The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is currently seeking applications for the following posts:

Educational Developers (Full- or part-time secondment basis)

 

About the National Forum

The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is the national body responsible for leading and advising on the enhancement of teaching and learning in Irish higher education. In partnership with students, staff and leaders in Irish higher education, the National Forum works to develop an inclusive, collaborative and innovative culture that maximises learning impact for the success of all students.

The National Forum Strategy 2019-2021 ‘Leading Enhancement and Innovation in Teaching and Learning’ aims to ensure higher education students can continue to have an excellent teaching and learning experience that is informed by up-to-date research and facilitated by a high-quality learning environment and enhanced teaching approaches. The new strategy builds on the identified strengths of the National Forum, attends to the policy context within which it is embedded and identifies its four key strategic priorities as:

The Professional Development of All Those Who Teach

Promoting evidence-based, flexible, inclusive professional development for all those who teach, reflecting the contextual needs and drivers within and across higher education institutions

Teaching and Learning in a Digital World

Supporting those who learn, teach, and support learning to embrace and harness the potential of digital technologies with the goal of enhancing learning, teaching, and overall digital capability

Teaching and Learning Enhancement Within and Across Disciplines

Recognising that disciplines are a key unit of change in higher education, with a focus on disciplinary excellence in learning, teaching and assessment

Student Success

Developing a vision of success, in partnership with students, with the aim of providing all students with the opportunity to fulfil their potential and become creators of new knowledge who are community engaged, ethically conscious, professionally competent and equipped to flourish in a global world

The Roles

The National Forum now wishes to second educational developers to drive our strategic priorities. Secondments of 6-18 months will be considered for candidates with the appropriate skills and expertise. Starting dates and duration of the secondments will be negotiable with successful applicants.

All successful applicants will contribute to the ongoing workplan of the National Forum, which aligns closely with our Strategy 2019-21. Successful applicants can expect to work specifically on one of the following development areas of the National Forum’s work:

  • The Professional Development of All Those Who Teach

This development role will focus on: supporting the further implementation of the professional development framework for all those who teach through activities such as the National Forum’s Open Courses initiative and other implementation work.

  • Teaching and Learning Enhancement Within and Across Disciplines

This development role will focus on: supporting enhancements in disciplinary learning, teaching and assessment through such activities as supporting initiatives funded through the Strategic Alignment Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund and building relationships with established disciplinary and other relevant networks.

  • Student Success

This development role will focus on: building on the national understanding and recognised enablers of student success, and progressing the work of the National Forum in identifying and responding to the related needs of institutions, staff and students.

The successful applicants will report to the Director of the National Forum (Dr Terry Maguire) and will support the Director and other members of the executive team in responding to the National Forum’s strategic priorities, outlined above.

The positions are open to both academic and professional staff currently working in Irish higher education. The National Forum is based in Dublin and there may be a need to travel regularly within Ireland for meetings, updates and institutional visits. It may be possible for the incumbent to work from their existing location.

Required/Desirable Qualifications, Skills and Attributes

These roles will suit colleagues with deep knowledge and experience of teaching and learning enhancement and extensive experience of project management.

Required/Desirable Qualifications, Skills and Attributes for All Roles:

A minimum of a Master’s degree or equivalent (preferably in education or a related area – although a Master’s degree in other domains will also be considered)
A minimum of five years’ experience working in an Irish higher education institution
A strong and demonstrable understanding of teaching and learning enhancement
An in-depth understanding of the Irish higher education sector and its current priorities
An ability to collect and analyse diverse sources of information, and conduct, review and synthesise research
A track record in engaging in high-level pedagogical research
An ability to write excellent, precise, informative and instructive reports and communications that will be of benefit to the sector
Experience of working in a cross-sectoral capacity to bridge national priorities and institutional drivers
The energy and commitment to build positive relationships, support collaborative efforts and develop learning communities among those who learn, teach and lead in higher education
Excellent organisational and project management skills with a strong ability to work to agreed deadlines and terms of reference
The ability to use initiative and operate autonomously when needed
Competence in the development of workplans, identification of key deliverables, financial oversight, and consideration of impact
Highly developed communication skills, including oral, written and digital, with particular strengths in adjusting messaging to suit a variety of audiences

 

In addition, particular expertise in the following areas is desirable for those interested in working primarily as an educational developer with an identified focus:

Professional Development

The educational developer in this role will focus on helping to drive the National Forum’s priority on professional development. The successful candidate will contribute to the development, management and evaluation of the implementation of the National Professional Development Framework. The role is likely to include shared responsibility for co-ordinating the development of the national interface (opencourses.teachingandlearning.ie) for individual staff to plan and capture evidence of their professional development activity and overseeing the development of a suite of short courses for structured non-accredited professional development to be used across the sector. Other activities across the workplan of the National Forum may be supported by this role on occasion. 

Additional Skills and Attributes for the Professional Development Role:

An in-depth knowledge of the National Professional Development Framework and the Open Courses initiative
Experience in curriculum design and course design in blended/f2f/self-study and fully online modes of delivery, with a focus on design, development, implementation and evaluation
Experience and/or a clear knowledge of eLearning/educational technologies within an educational context
A clear knowledge of developments in Open Access/Education
A track record in working with the professional development needs of different groups and delivering continuous professional development opportunities to meet these needs
Experience in facilitating learning communities in an online environment and leading technological innovation to support a culture of enhancement
Experience of using micro-credentials and ePortfolios for recognition of engagement and achievement

 

Teaching and Learning Enhancement Within and Across Disciplines

The educational developer in this role will focus on driving the National Forum’s priority on teaching and learning enhancement within and across disciplines and building awareness and capacity across the Irish higher education sector on the importance of the discipline as a key unit of change. The educational developer will work to embed the Disciplinary Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Assessment (DELTA) Framework and DELTA Award across the sector, and will provide support to the teaching and learning initiatives funded through the Strategic Alignment of Teaching and Learning Fund to enable sharing of good practice and to provide networking opportunities for all initiative teams. In addition, the educational developer will engage and build relationships with existing disciplinary networks and other relevant national networks to drive teaching and learning enhancement nationally. Other activities across the workplan of the National Forum may be supported by this role on occasion.

Additional Skills and Attributes for the Discipline Enhancement Role:

Comprehensive knowledge of the distinct contexts and particular needs of the diverse range of disciplines
Experience and/or a clear knowledge of eLearning/educational technologies within an educational context
A proven ability to work with experts within and across disciplines and within and across institutions, collaborating with staff and students (as appropriate) to explore and implement established and emerging teaching and learning approaches
An excellent knowledge of the DELTA Framework and its five associated enhancement areas

 

Student Success

The educational developer in this role will focus on driving the National Forum’s student success priority and on building awareness and capacity across the Irish higher education sector to embed and enable student success as a core focus, in line with national policy. Building on the national understanding and recognised enablers of student success, the successful candidate will progress the work of the National Forum in identifying and responding to the needs of institutions, staff and students. The post holder will play an essential role in collaboratively identifying, developing and supporting the requisite strategic resources and services. The successful candidate will also play a leading role across the sector in fostering an understanding of the role of learner and institutional data in enabling institutions to make informed, real-time, actionable decisions to facilitate student success. Other activities across the workplan of the National Forum may be supported by this role on occasion.

Additional Skills and Attributes for the Student Success Role:

In-depth knowledge of the literature supporting the national understanding of student success
Proven expertise in relation to current thinking about student success, as well as its key enablers and the challenges faced by students, staff and institutions
Ability to provide specialised advice and guidance in a constructive manner to facilitate institutions and individuals in enabling the success of all students
Proven expertise in relation to the role of data and analytics in supporting and enabling student success

 

If you are interested in any of these roles, please send your CV with a cover letter detailing your suitability for an educational developer post with the National Forum. You should clearly indicate the development area/s in which you would be primarily interested in working. Please note: you can indicate that you would like to work in more than one of the areas listed, but if you do you should indicate your first preference.

All applications should be sent to blaithin.mcdonald@teachingandlearning.ie and should include the following subject line: National Forum Application – Educational Developer 2020.

 

The deadline for receipt of applications is Thursday, 12 March 2020, 12 noon. No late applications will be considered.