The DSTEP project – Developing Staff To Enhance Programmes in a Sustainable and Impactful Way
Project Lead: Dublin City University
This proposal seeks to address the issues of student learning, quality assurance and enhancement on the psychology programme. A central focus of accredited undergraduate psychology is both teaching and assessment of research literacy (RL) . RL forms a distinct learning pillar that is embedded both vertically (introductory to advanced concepts) and horizontally (research in various psychological fields) across the psychology degree.
Literature on RL points to problems associated with traditional content delivery and assessment – students can disengage, lose motivation, experience high anxiety and fail to generalise learning [e.g. 2]. Gamification of and supported participatory learning are possible solutions that can impact the student learning experience . DCU Psychology recognises that to address these issues they will need to implement significant ‘flip’  and gamified-focused redesign  of the curriculum and plan to undertake specific training in curriculum design, content delivery, technology enhanced learning and assessment techniques. Utilizing a community of practice approach  led out by an intra-institutional curriculum design team , a collaborative network of interdisciplinary peers and advisors will empower the psychology unit to engage in meaningful continuous professional development (CPD).
The Impact Evaluation Framework [8,9] will be used to evaluate the impact on the learner, academic, module/programme and module/programme team. Project deliverables include: adopt a common approach to assessment across the programme aligned with contemporary principles create a suite of Open Educational Resources (OER’s) that may be used to empower the psychology unit to engage in meaningful and creative CPD through structured peer dialogue and support directly address targets of the university strategy on STEM education ensure that this professional development has a sustainable impact on the quality of student learning, the academic and programme team beyond the lifetime of the project align the CPD directly with the National Forum’s Professional Development Framework.