Background to VIT&L Week
We have reached a key moment for teaching and learning in Irish higher education. There is increased investment, in terms of both resources and time and energy, and the fundamental link between teaching and learning and key educational imperatives such as employability, internationalisation, innovation, equality of opportunity, academic excellence and student success, is coming into sharp focus.
An exploration of insights from across the sector conducted in May 2020 provided a useful window into the effects on teaching and learning of the sudden move to online/remote education in the preceding months. How well individual departments and institutions were positioned to support students and staff through this crisis was noted to have been influenced by the investment of time and resources in digital (and non-digital) teaching and learning structures, resources, communities and leaders that had already taken place.
The vision of the National Forum, which was endorsed by the sector in 2018, is a valued and informed teaching and learning culture in Irish higher education. National structures and approaches to underpin teaching and learning enhancement have been established and are being emulated internationally. In every higher education institution across Ireland people are engaging in and committing to teaching and learning enhancement. If this engagement in, and commitment to, the enhancement of teaching and learning is to be valued, however, that value must first be understood and articulated.