Did you know that scientists and researchers now agree that adolescence extends from age 10-24 years? This means that most undergraduate students are still adolescents for the duration of their studies.
The brain undergoes massive development during the adolescent years, with capacities like decision-making, planning, self-control, social interaction and self-awareness continuing to develop through the mid-twenties. The brain regions governing risk-taking and reward are particularly active in adolescence, and so influence learning and behaviour.
During this age and stage of life, we are still developing our capacity to understand ourselves and the world in which we live and learn. Negative and positive experiences during this critical period have enduring effects.
What is the 'Your Brainpower' Digital Badge?
Your Brainpower is a free, online, self-paced course, focusing on harnessing the power and potential of adolescent [age 10 - 24 years] brain and behaviour for enhanced learning, wellbeing, and student success in higher education. It was created by a team of academics and scientists from occupational science and occupational therapy (Dr. Eithne Hunt), applied psychology (Dr. Samantha Dockray), and neuroscience (Professor Yvonne Nolan) with contributions from students and higher education staff. We have been teaching and researching adolescent development and wellbeing and supporting students' learning for many years.
If you take Your Brainpower, you will be supported to:
- Describe the developmental stage of adolescence
- Identify how your stage of development may impact your experiences in higher education, from a biological, psychological, social, and occupational perspective.
- Devise personal strategies for enhanced wellbeing, learning, and success.
Although targeted mainly at first and second-year university students, Your Brainpower is likely to be of interest to many secondary school and university students. It is publicly available to all under Creative Commons License so please do share with others if you wish to. This is the link to share: https://ucc.instructure.com/courses/43809
UCC registered first and second-year students can choose to take Your Brainpower as a digital badge micro-credential by completing the required assessments as evidence of learning - nothing too onerous! You can enrol here if you are UCC registered first or second-year student and wish to explore this option.
What students are saying about Your Brainpower
"I really enjoyed this digital badge. I think it can truly be beneficial for students as they adapt to university life and adjust to new styles of learning and studying."
"The information was communicated in a clear manner, which would make it very accessible to students irrespective of what university course they are studying."
"I enjoyed how applicable the content was to all sorts of areas a student could be struggling with - whether it be academics or their personal life."
"I really enjoyed the videos and the extra resources available."
"The use of visuals and text in the videos were very balanced...I didn't feel like I was being bombarded with information."
"The extra resources provided throughout the modules was great, and there is a nice variety of resources provided as well from articles to podcast episodes."
"It was fab! enjoyable and I learned a lot."
"I think the extra pdf information linked under the videos in the first section of the course on understanding adolescence was especially helpful and well organised and that it will be helpful for students to understand what stage of their development they are at in order to work with that."
"The sections that focus on building resilience, time management, developing a growth mindset and health behaviour change provide lots of useful information for students that they could use to implement positive changes to help them make the most of their college experience and beyond."
"I think this module is a great idea and would be especially helpful to first year students as I think a lot of people really struggle with the transition between secondary school and college, especially in arts courses where much of the learning is self directed."
Your Brainpower was funded by National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education under the “Strategic Alignment of Teaching and Learning Enhancement Funding in Higher Education 2020” scheme (project no. TL20UCC11169).