IUA Enhancing Digital Teaching and Learning Project
This IUA Enhancing Digital Teaching & Learning (EDTL) project is aimed at enhancing the digital attributes and educational experiences of UCC students through enabling the mainstreamed and integrated use of digital technologies across the teaching and learning process. To achieve these objectives, the project will develop, pilot, review and roll out staff development programmes & responsive training to enhance the digital confidence, skills and competences of those who teach in UCC, such as our Teach Digi series launched in June 2020. Our project team runs a webinar series every Monday and if you would like access to these webinars and relevant resources you are most welcome to join our #IUADigEd Community.
More recently, given the current landscape, the IUA EDTL project team has created resources in the context of planning for effective remote teaching during Covid19 called 'The EDTL Approach', which we will continue to build upon, alongside our webinar series which speaks to this approach and other important topics such as 'Copyright Law & Open Licenses for Digital Learning'.
The IUA's overall project aims to mainstream digital in teaching and learning activities in Irish universities, by addressing the professional development of all who teach or support teaching and learning. The project aims to support university teachers to develop their digital competences so that students’ learning experiences can be enhanced with technology.
In turn, the development of digital competences for teachers will expose students to technologies for teaching and learning and support them to develop their own digital competences.
Engagement at the discipline level is key for meaningful and sustained change to occur. Professional development activities emerging from this project will focus on discipline or programme groups.
At all times, professional development activities will take a ‘pedagogy first’ approach. This means starting by identifying needs and goals before considering how technology could be used to support innovation and change. The European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigCompEdu) is a useful framework that puts pedagogy first, by distinguishing six different areas in which an educator’s Digital Competence is expressed.
Context for Digital in Higher Education
EU Digital Education Action Plan: Key components include empowering and connecting educators to enhance innovation in education, and ensuring a significant focus on developing digital skills and competences throughout the education experience in order to enhance life skills and professional opportunities.
EU Skills Agenda: Emphasises the importance of digital literacy across occupations and calls on countries to improve the quality of competences and skills.
National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030: In its analysis of the future skills needs of Irish graduates for the 21st century, the strategy highlights the need for increased attention to the effective use of technology in the increasingly complex demands of the global economy. It also points out that it is not sufficient for academics to be experts in their disciplinary area, they also need to know how best to teach that discipline. Digital competences and skills are a central aspect of this expertise.
IUA Charter for Irish Universities: States that for a sustainable Irish university system, there is a need to build on the quality of the student experience in a digital age. If Ireland wants to compete with the best in Europe, there is a need for a coherent, sector-wide programme to drive digital transformation in teaching and learning methods and processes across all related university activities.
Want to know more about this exciting project? Talk to UCC's Digital Education Officer: