The National Forum is delighted to share its schedule of professional development Open Courses for the autumn semester. Open Courses are developed by those with relevant expertise from across the sector and are aligned to the National Professional Development Framework for All Staff Who Teach in Higher Education. Participants who complete an Open Course can gain recognition for the development of particular skills and knowledge relevant to their teaching and learning practice by claiming a digital badge endorsed by the National Forum. Each course typically takes 25 personal study hours to complete.
To date, over 2,500 digital badges have been awarded to staff who teach, and a further 375 Facilitator badges have been issued.
The following is an overview of courses coming up this semester:
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
A highlight of the autumn schedule is the second national iteration of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) MOOC, delivered in partnership with AHEAD and UCD Access & Lifelong Learning. This very popular course, which last year attracted over 700 participants from the higher and further education and training sectors, provides participants with the opportunity to learn more about how they can implement UDL in their practice. Support is given to all course participants using an innovative local peer facilitator model. You can register for this course here.
PACT: Getting Started with Professional Development
This sixth national rollout of PACT will begin in September/October and will run for six weeks. In addition, a unique partnership between the National Forum and the Library Association of Ireland (LAI) means an adapted PACT Open Course (PACT-L2L) will be offered to librarians across the sector, beginning on 04 October.
Academic Writing Practice
This new Open Course will be offered to participants across further and higher education for six weeks from 11 October. Developed and delivered by facilitators from the University of Limerick, Maynooth University, LyIT, Hibernia College and Technological University Dublin, the course offers a reflective exploration of academic writing, specifically writing processes for academics and their students, and the integration of writing into teaching pedagogies across the disciplines.
Steps to Partnership: Supporting Authentic Student Engagement in Decision-Making
Another new offering, this Open Course is the result of partnership with NStEP, USI, Hibernia College and MTU and will run for six weeks from mid-October. The course provides an introductory exploration of theories, challenges, and opportunities for authentic student engagement in decision-making.
STEM Mentoring Passport for Inclusion
The National Forum has partnered with the STEM Passport for Inclusion Project to develop and deliver this related mentoring Open Course, which will also be offered in October.
Getting Started with Personal & Professional Digital Capacity
In partnership with the IUA Enhancing Digital Teaching and Learning (EDTL) project, this new Open Course will be launched shortly.
In addition to the courses above, a series of self-study versions of a number of Open Courses are also available on the Open Courses website from September. These include: Using Data to Support Student Learning, Getting Started With Professional Development (PACT), Graduate Teaching Assistant, Recognition of Prior Learning, and Community Engaged Learning. A number of short self-study courses are also available through allaboardhe and telu.me. These self-study options offer a flexible route for taking a course independently and at a time and pace that suits you.
For colleagues who have earned a Facilitator badge for any of the Open Courses that they have completed, there is the opportunity to deliver the course in their own institutions using the open license downloadable and reusable materials. New Facilitators are supported through the NF-Facilitators Open Course community space where they can learn from and share their experience with other Facilitators.
To view details of upcoming Open Courses, express your interest in upcoming calls for registration, and/or find out about facilitating a course, please visit opencourses.ie.