Forum-Commissioned Research Projects
The National Forum funded a number of focused research projects which informed the Teaching for Transitions Enhancement Theme 2013-15. Project teams were selected from HEIs across the sector following a competitive process facilitated by an international panel. Successful proposals were then developed further and scoped in partnership with the National Forum. View full details of the background and application process here. The following are the seven focused research projects funded under the Teaching for Transitions Enhancement Theme:
- Learning Resources and Open Access in Higher Education Institutions in Ireland
- A Current Overview of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) In Irish Higher Education
- Student Non-Completion on ICT Programmes
- Why Students Leave: Findings from Qualitative Research into Student Non-Completion in Higher Education in Ireland
- Mapping Existing Research Output Focused on Higher Education Teaching and Learning in Ireland 1990-2015
- Transition from Second Level and Further Education to Higher Level
- Teaching for Transitions: A Review of Teaching for Transitions Related Teaching and Learning Activity and Research
Forum-Partnered Research Projects
The National Forum carried out research projects in partnership with representatives of bodies from across the sector, building upon the findings of focused research projects commissioned by the Forum:
- Transition from Further Education and Training to Higher Education
The National Forum, in partnership with the Further Education and Training (FET) sector, conducted a survey and interviews in 2016 of FET learners’ experiences of transition to higher education. A Forum Insight on Transition from Further Education and Training to Higher Education can be accessed here.
- Reaching Out: Why Students Leave Briefing Paper 1 (2016)
The Union of Students in Ireland worked in partnership with the National Forum in 2016 to explore the transition experiences of those students who did not complete their programmes of study in higher education.
- Reaching Out: Why Students Leave Briefing Paper 2 (2015)
During 2014/15 the Union of Students (USI) in Ireland, in partnership with the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, undertook a pilot research project to explore students’ experiences of higher education.
- National Forum Postgraduate Scholarships for Teaching and Learning
The National Forum partnered with the Irish Research Council to award a number of postgraduate scholarships in 2014 and 2015. The National Forum scholars were selected through the Irish Research Council process for the award of postgraduate scholarships.
- Enabling Technology-Enhanced Assessment OF/FOR/AS Learning in Higher Education: The Evidence
In 2016, the National Forum opened a call for proposals under the Irish Research Council’s Research for Policy and Society Programme. The call deadline was 28th October 2016 and the research is due to commence in January 2017.
Forum-Led Research Projects
Staff at the National Forum conduct research as the need arises. These projects often serve to inform Forum enhancement themes or lead from priorities set out by the sector. Completed and upcoming research projects are listed below:
Investigating the Teaching Practices of Impactful Teachers
This project aims to explore how award-winning teachers approach their teaching practice and to understand how they explain their practice and in particular the impact of their teaching. Participants were chosen from among recipients of the National Forum Teaching Hero Awards.
Profile of Assessment Practices in Irish Higher Education
As part of the National Forum’s Assessment of/for/as Learning Enhancement Theme, a profile of assessment practices in the higher education sector is underway, due for completion by the end of 2016. This profile is being conducted in two parts. Part 1 focuses on Assessment OF Learning, recording the number, type, timing and weighting of assessments experienced by students in 30 randomly-selected Irish degree programmes across the ten International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) fields of study. Part 2 of the assessment profile is looking at Assessment FOR and AS Learning utilising mined data from assessment-related questions in the 2016 Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE).
Development of a Data-Informed Programme Assessment Review Process
Also as part of the National Forum’s Assessment of/for/as Learning Enhancement Theme, the development of a Data-Informed Programme Assessment Review (Di-PAR) process is planned. This process is intended for use by higher education staff in the Irish context. The project aims to draw on existing expertise within the higher education sector in the development of the Di-PAR process and determine how staff might make best use of existing data and literature in enhancing assessment practices at programme level.