Learning & Teaching Networks

ISSOTL as an international network

The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (ISSOTL) serves faculty members, staff, and students who care about teaching and learning as serious intellectual work. The goal of the Society is to foster inquiry and disseminate findings about what improves and articulates post-secondary learning and teaching. ISSOTL hosts an annual conference and publishes Teaching & Learning Inquiry

NAIRTL as a national network

Originally conceived of and organised as a National Academy, NAIRTL, the Network for Advancing the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, was re-launched in June 2015 as a national and international network.

The transition to Network has been taking place during the past year, supported by funding from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning. In this transition the NAIRTL network has completed:

The NAIRTL network is currently developing resources, programmes and activities relating to the integration of research, teaching and learning. These activities are focused on bridging the perceived or real divide that can exist between the competing demands of research and teaching. This can be achieved by promoting a high quality, pedagogically sound teaching experience where students are exposed to cutting edge research, and are engaged in authentic research themselves.

The NAIRTL website,, contains a range of useful open-access resources such as conference proceedings, handbooks, presentations, curriculum materials etc. which are free to download. Higher Education staff in Ireland and internationally are encouraged to become a member of the new Network, to participate in one of the many events, and become involved in a strand of activity. For further details please visit


NAIRTL networks with the following Communities of Practice:

Campus Engage is a national initiative, working with a network of 20 higher education institutions, the IUA and the IOTI, to enable and embed civic and community engagement activity, including community-based research, community-based learning and volunteering, across campuses and communities in Ireland. 

Campus Entrepreneurship Enterprise Network (CEEN) is the national network for promoting and developing entrepreneurship education, at higher level with a primary mission of creating the entrepreneurial graduate. CEEN will promote excellence in the field of entrepreneurship education by stimulating research, developing new pedagogy, evaluating and disseminating best practice and creating an evidence base around‚ what works. CEEN aims to give all higher level students an opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial skills and to this end, is targeting academic and non-academic staff, as well as students across all Irish HEIs.

Community-Academic Research Links initiative, CARL, is located at University College Cork and invites non-profit voluntary or community organisations (CSOs) to suggest potential research topics that can be pursued by students on their behalf across a wide range of academic disciplines in UCC. CARL is based on the ‘Science Shop’ model and follows a 40 year European tradition with similar initiatives on-going in some of the highest ranked Universities in Europe and worldwide. CARL’s mission is to provide independent, participatory research support in response to concerns experienced by civil society.

Education Developers in Ireland Network  is a grouping of education developers/teaching and learning experts from Irish Institutes of Higher Education. The Network has evolved in response to the need identified by members to share experience and expertise in formal structured support for teaching and learning within Irish HE institutions.

National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education has been established by the Minister for Education and Skills in order to enhance the quality of the learning experience for all students at third level, be they full-time, part-time or flexible learners. The Forum calls together all of those involved in shaping third-level teaching and learning in Ireland in order to support and develop excellent practices in teaching and learning already underway in many of our institutions. The National Forum will engage with leaders, managers and teachers across all institutes of education at third level in Ireland. In doing so, the National Forum will mobilise expertise and inputs from across the entire sector to shape best practice in all of our institutes of education.

REAP National Network for Enterprise Engagement the REAP National Network builds on the REAP project and focuses on sharing good practice in interactions between academia and enterprise. The Network recognises the importance of two-way partnership with enterprise in supporting:

  • Graduate Formation: work placement, employability and entrepreneurship,
  • Workforce Development: customised courses, RPL, work-based learning,
  • Research and innovation: work-related projects, short research partnerships and access to expertise and equipment.

The RPL Practitioner Network Ireland is led by practitioners working and interested in the area of Recognition of Prior Learning. The network aims to:

  • provide a coherent practitioner voice to shape and inform policy development,
  • support the development of a community of practice, providing opportunities to share learning, face to face, online and
  • through practical sharing of toolkits and resources promote good practice, informed by national and international practitioner and policy perspectives. 

Dr Catherine O’Mahony, CIRTL Manager, Distillery House

Dr Catherine O’Mahony, CIRTL Manager, Distillery House

University College Cork

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