nuim.ie 5IADT, rebecca.roper@iadt.ie DRHEA Fellows drheafellowships@ucd.ie Higher education systems, in Ireland and internationally, have recently increased their focus on the first year experience (Krause, Hartley, James & Mcinnis, 2005: Klift, 2009). A new urgency is needed in addressing the challenges facing students and institutions in the modern landscape of Higher education. This study, commissioned by the DRHEA (Dublin Regional Higher Education Alliance) over a six-month period in 2012, is an inter- institutional reflection and research project focusing on the First Year Experience over the 8 DRHEA institutions. The project explores three key areas: social, practical and academic interventions and outcomes within the First Year Experience. Our findings have generated a number of tools for practitioners and policy makers: a compilation of contemporary international literature on good practice in First Year; an audit of practice in relation to first year across the 8 Dublin higher education institutions, and the creation of resources will be made available online and in hard copy to further enhance and inform policy and practice around the First Year. Our findings offer design principles and innovative resources for the enhancement of First Year learning across a range of disciplines and institutions. Keywords: First Year, Education, Third Level, College. 15
  • 19. Sub-theme 2: innovation – AbstractsUndergraduate student collaboration in international social care research projects: An innovative approach. Hugh Mc Bride & Mark Garavan. Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) hugh.mcbride@gmit.ie | mark.garavan@gmit.ie Considerable attention in recent years has focused on developing imaginative and innovative approaches to international collaboration by undergraduate students utilizing the capability of ICT. The purpose of this paper is to present and examine the evidence from a collaborative initiative arising from an academic partnership in applied social studies between Leeuwarden University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands (NHL) and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT). The paper analyses and discusses the design and implementation of a student-driven, research-based project in comparative international social care. It involved mixed teams of Dutch and Irish students, who had never met, working together, enabled by the use of ICT including social media. Each team produced a written report and a film to illustrate their research findings, which they presented simultaneously in the Netherlands and Ireland using video-conferencing facilities. The work was assessed jointly by the Dutch and Irish academics. The process has proved to be a significant and enriching learning experience for both the students and academics involved. It has yielded valuable insight towards understanding critical factors underpinning the success of undergraduate international collaboration. In particular, it highlighted the importance of sensitivity to cultural difference, imagination, and the role of technology as an enabling mechanism and a critical ‘hygiene’ factor rather than a determinant of success. Keywords: innovative, international, collaborative16
  • 20. Sub-theme 2: innovation – AbstractsThe Learning Innovation Network: A groundbreaking framework for academic professional development. Niamh Rushe On behalf of the LIN Coordination Group, Institutes of Technology Ireland lin@ioti.ie The Learning Innovation Network (LIN) commenced in 2007 as a joint strategic innovation fund (SIF 1) project including the thirteen Institutes of Technology and Dublin Institute of Technology. A key objective of the project was ‘to scope the parameters of an agreed academic development programme.’1 LIN exceeded that objective as it realised the validation and piloting of a number of level nine modules across the LIN institutes. LIN received the highest ranking in the 2010 HEA commissioned SIF review. LIN was acknowledged by Dr Gordon Davies, as ‘a well-regarded project which has been important in stimulating collaboration among IoTs.2 The project was continued under the auspices of the IOTI and in August 2010 a LIN Co-ordinator was appointed to IOTI to assist in building on the achievements of the first phase of the project, with particular focus on academic professional development (APD). Since this appointment LIN’s achievements include: • Validation of the LIN Postgraduate Diploma in Learning, Teaching and Assessment • Mapping other APD programmes to the LIN framework • Issuing of a funding call to support teaching and learning projects • Responding to national policy documents • Organising annual conferences • Further enhancing collaboration between institutes The network’s stated position3 on the National Strategy for Higher Education 20304 is that LIN is already implementing a number of the recommendations contained in the report across our network in areas relating to professional development, flexible learning and enhancing teaching and learning. This presentation will provide a summary of the co-ordinator’s experience and learning since August 2010 and will provide some views on how best the results from that period could be utilised in the future taking the current constraints on the system and the National Strategy into account. Keywords: Academic Professional Development, Teaching and Learning. 1 LIN [last accessed on http://lin.ie 12th June 2012] 2 Report of SIF Evaluation, Dr Gordon K Davies, 2010 3 http://www.linireland.com/images/lin_position_paper_on_hunt.pdf [last accessed 12th June 2012] 4 National Strategy for Higher Education 2030, pgs 18 and 62 17
  • 21. Sub-theme 2: innovation – AbstractsAn activity-based approach to the learning and teaching of research methods - measuring student engagementand learning. Eimear Fallon, Terry Prendergast, Stephen Walsh. Dublin Institute of Technology eimear.fallon@dit.ie | terry.prendergast@dit.ie | stephen.walsh@dit.ie The project had three separate, linked objectives, (a) the development of a module in Research Methods which embraced an activity-based approach to learning in a group environment, (b) to improve student participation and (c) to devise more rigorous and equitable assessment methods. This module was previously taught through a traditional lecture-based format. It was felt that student engagement was poor and learning was limited. It was believed that successful completion of this module would equip students with a deeply-learned battery of research skills to take into their further academic and professional careers. The project involved designing activities/tasks, designing and undertaking an engagement survey and finally addressing the issue of assessing students in a group- based environment. To encourage student engagement, a wide variety of activities were used including workshops, brainstorming, presentations, written submissions, peer critiquing, lecture/ seminar, ‘speed dating’ with more senior students and self-reflection. Engagement was measured through a survey based on the National Survey of Student Engagement, US, (2000). Student learning was achieved through completion of a series of tasks based on different research methods. In terms of the objectives set, two of these were met. The module was successfully developed and delivered and there was a significant level of student engagement in the module. The objective of devising equitable assessment methods was not satisfactorily addressed within the time available. The project team also concluded that (a) using an activity-based learning approach within a module, makes learning and teaching more enjoyable, (b) there is a need for flexibility both in the manner in which teaching staff interact with learners, and in the challenge posed by each activity due to varying abilities, different level of motivation and the social and educational dynamic among different student groups, and (c) activity-based learning works best with small groups of three to four students. Keywords: Activity-Based, Research Methods, Engagement18
  • 22. Sub-theme 2: innovation – AbstractsUsing role-play as a teaching and assessment strategy in a changing economic environment Marie Finnegan Galway Mayo Institute of Technology marie.finnegan@gmit.ie Central Banks are operating in an ever changing environment as they reshape policy to respond to the evolving economic crisis that began in August 2007 (Jordan 2012). The Department of Management in GMIT introduced a new module called ‘International Money and Central Banking’ in 2009. The learning outcomes associated with this module dictated that the assessment strategy promote problem solving, teamwork and communication, as well as the ability to integrate contemporary central banking issues into the curriculum. Therefore, the assessment strategy needed to promote active learning while also responding to the changing role of monetary policy and central banks. It was decided to pilot role-play in the assessment of this module: Students role-play a Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. This paper illustrates the effectiveness of integrating a role-play based assessment into this central banking module. The research approach is informed by reflective practice and research. Students enrolled in the class provided a written record of a group discussion which reflected on their group’s role-play and a wider class discussion. Students also undertook an individual reflection of their experience. Thirty-eight students were surveyed. A number of findings support the use of role-play as an effective assessment in this module. For example, over 95% of the students agreed that the assessment had met the module’s learning outcomes effectively. 75% agreed that the role play provided them with a real insight into current central banking issues. Many students reacted very positively to the active learning and innovative approach of this assessment. This paper posits an innovative teaching and assessment method that can be incorporated into economics modules in the IoT sector in Ireland. It outlines the learning outcomes, the method, the criteria, the marking scheme, the knowledge and skills developed, and details student engagement with the role-play approach. Keywords: Role-play, teaching and assessing economics, economic crisis Coates, G. (2000) ‘Innovative approaches to learning and teaching in economics and business higher education’, in P. Davies, S. Hodkinson and P. Reynolds (eds), Innovative Approaches to Learning and Teaching in Economics and Business Higher Education, Staffordshire University Press, Stoke on Trent. Jordan, Thomas (2012) ‘Some Lessons for Monetary Policy from the Recent Financial Crisis’, International Journal of Central Banking, Vol. 8, No. S1, p. 289-292. 19
  • 23. Sub-theme 3: CHange – table of authorsPresenters title An investigation of the influence of classroom based social integration and active teachingTomas Dwyer, IT Carlow. methods on the intentions to persist of first year students in higher education.Tony Murphy, Tom Farrelly, Sarah O’Toole, From zero-hero: Creating an e-learning champion.IT Tralee.Jen Harvey, DITMary Anne O’Carroll, IADTStephen Cassidy, CITRose Cooper, ITTD Engaging staff to inspire change and innovation?Stephanie Donegan, IT SligoMartin Fitzgerald, LITDaniel McSweeney, ITB. Reflecting on the introduction of a reflective journal in a first year computer scienceAidan Mooney & Susan Bergin, NUIM. module. Using a social media tool to improve application of academic theory to the PharmaceuticalMaeve Scott, ITTD. Industry by science students. Can we do it better? A discussion paper on how reflection within a programme teamBreda McTaggart & Orla Walsh, IT Sligo. supports changes and innovations to practice.20
  • 24. Sub-theme 3: CHange – AbstractsAn investigation of the influence of classroom based social integration and active teaching methods on theintentions to persist of first year students in higher education. Tomas Dwyer Institute of Technology Carlow tomas.dwyer@itcarlow.ie Student persistence has been the object of empirical enquiry for over seventy years (Braxton et al., 2000) however the research in an Irish context needs development. This paper presents a mixed-methods case study of the intentions’ to persist of the first year students in the Wexford Campus of the Institute of Technology Carlow. First year students are the focus as they are the cohort most likely to discontinue their studies (Mooney et al., 2010). The theoretical framework of the study is the adaptation of the social integration approach of Tinto (1993, 1975) to a classroom context as well as synthesising it with the organisation adaptation approach (Berger, 2000). The core research question of the study is ‘Will classroom based social integration and active teaching methods influence the intention to persist of first year students in Higher Education?’. Qualitative and quantitative data from five focus groups, twenty-eight interviews and two questionnaires (n=126, n=84) provided evidence that classroom based social integration and active teaching methods do influence the intentions of first year students to persist. The research supports an amendment of Tinto’s (1993, 1975) model to include the classroom context as an influence on persistence. Furthermore, student-centered learning approaches, including active learning, offer a way to integrate and educate students. This linking of the classroom based integration and adaptation perspectives as a means to influencing students’ intentions to persist is not a persistence panacea. However this study does offer support for the role of the classroom and the individual teacher in influencing students’ intentions to persist. For students the classroom context is crucial; the one experience students share is the classroom. Keywords: active teaching, persistence, social integration, higher education. 21
  • 25. Sub-theme 3: CHange – AbstractsFrom Zero-Hero: Creating an e-learning champion. Tom Farrelly, Sarah O’Toole & Tony Murphy Institute of Technology, Tralee antony.murphy@staff.ittralee.ie How do you go from having no experience of e-learning to constructing and successfully delivering an eight-week module completely online, with only weeks to prepare? At an institutional and individual level, lecturers are increasingly being called upon to be more creative and responsive and to incorporate greater use of online resources into their delivery. While a number of early adapters have developed very useful online resources, they are relatively few in number and the development and use of online resources still appears to be in its infancy. Those early adapters are reporting that the process took a lot longer and was far more arduous than they envisaged. The principal difficulty reported is the lack of time to learn new software packages, to find content or create content and, finally, to draw all the elements together and construct an online module or even an individual reusable learning object. It would appear that the provision of an instructional designer alone is insufficient to encourage more lecturers to develop online resources and modules. This presentation will tell the story of how one lecturer availed of an innovative integrated approach that targets these three difficulties by bringing together an e-learning lecturer, who can guide the subject lecturer on e-learning activities; an instructional designer, who can work with the lecturer to convert material into an interactive online format and a blended librarian, who is adding expertise in locating e-books, online journal articles, photographs, videos and podcasts. While addressing the problems overcome, mistakes made and lessons learned during rapid change, this presentation will also outline a practical support framework that enables lecturers to take the leap into e-learning. It also celebrates the value of a multi-skilled team response to curriculum development in higher education. Keywords: e-learning, support22
  • 26. Sub-theme 3: CHange – AbstractsEngaging staff to inspire change and innovation? Mary Anne O’Carroll1, Stephen Cassidy2, Rosemary Cooper3, Stephanie Donegan4, Martin Fitzgerald5, Jen Harvey6, Daniel McSweeney7 1 Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, 2 Cork Institute of Technology, 3 Institute of Technology, Tallaght, 4 Institute of Technology, Sligo, 5 Limerick Institute of Technology, 6 Dublin Institute of Technology, 7 Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown In response to the significant changes in Higher Education (HE) over the last decade, most Irish HE Institutions have now established Centres or assigned individuals the responsibility to develop, support and facilitate effective teaching, learning and assessment practices and to build capacity around scholarship in teaching and learning including the use of new technologies. The role and responsibilities of these Centres, in turn, being closely aligned to institutional Learning, Teaching and Assessment strategies. Hunt (2011) recommends that all HE staff involved in teaching are ‘both qualified and competent in teaching and learning and that institutions should support ongoing development and improvement of their skills’. Excellence in Teaching and Learning is mentioned in the HEA Strategic plan 2012-16 as a Key Performance Indicator. For many institutions, a key factor in determining excellence is also the level of engagement between Learning and Teaching Centres and all staff involved in teaching. Staff from 7 IoT Learning and Teaching Centres have reviewed various strategies they have employed to engage academic staff. This paper reflects upon the effectiveness of some of these strategies in both building capacity and initiating change and innovation in academic practice. While the level of success of the different strategies has been variable, key themes emerging have identified the importance of the timing and perceived usefulness of interventions by staff, the readiness and openness of staff to consider change and the level of support from senior management. This session aims to facilitate an exchange between both presenters and participants of ideas and strategies that work and to consider what effective ‘engagement’ of academic staff as a catalyst for change really means. Keywords: staff engagement, change, academic development, innovation 23
  • 27. Sub-theme 3: CHange – AbstractsReflecting on the introduction of a reflective journal in a first year computer science module Aidan Mooney & Susan Bergin National University of Ireland Maynooth amooney@cs.nuim.ie “We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience” [Dewey, 1933]. The process of reflective learning is very valuable for teachers allowing them collect data about their teaching, examine their attitudes, beliefs, assumptions and practices, and use the information obtained as a basis for appraisal [Lockhart 1994]. As a teacher keeping a reflective log helps to shape and enhance future approaches to teaching. They can reflect on the material presented and determine if it was appropriately delivered and how it was received by the class. Recording the successes and failures of the material in the class can allow the teacher to tailor the class in future deliveries. The analysis of the teacher’s own performance is also important to take into account any factors that may have hindered or enhanced their performance. These may include issues like the location or time of a class, the participation of the students and the topic being covered. This presentation provides a reflection on the use of a reflective journal by a first year computer science teacher. This journal was introduced by the teacher to determine the effectiveness of keeping one of these journals and this presentation will highlight the challenges associated with embracing such an approach along with highlighting and discussing the benefits and the drawbacks. Recommendations for the effective use of reflective journal by other practitioners are also provided. Keywords: Reflection, Improvement.24
  • 28. Sub-theme 3: CHange – AbstractsUsing a social media tool to improve application of academic theory to industry by science students. Maeve Scott Institute of Technology Tallaght Maeve.Scott@ittdublin.ie Science undergraduate students frequently struggle to apply academic theory between different modules and to industry. Science syllabi contain a diverse range of topics often appear to be studied in isolation and not related to practical tasks or industry. The application of information and concepts should be achieved throughout third level but in particular at level 7 and 8 in accordance with European Qualification Framework requirements. This paper summarises an attempt to improve the connectivity and relevance of modules by third year science students by using a blog while on work placement. The student group in this study complete a placement during semester six of their honours degree in pharmaceutical science. A number of deliverables must be completed to pass the placement module including posting to a blog. Each student had to explain in the blog which modules were most relevant to their placement role and how each new task relate to their theoretical knowledge. The students must also post questions to their classmates thereby ensuring other posts are read and create a collaborative learning environment. The blogging requirement replaced oral presentations by students during previous years. This study evaluates blog posts and student surveys to assess the ability of students to relate theory to the pharmaceutical industry and if a blog can help to enhance learning from the individual and collaborative experiences. The blog posts submitted to the students were invariably open, thoughtful and involved critical evaluation in comparison with previous year oral presentations and placement reports. The comments and questions posed by classmates suggest an increased appreciation of the diverse opportunities open to science graduates and how modules relate to these roles. Suggestions are made for future questions to be answered by students in the placement blog to improve critical reflection of learning. Keywords: Blogging, collaborative, science, placement 25
  • 29. Sub-theme 3: CHange – AbstractsCan we do it better? A discussion paper on how reflection within a programme team supports changes andinnovations to practice Breda Mc Taggart, Orla Walsh It Sligo McTaggart.Breda@itsligo.ie | Walsh.Orla@itsligo.ie The adult learner has to combat a number of specific barriers to participate in lifelong learning opportunities such as time constraints, monetary issues, geographical inconvenience and timetable difficulties (McTaggart, 2012; McCulloch and Stokes, 2008; Lieb, 1991). None more so than the female adult learner, who encounters many additional barriers to learning inclusive of psychological demands associated with multiple role responsibilities of parent, carer and employee (Patterson and Dowd, 2010; Aontas, 2002; Howell, 2002; Department of Education and Science 2000; Sperling, 1991). Frequently, delivery modes of adult learning programmes do not take these varying demands into consideration and as result do not respond to the needs of its learners. However, when they do positive results ensue. This paper discusses these issues, highlighting how innovations and changes to delivery methodologies and methods of a part-time Early Childhood Care and Education Degree programme at an Institute of Technology impacted positively on both recruitment and retention of a viable student cohort. Specifically, this paper outlines how complexity of delivery can impact on market share. However, with an increasing awareness of supply and demand from a consumer perspective, positive innovations in practice in a public sector higher education organisation can and do occur. This paper contributes to the limited body of knowledge on barriers to higher education progression for the adult female learner in the Irish context. Keywords: learning, barriers, women in education.26
  • 30. Sub-theme 1: creativity – Poster abstractsFunctional fixedness and the development of adult creativity in creative art. Denise Mac Giolla Ri . Athlone Institute of Technology dburke@ait.ie According to Karl Duncker (1945) functional fixedness is the ‘mental block against using an object in a new way that is required to solve a problem’ (Duncker 1945:i). Developing creativity in adults often involves challenging the ‘functional fixedness’ of objects and allowing the freedom to play, experiment and discover (LLC Books 2010). Children naturally play and engage with the world, and it is though this interaction that children come to know the function of objects and create meaning. Children are generally uninhibited in their play and not functionally fixed. Children ‘test’ the objects they encounter. A child will play with an empty milk carton and see what it can do; Does it bounce? What happens if I step on it? What does it taste like? This process of discovery helps the child to build up complex knowledge about the meaning and function of objects in their everyday world. As children grow older, the testing of objects becomes less necessary, as they have begun to operate from their constructed knowledge base (Vygotsky 1978). It is my belief, to develop an adult’s creativity a process of challenging the function of objects that has become fixed, must be undertaken. Students undertaking the creative art in social care module in AIT are offered opportunities to challenge their thinking in relation to objects and their function. This has proven successful in developing the student’s capacity to think creatively, imaginatively and develop unusual solutions to problems. Keywords: Functionally Fixedness, Creativity, Creative art, Meaning Making, Problem Solving. 27
  • 31. Sub-theme 1: creativity – Poster abstractsUsing pre-recorded lessons to free up class time for activity based learning through lateral thinking. Robert Hickey. Institute of Technology Blanchardstown robert.hickey@itb.ie This paper outlines a method used for delivering a module in Sustainable Technology which utilised pre-recorded PowerPoint lessons converted to (WMV) windows media videos and uploaded onto YouTube for viewing as a replacement for lectures. The idea was for students to view the videos at home before coming into class. The class time would then be used for discussion, pairing and sharing and lateral thinking activities to help broaden their understanding of the topics covered in each video making their learning more student centered. Activities carried out in each weekly three hour class included; a worksheet which was filled out individually and then collectively by the students. A (PMI) sheet, Pluses, Minuses and Important points (adapted from Edward de Bono’s (1992) work on lateral and creative thinking) filled out individually and shared between students to develop into a group poster and presented in the class by each group of students. Following on from the poster presentation, each student created a mind map (Buzan 1970) based on specific essay questions aligned to the topics in each video presentation. Questionnaires were used to ascertain the student’s perceived effectiveness of the group work and the videos for learning, also the appeal and preference for both the in-class group work and the online pre-recorded video lessons. The study showed that all students viewed the video lessons at home and found them effective for learning. Over 50% viewed the videos more than twice and said being able to pause and rewind the lessons was very helpful. All students enjoyed the in-class group work and said the activities helped to reinforce what they had learned from the video lessons. Most importantly, the study showed that through the class activities the students learned from one another and were able to correct any misunderstandings they had about the topics and expand their knowledge base. Keywords: PMI, Mind Map, Video Lesson, YouTube.28
  • 32. Sub-theme 1: creativity – Poster abstractsValuable action research approach to improving recognition of prior learning website. Phil O’Leary & Siobhan O’Sullivan. Cork Institute of Technology phil.oleary@cit.ie | siobhan.osullivan@cit.ie An action research approach was used to improve the website for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) a well established aspect of CIT provision. Recognition of Prior Learning allows learners present learning gained in formal, non formal or informal settings for credits on a programme or for non standard or advanced entry onto a programme in Higher Education. Preparation of material for RPL can be a daunting task for the student who will benefit from support when preparing their case. Putting innovative supports in place can help ensure that the student has a good experience while preparing. Following an initial questionnaire with thirty students from a range of backgrounds to see how RPL case preparation was in 2011 it was decided to upgrade the website to support the many queries arising. Previously the Institute’s RPL site had basic information outlining policy and procedures. This site was overhauled to provide information about RPL in easy to understand language including images; graphics; testimonials and the necessary paperwork in downloadable format. Initial requests were for real examples and to see in practice the standards to which students must work in order to be successful with an RPL application. In March 2012 the site was evaluated. This was initiated by contacting ninety three students who had previously prepared experiential learning cases; from a range of disciplines; to see if the new site was useful and if they could suggest any changes. The resulting data has yielded valuable insight which will impact the future direction of the site. The new RPL site can be viewed at www.cit.ie/rpl. 29
  • 33. Sub-theme 2: INNOVATION – Poster abstractsKindles in the library: An innovative solution to student reading lists. Louise Saults. NUI Maynooth ouise.saults@nuim.ie This poster explores the development of mobile technologies in the Library at NUI Maynooth. This initiative is a creative solution to the challenge of providing core readings to students via one mobile device. In autumn 2011, NUI Maynooth Library purchased 5 Kindles with a view to piloting a mobile ebook lending scheme. In conjunction with two academic departments titles from course were purchased, uploaded to the Kindles and records made available through the online catalogue. A focused marketing campaign was initiated through the library’s usual channels and with the support and advocacy of the relevant academics. Almost immediately demand began to outstrip supply and the number of devices available had to be doubled. By the end of the first semester the Kindles had been on loan at near constant levels and a feedback survey registered almost exclusively high levels of satisfaction. The programme has continued into 2012 and the Library looks forward to expanding it as time goes on. Its benefits have been wide ranging including not just our users, but also our academic colleagues and indeed our own staff. (Creator), L. B. (2010). Memory Biases: Functional Fixedness, LLC Books. Duncker, K. (1945). “On problem solving.” Psychological Monographs 58(5). Vygotsky, L. (1978). The Role of play in Development. Mind in Society, Harvard University Press: 92-104.30
  • 34. Sub-theme 2: INNOVATION – Poster abstractsUsing robotics to improve first year learning experience. Susan Bergin & Aidan Mooney. NUI Maynooth susan.bergin@nuim.ie Student retention and engagement on third level Computers Science and Information Technology courses is a significant problem. In particular, students find first year computer programming difficult and struggle to master the core concepts. Over the last ten years the authors have been involved in numerous successful initiatives to improve performance. This paper details a recent study to improve student perception and engagement. In an effort to help teach abstract programming concepts and also to improve collaboration, engagement, and enjoyment, the use of Lego Mindstorms Robotics was piloted on our introductory programming module. Although the primary goal was to provide scaffolding for learners as they move through ever increasing levels of abstraction, of considerable importance also, was the desire to create a fun and motivating environment where students are prepared to take risks, experiment and explore without the pressure that can sometimes come with formal teaching and learning environments. In this paper a two-year study on the effectiveness of using Robotics to improve enjoyment and performance on the module is discussed. A review of how successful the initiative was in its first year is provided and the changes made based on the lessons learnt are discussed. Various instruments and methods, both qualitative and quantitative were used to gather evidence with many of the key stakeholders. Recommendations for further improvement and future considerations are provided. Keywords: First Year, Engagement, Motivation, Fun. 31
  • 35. Sub-theme 2: INNOVATION – Poster abstractsGroup work - challenges, opportunities & signposts: sharing our humble wisdom! Michael Ryan. LIT – Tipperary michaelfrancis.ryan@lit.ie The rationale for including group work as an integral part of the learning experience at third level is now a deeply embedded one. The importance attributed to group work skills as a desirable outcome for learners is reflected in many influential reports (Grad Ireland Survey 2010, Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) 2011, IBEC Education & Skills Survey 2010, Eurobarometer survey on Employers’ perception of graduate employability 2010 and the inclusion of working with others as a core competency by the National Council For Curriculum & Assessment 2012). This presentation will focus on the challenges associated with the introduction of group work particularly those associated with student motivation and assessment. The presentation will consider the evidence of research findings regarding group work, particularly; the implication of some research findings e.g. that group-assessment inflates the results of weaker students (Plastow etal 2010) and that tutor perceptions of group assessment are more positive than that reported by students who have experienced it (Chapman etal 2010). The presentation will outline the presenter’s own experience and struggles with facilitating group-work and his efforts to overcome some of the challenges regarding motivation and assessment. The presentation will provide some useful guidelines around the preparation and induction of students for positive preparation in group learning activities and also practical guidelines regarding the design of group projects. It is hoped that the presentation will generate and stimulate debate among conference participants regarding the underlying rationale for group work and how we as educators can generate our own signposts for its effective integration into our pedagogical toolkits. Keywords: Group-work, assessment, motivation & guidelines.32
  • 36. Sub-theme 2: INNOVATION – Poster abstractsBringing games into the classroom. Robbie O’Connor. Institute of Technology,Tallaght Robbie.oconnor@ittdublin.ie It has been estimated that by the age of 21 the average young American will have spent ten thousand hours playing computer and video games. This is the amount of time that, Ericsson et al, have estimated it takes to achieve expertise in any field. However an average gamer doesn’t fit the stereotypical expert profile. To date in Europe, for 4.42 million sales of the video game “Call of Duty, Modern Warfare”, there were 9.05 million copies of “Brain Age, test your brain”. There is clearly an appetite amoung the public for the use of games to educate. The use of a game in a classroom setting can fulfill a lot of educational targets. It can be very engaging, is active, gives effective and instant feedback, encourages improvement, (“positive failure”), and can introduce complex scenarios to the learner. Most of all it can be fun. This paper will deal with the experience gained in ITT Dublin through the development and use of a game board based simulation game entitled “The Energy Game”. The game is played by first year students and simulates the type of scenarios faced by home owners when dealing with their energy use. Keywords: Gaming, active learning, fun. 33
  • 37. Sub-theme 3: change – Poster abstractsExploring motivation and self-efficacy of first year college students. Irene Connolly, Christine Horn & Catherine Rossiter. Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology Irene.Connolly@iadt.ie The role of Motivation and Self–Efficacy is of utmost importance in education. Motivation is an internal process that activates, guides and maintains behaviour over time (Murphy & Alexander, 2000). Motivation was measured using The Academic Motivation Scale (AMS), (Vallerand, Pelletier, Blais, Briere, Senecal and Valliereres, 1992). The foundations of Self-Efficacy is a person’s belief or trust in themselves to complete an activity (Bandura, 1977). Self-Efficacy is not a stable trait (Mau, 2003) and can vary as a result of experience and education. It can be viewed as a confident belief regardless of actual skill or it can be considered that self-efficacy involves cognitive and behavioural skill sets regardless of confidence (Drnovšek, Wincent, & Cardon, 2010). Self-Efficacy was examined using the General Self-Efficacy Scale (Sherer et al, 1982). This is piece of longitudinal research. The present paper involves the first cohort of participants of a three year longitudinal study, consisting of psychology, business and computing students. In the first phase of this research, business, psychology and computer students were compared along the motivation and self-efficacy variables. For the psychology students alone, there was a moderate positive correlation between overall motivation and self-efficacy. With regard to extrinsic motivation female business students showed higher extrinsic motivation than male students. For other students (psychology and computing) the extrinsic motivation for males and females was very similar. Intrinsic motivation was higher for female business students than male business students, but female non-business students showed a lower intrinsic motivation than male non-business students. First generation of students attending college showed higher self-efficacy than students where at least one of the parents graduated from college and students living at home with their parents showed lower intrinsic motivation. The source of motivation and self-efficacy will be examined in the next phase of the study. Keywords: Motivation, Self-Efficacy, Third level students.34
  • 38. Sub-theme 3: change – Poster abstractsPeer assessment of group project work by first year science students. Martina McGuinness & David Ryan. nstitute of Technology Carlow mcguinnm@itcarlow.ie Recently, a new 1st year module called ‘Effective Communication and Teamwork,’ which focuses on teaching the six internationally recognised key skills sought by employers, was designed and delivered to all 1st year Science students (approximately 200) at ITCarlow in the first semester. Learning Outcome 3 of this module is ‘Contribute as an effective team member to the successful completion of a group project on a scientific topic’. Working with others (teamwork) and improving one’s own learning (life-long learning) are two of the key skills sought by employers and were integrated into the group project component of this module. Summative assessment of the group project component of this module includes both a mark awarded for the final product (PowerPoint presentation, academic poster and written report) as well as the process (peer assessment). Assessing both the process and the product eliminates the problem often encountered in group work where the group is assessed without acknowledgement of individual effort. At the end of the group project, students filled in a confidential Peer Assessment Form where they scored the contribution of other group members under a number a categories. The idea was that students would try to fairly and objectively evaluate the contributions of their peers. By doing this, they would also potentially gain a better understanding of their own role in the group project. A number of international studies have shown that when students assess their peers in the first year of third level education, there is a tendency to give maximum marks to peers. While this did happen in some cases in the current study, the majority of students gave their fellow group members different scores, and in many cases provided justification for this. This first exposure to the concept of peer-assessment can only be advantageous to the students. Peer and self assessment encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning. Keywords: key skills, teamwork, life-long learning, peer-assessment. 35
  • 39. Sub-theme 3: change – Poster abstractsExploring motivation and self-efficacy of first year college students. Irene Connolly, Christine Horn & Catherine Rossiter. Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology Irene.Connolly@iadt.ie The role of Motivation and Self–Efficacy is of utmost importance in education. Motivation is an internal process that activates, guides and maintains behaviour over time (Murphy & Alexander, 2000). Motivation was measured using The Academic Motivation Scale (AMS), (Vallerand, Pelletier, Blais, Briere, Senecal and Valliereres, 1992). The foundations of Self-Efficacy is a person’s belief or trust in themselves to complete an activity (Bandura, 1977). Self-Efficacy is not a stable trait (Mau, 2003) and can vary as a result of experience and education. It can be viewed as a confident belief regardless of actual skill or it can be considered that self-efficacy involves cognitive and behavioural skill sets regardless of confidence (Drnovšek, Wincent, & Cardon, 2010). Self-Efficacy was examined using the General Self-Efficacy Scale (Sherer et al, 1982). This is piece of longitudinal research. The present paper involves the first cohort of participants of a three year longitudinal study, consisting of psychology, business and computing students. In the first phase of this research, business, psychology and computer students were compared along the motivation and self-efficacy variables. For the psychology students alone, there was a moderate positive correlation between overall motivation and self-efficacy. With regard to extrinsic motivation female business students showed higher extrinsic motivation than male students. For other students (psychology and computing) the extrinsic motivation for males and females was very similar. Intrinsic motivation was higher for female business students than male business students, but female non-business students showed a lower intrinsic motivation than male non-business students. First generation of students attending college showed higher self-efficacy than students where at least one of the parents graduated from college and students living at home with their parents showed lower intrinsic motivation. The source of motivation and self-efficacy will be examined in the next phase of the study. Keywords: Motivation, Self-Efficacy, Third level students.36
  • 40. LIN FUNDED Poster abstractsIntroduction In December 2011 the HEA provided additional funds to the Learning Innovation Network (LIN) and as a result of this, LIN issued a funding call for projects that have a teaching and learning theme and that are aligned to the values and themes of the LIN work.  There was an overwhelming number of excellent proposals received.  Ultimately, it was decided to fund a total of 9 projects, which has led to the following outputs: • The development of two new LIN modules; one online/blended module on researching educational practice and one on teaching students with special educational needs, which have been developed in conjunction with AHEAD, focussing on teaching students with special educational needs.  • The production of a number of case studies, teaching materials, exemplars, webinars and reusable learning resources on criteria based assessment, generic skills in higher education and academic professional development. • Presentations from leading educational experts such as Stella Cottrell, Mick Healey and Jude Carroll, which stimulated discussion around some of the challenges that face higher educational practitioners today such as enhancing the learner experience and teaching a more diverse group of students with restricted resources. • The 5th annual LIN conference. • An external evaluation of the LIN project carried out by Professor Sarah Moore, University of Limerick. • Producing a number of editable LIN branded materials to highlight, explain and promote LIN activity. Strong collaboration has been central to the success of the LIN project since 2007 and the work outlined above continues and enhances that collaborative ethos.  An archive of materials from these workshops, projects, conferences, events and meetings is being created from all LIN activities and the funding provided this year by the HEA will significantly add to the quantity of resources that will be available to teaching and learning professionals long after the fund has expired. A condition of the funding provided was that each recipient would present a poster at LIN 2012 and the abstracts for these posters are contained in the following section. 37
  • 41. LIN FUNDED Poster abstractsCreating and supporting an inclusive curriculum. Nuala Harding1, Dr Jen Harvey2, Ann Heelan3, Mike Mc Mahon1 1 Athlone Institute of Technology, 2 Dublin Institute of Technology, 3 Association for Higher Education Access and Disability nharding@ait.ie | mmcmahon@ait.ie | jen.harvey@dit.ie | ann.heelan@ahead.ie This paper charts the development of Learning Innovation Network modules “Creating an Inclusive Curriculum” and “Supporting an Inclusive Curriculum” which will form part of the flexible pathway to a postgraduate diploma. Developed through a collaborative partnership between AHEAD, DIT & AIT and supported by LIN the aims of the modules are to provide educators with the pre-requisite skills and knowledge to enable them enhance the learning experience for a diverse student population through the creation of an inclusive curriculum that is underpinned by the principles of Universal Design. In addition participants will develop the competences required to support an increasingly diverse student population through the design and use of inclusive learning, teaching and assessment strategies, including the use of technology and the creation of appropriate learning resources. By undertaking these modules participants will be required to consider different potential challenges for and learning needs of students, particulary those from those currently underrepresented in Further and Higher Education. They will be encouraged to adapt their practice to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to participate and learn. The modules have been developed for those involved in HE or FE, who wish to enhance the accessibility of their practice. They will be delivered using a blend of face to face sessions and online interactive webinars supported by peer and independent learning activities. It is intended to pilot the modules in 2012-2013 at the Athlone Institute of Technology. The first stage of the study involved conducting an audit of existing resources, followed by a series of collaborative activities with the key stakeholder groups in order to design the modules for validation in AIT. The presentation will outline how the project team worked collaboratively to design and create new module learning resources that were effective in demonstrating Universal Design principles in practice. Keywords: Differentiated Learning, Accessibility, Universal Design, Diversity.38
  • 42. LIN FUNDED Poster abstractsAction research for educators – learning innovation. 1 Nuala Harding, 2Roisin Donnelly, 2Muireann O’Keeffe, 1Michael Russell. 1 Athlone Institute of Technology, 2 Dublin Institute of Technology nharding@ait.ie | mrussell@ait.ie | roisin.donnelly@dit.ie | muireannokeefe@dit.ie In contrast to traditional research methods modules which encompass a variety of methodologies, this module focuses on action research, and requires participants to engage in a research project linked to practice. Aimed at practitioners in further and higher education the module design supports the theme of enhancement of quality in teaching and learning identified in the National Strategy for Higher Education (2011).1 The University of Strathclyde2 provides the rationale for this approach underpinning the module as it will be activity-driven and transformative with participants conducting discipline specific applied research. Gibbs and Coffey (2004)3 suggest that effective professional development on instructional topics requires a level of depth and engagement that does not just happen in a single session but instead through quality engagement over a period of time. The learning that educators partake in to develop and improve research practice comes from discussion, sharing and collaboration with other teachers facing similar challenges (Sachs, 2003)4. This module is delivered through a blended approach with teachers of the module facilitating the learning process by encouraging group work, promoting discussion, and engaging practitioners in their action research project. This module seeks to develop a community of practice (Wenger, 1998)5 who share and solve problems arising in teaching practice through the utilisation of action research. Keywords: Action research; Inquiry; Academic Practice; Blended Learning. DES (2011) National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 (p.54). Published study on undergraduate research supervision and the teaching of research methods in University Strathclyde School of Architecture. (Gibbs, G. and Coffey, M. (2004) The impact of training of university teachers on their teaching skills, their approach to teaching, and the approach to learning of their students. Active Learning in Higher Education, 5(1), 87-100. Sachs, J. (2003). The Activist Teaching Profession. Buckingham: Open University Press. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity. Cambridge: University Press. 39
  • 43. LIN FUNDED Poster abstractsSupporting collaborative development of reusable training resources. Laura Widger1, Kieran Sullivan1, Brian Mulligan2, Brendan Ryder3, Mark Glynn4. Waterford Institute of Technology1, Institute of Technology Sligo2, Dundalk Institute of Technology3, Institutes of Technology Ireland4 lwidger@wit.ie | ksullivan@wit.ie | mulligan.brian@itsligo.ie | brendan.ryder@dkit.ie Mark.Glynn@ioti.ie High quality training resources and end-user support can have a significant impact on the use and integration of technology into Teaching, Learning and Assessment (TLA) practices. Sourcing and/or producing such training resources, sharing of best practice, and providing end-user support can be a time-consuming process. Further, these efforts are regularly duplicated across third-level academic institutions in Ireland. This paper reflects on a project funded by the Learning Innovation Network, aimed at scaffolding the sharing and dissemination of experiences and best practices in effectively integrating technology into TLA practices, inter- and cross-institutionally. The key goal of the project was to facilitate the collaborative development of reusable training resources relating to effective integration of technology into TLA practices. The project involved the active participation and collaboration between eLearning technologists, traditionally tasked with the development and delivery of training, in several Institutes of Technology. This paper will detail project outputs, impact on students and staff, and benefits of the collaborative development of resources. Keywords: Moodle, Reusable Learning Resources, collaboration40
  • 44. LIN FUNDED Poster abstractsAssessment for learning. 1 Anne Carpenter, 2 Dr. John Dallat. 1 Institute of Technology Carlow, 2 Dundalk Institute of Technology Anne.Carpenter@itcarlow.ie | John.Dallat@dkit.ie This project aims to develop and enhance assessment practices within Carlow IT and Dundalk IT. The project is informed by the research on assessment in higher education (Nicol, 2009, 2010; Rust, 2009 ;Gibbs, 2006) and builds on the work of the SIF 2 Repositioning Assessment of Learning. The principal goal of the Assessing for Learning project is to develop new practices of assessment and resources to assist the institutes in responding to emerging issues regarding criterion- based assessment. The project is concerned with the practical yet rarely simple pedagogical issues that surround student assessment in particular with the way in which assessment can be developed in order to optimise student’s learning and achievement of the learning outcomes. ITC and DKIT academic staff collaborate both virtually and face to face to develop new modes of assessment. The collaborative activities involve staff development events, sharing of resources and experiences over the life of the project. The project will develop exemplars of criterion – based assessment promoting learner engagement and feedback. It will also develop a range of resources to facilitate staff development events on criterion based assessment This poster will report on the specific outputs of the project: • Case studies across the two Institutes. • Exemplars of assessment practices, tasks and criteria for use by academic staff. • Design of an academic staff development workshop and supporting activities on assessment . Keywords: assessment for learning, criterion – based assessment. 41
  • 45. LIN FUNDED Poster abstractsThe LIN evaluation. LIN Co-ordination Group. lin@ioti.ie In January 2012 the LIN Co-Ordination Group agreed to fund an external evaluation of the project. This evaluation will be carried out during the 2012 summer period. The evaluation will focus on phase 2 of LIN (2010-2012). It will focus on using existing data such as APD modules run; numbers attended APD modules, module evaluation data as well as LIN conference data to assess project impact. A number of LIN reports e.g. LIN Position Paper on the Hunt report and the LIN Response to HEA Consultation Paper on National Academy, will be considered. The work of the LIN Coordination Group will be included in the review. A final key element of the process will be a focus group, the members of which will be representative of a wide range of LIN experiences from institute management to module participants to LIN facilitators. This evaluation is an opportunity to review how LIN itself meets the National Academy goals, implements the LIN values and supports the recommendations of the Hunt report. This process will lead to the identification of the key strengths and weaknesses of the LIN and will result in a number of recommendations for the integration of LIN into the National Forum. It will also provide a record for LIN. The results of this evaluation will be presented at a LIN plenary session at the 2012 conference. The session will serve as an opportunity for the LIN partners to present the key achievements of the project and to outline potential areas of impact for future work. This session will also serve to communicate the outcomes of LIN phase 2 with stakeholders such as the National Academy, the HEA, institutions, educational developers and students.42
  • 46. LIN FUNDED Poster abstractsStaff development to support the introduction of a learning to learn module. Margaret Phelan. Institute of Technology Tallaght margaret.phelan@ittdublin.ie The Institute of Technology Tallaght, Dublin (ITT Dublin) recently developed a new Learning and Teaching Strategy and one of the components of this is the introduction of a new Learning to Learn module to all first year students, commencing in September 2012. The aims of the module are to provide students with the opportunity to develop the learning strategies and skills to adapt to a third-level educational environment and to motivate students to become reflective, independent learners. In order to prepare teaching staff for the delivery and support of the Learning to Learn module the Centre for Learning and Teaching (CeLT) in ITT Dublin developed a staff development plan consisting of three phases; an initial seminar to set the context for developing students’ learning skills, a follow-up presentation from an Institute with experience in implementing a learning skills module in an Irish Higher Education context, and finally a series of workshops to assist staff with selecting and integrating resources for the module and to help staff plan their teaching and assessment approaches to the module. The initial learning skills seminar was facilitated by Dr. Stella Cottrell at ITT Dublin on Friday May 11th. Dr. Cottrell is Director for Lifelong Learning at the University of Leeds and author of The Study Skills Handbook, the core text for the Learning to Learn module at ITT Dublin. The event was attended by 37 people, both from ITT Dublin and partner Institutes. The presentation on implementing a learning skills module was facilitated that afternoon by Dr. Suzanne Guerin, Lecturer in the School of Psychology in UCD and faciliatator of UCD’s Learning for Success at University module. This event was attended by 28 people both from ITT Dublin and partner institutes. A series of workshops was facilitated by CeLT in May. A total of 45 people attended the workshops on topics including reviewing learning outcomes, preparing students for group work and reflective writing, and developing students’ writing skills. Feedback on the events was obtained using feedback forms. Outputs from the events include photos, video recordings, handouts, and presentations and notes on good practice in implementing learning skills modules. Funding for these events was provided by the Learning Innovation Network (LIN). Keywords: learning to learn, study skills, staff development. 43
  • 47. LIN FUNDED Poster abstractsLIN teaching and learning webinars. Mark Glynn1, Jen Harvey2, Brian Mulligan3. IOTI, 2DIT, 3IT Sligo 1 mark.glynn@ioti.ie | jen.harvey@dit.ie | mulligan.brian@itsligo.ie Staff development is the main aim of LIN but to expand our current offerings of APD modules would involve a significant investment of time and money, both of which are scarce. Webinars offer a cost efficient way to provide short “bit size chunks” of professional development. The LIN webinars proved very popular and were greeted with strong enthusiasm across the sector. Four webinars (titles below) with a combined attendance of 162 people are recorded and now available for viewing on the LIN website. More than 55% of the traffic to the LIN website over the period of the webinars was to the webinar page (1555 unique page views), with the next most popular page (the home page) representing 431 unique page views. Session Speakers Chair Does your lecturer need to Shannon Chance, Eugene Kevin O’Rourke (DIT) be qualified to teach? O’Loughlin (NCI) National student survey - Sally Brown (Leeds Met), Ronan Jim Murray (IOTI) Do we need one and what O’Dubhghaill (UCC), David Keogan questions should we ask? DIT SU Making the Transition into Rebecca Roper (IADT), Bettie Higgs Brian Gormley (DIT) HE – how much support do (UCC), Lisa Murphy (IADT SU), students need? Becka Colley (Bradford Uni) Bridging the Gap through Julian Simms (Birbeck college), Kevin O’Rourke technology Michael Hallissy (Hibernia), Mark (DIT) Glynn (IOTI) This poster outlines the successful webinar series conducted under the auscpices of LIN in 2012 Keywords: Webinar, APD, LIN44
  • 48. LIN FUNDED Poster abstractsThe design, production and promotion of LIN materials and the LIN brand. LIN Coordination Group. lin@ioti.ie In January 2010, the National Strategy for Higher Education 20301 stated that: • All higher education institutions must ensure that all teaching staff are both qualified and competent in teaching and learning, and should support ongoing development and improvement of their skills. • Flexible learning structures across the HE sector are vital. • Enhancing the quality of teaching and learning is identified as critical for the future of higher education in Ireland. Later in 2010 the Learning Innovation Network (LIN) formally stated our position on this report2, particularly pointing out that the network was already supporting the coordination of the national provision of teaching qualifications for lecturing staff across the IoT sector. In January 2012 LIN issued a call to fund projects that support, encourage or promote teaching and learning endeavours. One successful submission to that call proposed the production of materials that would communicate the LIN objectives and achievements to a wider audience. Activity was completed in two key areas: 1. The production of branded material to be used at all LIN events including module promotion, website updates, emails and circulars. 2. The use of video data collected from LIN graduates to showcase the LIN experience for others considering professional development. Significant outcomes include: • A coherent communication strategy. • Uniform visual identity – flyers, brochures, website, circulars. • Significant volume of LIN information presented in an easily accessible format. This poster will summarise the work involved and display some of the materials produced. 1 National Strategy for Higher Education 2030, pgs 18 and 62 2 http://www.linireland.com/images/lin_position_paper_on_hunt.pdf 45
  • 49. Visit www.LIN.ie