The 2020/21 National Seminar Series Call, which closed on 26 June, attracted 85 applications from across 22 institutions, including universities, technological higher education institutions and private colleges. The National Seminar Series gives those working in higher education the opportunity to connect with colleagues and to focus on shared interests in both the research and practice of teaching and learning enhancement. Further, it creates opportunities to hear from national and international experts in different areas of teaching and learning.
Each application proposed a seminar focused on a topic related to one or more of the four key strategic priorities of the National Forum. 21 applications focused on the professional development of all those who teach, 34 focused on teaching and learning in a digital world, 22 focused on teaching and learning enhancement within and across disciplines and 32 focused on students success. Higher education’s response to COVID-19 was also referenced in many of this year’s submissions, with 21 applicants mentioning the pandemic in their applications.
This year, due to the disruption caused by institutional closures in spring 2020, 27 seminars were deferred from the 2019/20 Seminar Series and will now be added to the 2020/21 schedule of events instead. Online seminars were also welcomed this year, resulting in 31 applications for online seminars during the coming academic year.
Established in 2014, the National Seminar Series has seen over 400 seminars organised across Irish higher education institutions to date. The support of seminars across the sector reflects a core value underpinning the National Forum’s 2019-21 Strategy, that of collaboration, helping to promote shared knowledge, understanding and practice amongst all who are invested in teaching and learning in Irish higher education.
The selection of funded seminars will be made during the summer, with applicants notified of the decision on 1 September 2020. The National Seminar Series will take place 1 Oct 2020-30 June 2021.