Teach Digi

The UCC Centre for Digital Education (CDE) was delighted to launch ‘Teach Digi’ in June 2020 – a series of responsive digital educational training supports for UCC staff. This, delivered in conjunction with the IUA’s ‘Enhancing Digital Teaching & Learning’ project (IUA EDTL), aims to support UCC staff in their digital education professional development along with existing university wide supports.

Teach Digi - Banner

The Irish word for Digital is Digiteach and so we are playing with that word by breaking it up into Teach Digi – which literally means 'House of Digital'. While we realise most people will read the word as the English word ‘Teach’, we are using the Irish word ‘Teach’. Both meanings make sense and are appropriate to what we are doing in the Centre for Digital Education, supporting UCC staff in their digital education professional development.

The Report from the Findings of the Irish National Digital Experience Survey, which was launched in May 2020, found that institutions need to Ensure dedicated time, and recognition/reward, to support staff who teach as they engage in formal and informal professional development related to the digital aspects of their roles. In establishing a dedicated series of professional development resources for UCC staff, Teach Digi aims to address the digital education needs of staff during the Covid19 pandemic in a meaningful and responsive way. The findings of the Irish National Digital Experience (INDEx) Survey have provided an evidence base for our training, alongside informal and formal feedback from both UCC staff and students. In our Autumn training schedule, we used ‘The EDTL Approach’ as the underpinning framework for design and delivery. We ensured there were synergies on our training with the EDTL community webinar series in terms of relevant themes and subject matters, as well as incorporating this schedule into our training schedule. This was mutually beneficial in that UCC staff could benefit from the expertise of a national project team as well as expanding our IUA EDTL community base.

The IUA EDTL Project Lead in UCC, Ms. Clíodhna O’Callaghan, was responsible for the design, establishment, and management of this innovative initiative. Clíodhna works within the Centre for Digital Education (CDE) in UCC and this was a training initiative that would always be collaborative in its nature. Therefore, along with the Instructional Design team within the CDE and the Head of the CDE, Tom O’Mara, this was a collaboration with the team in the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching & Learning (CIRTL) as well as with colleagues across the University, for example, in the Disability Support Service, in IT Services and the Office for the Vice President of Teaching & Learning (OVPLT).

Teach Digi ‘Ag Caint’ is a UCC staff digital education training series and is informed and underpinned by the student feedback as collated in the UCC Students Union Survey, October 2020. This feedback was summarised into five pillars, presented in the below graphic. The Teach Digi training series, in conjunction with the IUA ‘Enhancing Digital Teaching & Learning’ project, has as one of its four key pillars, ‘Students as Partners’. Therefore, ensuring the student voice is front and centre to our training is vital and no better way to ensure this than to directly reference their feedback as a framework for our training. The staff led sessions are hosted by the EDTL Project Lead, Clíodhna O’Callaghan and the student led sessions are hosted by our Student Associate Intern, Ms. Catherine Dawson.

‘Ag Caint’ is the Irish for ‘chatting’ or ‘talking’ and the format of this training series includes a short ‘chat’ with a lecturer and a separate session with a student/learner in UCC on each of the five pillars. These are informal in nature, however, focus firmly on some practical advice for staff on how they can adapt their teaching to incorporate some simple and accessible advice from the lived experience of both staff and students of online teaching and learning in UCC.

Students want clear, organisation of the content:  -	Think of Clarity, Chunking, Communication and Consistency from our UCC Getting Started website resource. -	Keep navigation simple. -	Structure modules in the same way – consistency is key. -	Use the Canvas Calendar if you can.  Students want regular, informal, interactions with their lecturer: -	Create the opportunity for interactivity. -	Use a combination of pre-recorded and live lectures.  -	Follow pre-recorded with live where possible. -	Check out the UCC ‘Getting Started’ website for information on different tools for interactivity available to staff.   Students appreciate the flexibility that recorded lectures give them: -	Use Panopto for pre-recorded content in the first instance. -	Next, run a live class and record it. -	Then upload a recording of the live class to Panopto. Our Teaching with Technology course explains how to use UCC’s learning platforms for optimal delivery  Students need as much certainty from a timetable as possible: -	Use the Canvas Calendar. -	Consider how many live lectures there are and when they are on. -	Stick to the timetabled hours. -	Any additional hours for Q&As should be reflected in the timetable.  Students find long online recordings challenging: -	This is true for both live and pre-recorded content. -	Please consider chunking content (recording content in short ‘chunks’ of time per topic/theme etc., especially important for pre-recorded lectures.  -	Recognising that one hour of recorded content may often take students longer to digest.

A downloadable PDF version of the above infographic can be found at the following link:

Student Union - Feedback

Below you will find both our staff and student 'Ag Caint' recorded sessions. The student feedback pillars have informed all of these short recorded sessions.


 Staff ‘Ag Caint’


 Student ‘Ag Caint’


Pillar 1:


Photo of Dr. Simon Woodworth Click here to listen the conversation between Tom O'Mara and Dr. Simon Woodworth, CUBS.   Photo of Adam Compagno 

Click here to listen to the conversation between UCC EDTL Student Intern Catherine Dawson & UCC Student Adam Compagno 

Pillar 2:

Regular Interactions

Photo of Dr. Sharon Lambert Click here to listen to the conversation between Clíodhna O'Callaghan and Dr. Sharon Lambert, School of Applied Psychology.   Photo of Méabh Lonergan 

Click here to listen to the conversation between UCC EDTL Student Intern Catherine Dawson & UCC Student Méabh Lonergan 

Pillar 3:



Photo of Dr. Orla Lynch

Click here to listen to the conversation between Clíodhna O'Callaghan & Dr. Orla Lynch, Criminology.

  Photo of Irina Fernandes 

Click here to listen to the conversation between UCC EDTL Student Intern Catherine Dawson & UCC Student Irina Fernandes

Pillar 4:


Photo of Dr. Angela Flynn Click here to listen to the conversation between Clíodhna O'Callaghan & Dr. Angela Flynn, School of Nursing & Midwifery.    

Click here to listen to the conversation between UCC EDTL Student Intern Catherine Dawson & UCC Student David Giles

Pillar 5:

Chunking Content

Photo of Dr. Philipp Hoevel Click here to listen to the conversation between Clíodhna O'Callaghan & Dr. Philipp Hoevel, School of Mathematical Sciences.   Photo of Emily Gleave 

Click here to listen to the conversation between UCC EDTL Student Intern Catherine Dawson & UCC Student Emily Gleave

Photo of Siobhán Mortell  Click here to listen to Ms. Siobhán Mortell, Language Teacher, Department of German, & Ms. Clíodhna O'Callaghan, discuss how the student pillars of feedback informed her teaching and learning, what worked and didn't work in teaching and learning, and some tips for colleagues. Professional Master of Education Photo of Hannah O'Connor 

Click here to listen to UCC EDTL Student Intern Catherine Dawson speak with UCC Student (PME 1) Hannah O’Connor about her experience of teaching and learning online, and they discuss student engagement, breakout rooms, challenges and opportunities, the practical aspects of teaching science, and lab-based teaching and learning.



Photo of Dr. Siobhán Cusack  Click here to listen to Dr. Siobhán Cusack, Head of Student Records & Examinations & Ms. Clíodhna O'Callaghan, discuss the impact of moving SREO online, the opportunities, challenges, key messages and plans for the future. International Student Photo of Anoosha Sachan 

Click here to listen to the conversation between UCC EDTL Student Intern Catherine Dawson & UCC International Student (MSc in Mathematical Modelling & Self-Learning Systems) Anoosha Sachan, where they discuss what outreach from the university and societies means to many international students, the difficulty of interacting with other students if not a big social media user, the challenge of transitioning from the workplace, difficulty of dealing with isolation under Covid-19 restrictions, and the benefits of recorded lectures and having exams at home.

Skills Centre  Photo of Kathy Bradley  Click here to listen to Ms. Kathy Bradley, Coordinator of The Skills Centre, & Ms. Clíodhna O'Callaghan, discuss the impact of moving the Skills Centre online, the opportunities, challenges, key messages and plans for the future. Student Union Education Officer  Photo of Eimear Curtin 

Click here to listen to the conversation between UCC EDTL Student Intern Catherine Dawson & UCC Student / Former UCCSU Education Officer Eimear Curtin, where they discuss how overwhelm was the biggest issue for students (and how staff responded to accommodate this), how accessibility and online recordings were the biggest 'pro' for students over the past year but lack of social interaction was the biggest 'con’, and how all feedback from this year needs to be taken into account, along with the pandemic restrictions, going forward.

Staff Development 

Photo of Dr. Anne Gannon  Click here to listen to Dr. Anne Gannon, Staff Development & Wellbeing Manager, & Ms. Clíodhna O'Callaghan, discuss the impact of moving this service online, the opportunities, challenges, key messages and plans for the future.    


Access  Photo of Olive Byrne  Click here to listen to Ms. Olive Byrne, Head of Access, & Ms. Clíodhna O'Callaghan discuss how the Access offices (The Disability Support Service, The Mature Student Office & UCC Plus+) moved their services online, the opportunities and challenges as well as the plans for the future.     Click here to listen to the conversation between UCC EDTL Student Intern Catherine Dawson & UCC Student (1st Year Arts) Síofra Kelleher, where they discuss the benefits of online recordings of lectures, the importance of study spaces, transition for first years, and accessibility options. 

Photo of Dr. Séamus Ó Tuama

Photo of Lyndsey El Amoud 

Click here to listen to Dr. Séamus Ó Tuama, Director of Adult Continuing Education (ACE) & Ms. Lyndsey El Amoud, Assistant Director of ACE speak with Ms. Clíodhna O'Callaghan about how Adult Continuing Education moved their extensive suite of accredited programmes and short courses online, their most successful year ever in their 75th anniversary, what worked & didn't work, and much more.      

Photo of Dr. Briony Supple

Photo of James Cronin

Click here to listen to Dr. Briony Supple & Mr. James Cronin from the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching & Learning (CIRTL) speak with Ms. Clíodhna O'Callaghan about keeping things simple and stripping back your curriculum, frameworks to support UCC staff in reviewing their curriculum in the context of what has been learned while teaching remotely and preparing for next academic year, the growing importance and impact of a 'community of practice' and how it worked for their accredited programmes, and much more.

IT Services Photo of Dr. Ger Culley

Click here to listen to Dr. Ger Culley, Director of IT Services, & Ms. Clíodhna O’Callaghan, discuss what worked, what didn’t work, and plans for the future as well as IT Services, pedagogy first approach, Zoom, cyber security, lecture recording and much more.

President's Reflection Photo of Professor John O'Halloran

Click here to listen to Prof. John O’Halloran, Interim President speak with Ms. Clíodhna O’Callaghan, where Prof. O’Halloran reflects on key moments in time since the onset of Covid-19 and shares some stories and insights into experience of leading the University during a global pandemic.


Click the following link to view a PDF which summarises the key points from both the staff and student sessions:

Ag Caint - Main Points

 Infographic describing the five pillars of the Student Union feedback survey

The below sessions focus on resources, tips and tools for getting started with teaching remotely/online in UCC.

Getting Started With Remote Teaching
Enhancing Interaction with Students in Live Online Classes - Roundtable

In this series, we use ‘The EDTL Approach’ as its underpinning framework which informs the content, design, and delivery of this staff training. This training consists of live webinars/workshops. Clíodhna O’Callaghan commences the series with a webinar focused specifically on the EDTL approach and how that came to be. What follows is a series of workshops that focuses on reflection, creating activities, communication and engagement, assessment and feedback, considerations for lab-based subjects and a student led webinar. This webinar is led by our Student Associate Intern, Ms. Catherine Dawson, who speaks about The EDTL Approach designed by the IUA EDTL student intern team, by students for students.

The EDTL Approach - Planning for Effective  Remote Teaching during Covid-19
Clíodhna O'Callaghan, Project Lead for the IUA EDTL Project in UCC will present this webinar on the EDTL Approach which has been developed to support effective remote teaching in the context of COVID-19 and outlines a pathway with key considerations for those who are adapting a programme/module that is normally taught, wholly or partly, face-to-face. 
Creating Activities for Remote Teaching This session will open with a presentation about ideas for remote teaching activities. For example, activities on Teams, Canvas Quizzes, Polling, and eTivities. This will be followed by a scenario-based group task using Breakout Rooms. The session will finish with a Q&A.  
Communication and Engagement This session will open with a presentation about how to engage students and build community, making a communication plan for your course, and making your module student-friendly. It will be followed by a practical demonstration of how to apply some of these concepts to your course. The session will finish with a Q&A. 
Assessment and Feedback This session will open with a discussion from CIRTL on how to manage the assessment process for the semester 1 exams. It will explore some key considerations when moving assessment online. A short group task will follow. The session will finish with a Q&A.
Considerations for UCC Lab-Based Subjects
Dr. Dave Otway, Dr, Aoife O'Sullivan & Dr. Ian O'Connor will discuss lab based approaches for remote teaching and learning in the context of Covid19. 
EDTL Approach - For Students, by Students
The National IUA Student Intern, Ruairí Ó Gallchoir and UCC's IUA Student Intern, Catherine Dawson will be presenting 'The EDTL Approach - For Students, by Students' advice on how to change to online learning. As mentioned in the title, this advice was created by the IUA student interns from all seven universities across the country. It is all-encompassing advice and methods for everything from day to day wellbeing to how to structure your learning.

This Teach Digi series focuses on ‘Getting Started’ with remote teaching in UCC.


Thinking About Teaching Online

In this session, Dr Sarah Thelen will introduce you to: (1) common mindsets and approaches that shape online teaching, (2) some of the false dichotomies in popular perceptions of online learning, (3) examples of successful online teaching, and (4) the next steps you need to take before actually teaching online.

Play to Your Strengths

Dr Sarah Thelen leads a self-directed workshop in which participants will think through important foundational elements of teaching online including: pedagogy, comfort with technology, using familiar tools, and working within the limits imposed by reality.

(Re)Writing Your Syllabus

In this session, Dr Sarah Thelen explains how to update syou syllabus for online deliver including: (1) revising for clarity and transparency, (2) drafting a communication policy, (3) explaining the teaching and learning strategies, (4) being as consistent as possible, and (5) updating the module outline.

Engaging Your Students

In this session, Patrick Kiely (CIRTL) outlines some strategies and approaches to engaging your students.

5 Steps to a Student-Friendly Module

In this session, Dr Sarah Thelen explains what she means by “student-friendly” and why it’s so important -- especially for online teaching. She then walks through 5 simple ways to make your module more student-friendly including (1) chunking content, (2) having consistent (and simple) slides, (3) using meaningful names for files, recordings, etc., (4) deleting outdated information, and (5) removing unnecessary menu items.

Finding Teaching Materials

In this session, Dr Sarah Thelen discusses some key considerations before adding readings, images, or videos to your teaching (pedagogy, practicality, and copyright) as well as some good sources for teaching materials.


In this session, Brian Butler, Michelle O'Halloran and Sophie Gahan discuss: (1) ensuring your Canvas course is accessible, (2) preparing accessible content, and (3) Universal Design for Learning. This will include demonstrations of SensusAccess, the Canvas Accessibility Checker, and screen-reading software as it navigates content on Canvas.

Using Discussions in Online Learning

In this session, Dr Briony Supple explores some key ideas to consider when integrating discussions into your teaching including: (1) types of discussions, (2) using discussions as an assessment method, and (3) how to encourage participation.

Group Work

In this session, Dr Catherine O’Mahony, CIRTL, and Dr João Costa & Dr Wesley O’Brien from the School of Education, UCC, discuss reasons to use group work in teaching as well as some examples of good practice.


In this session Sophie Gahan talks about Video for Learning and Teaching in UCC. Ways of using video are discussed, as well as what tools are available for teaching and assessing students. Some examples of video practice in UCC are outlined, as well as tips for home recording.


In this session Kieran Hurley from UCC 98.3FM  looks at  how to structure  the content of a podcast with some worked examples,  explores podcasting as a form of assessment and finally some useful links.

Please contact Ms. Clíodhna O’Callaghan, Digital Education Officer & Project Lead for the IUA ‘Enhancing Digital Teaching & Learning’ project on c.ocallaghan@ucc.ie

Centre for Digital Education

Ionad um Oideachas Digiteach

Q Floor floor, T12 ND89