Teaching and Learning at UCC
Mission and Vision
The Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching & Learning (CIRTL), West Lodge, Gaol Walk see map
CIRTL, the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, has a number of roles. These include:
- Encourage dialogue and make teaching and learning a scholarly activity
- Support and develop teaching, learning and assessment across all disciplines
- Encourage the development of innovative approaches to teaching, learning and assessment
- Foster and conduct research into Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
- Identify and develop appropriate structures within University to support teaching and learning
A range of Staff Development opportunities have been developed as follows:
- Our Strategic Plan for Teaching & Learing 2013 - 2017 provides a detailed road map of the Centre’s mission and vision.
- CIRTL provides 5 ECTS Credit modules for postgraduate students who contribute to the teaching function at UCC.
- CIRTL provides a Programme for Visiting Lecturers which combines aspects of teaching and learning in higher education with English language development.
- CIRTL works on Certified Programmes for Staff, Professional Development for Graduate Students who Teach, Technology Enhanced Learning and encouraging the development of innovative approaches to teaching, learning and assessment through seminar discussion.
History and Development
UCC has a strong tradition of integrating the core activities of research, teaching and learning. This has earned the institution national and international recognition. Within UCC, staff development in teaching and learning started in earnest in 2000 when government grants became available. The resulting activities demonstrated a need for formal accredited courses, which began in 2004. By 2006, as a natural development, Ionad Bairre, The Teaching and Learning Centre, was established. The approach of the Centre for almost a decade has been one of scholarly enquiry into teaching and learning practice.
The National Academy for the Integration of Research Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) was funded by the HEA between 2006 and 2012, with UCC as the lead partner in this national collaborative project. The goal of NAIRTL was to enact a series of activities and initiatives to support students, researchers and staff to implement and advance effective research-informed teaching and learning practices throughout the Irish higher education sector. This was achieved through staff development initiatives such as national conferences, small grants, and teaching excellence awards. NAIRTL is currently transitioning from an academy to a national network, linked through contact points in each partner institution.
Looking to the future, and continuing evolution, the approaches of NAIRTL and Ionad Bairre have been combined to form a new centre in UCC. This is the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL). This new centre will continue to provide a range of staff development events and support the professional needs of staff who strive to give students the very best learning experiences. The UCC CIRTL Manager will act as a custodian of the NAIRTL resources and website, ensuring that these remain available, and will also be the UCC contact point for the new national network.