Our Strategic Priorities

The National Forum Strategy 2019-21 aims to channel the substantial progress of the past six years, strengthen collaborative relationships within and beyond the Irish higher education sector, and provide leadership and guidance for the continued enhancement of teaching and learning in Irish higher education, for the benefit of all. The National Forum will consolidate progress to date and focus on four key strategic priorities.

The Professional Development of All Those Who Teach

Professional Development ↓

Teaching and Learning in a Digital World

T&L in a Digital World ↓

Teaching and Learning Enhancement Within and Across Disciplines

Enhancement within Disciplines ↓

Student Success

Student Success ↓

The Professional Development of All Those Who Teach

Promoting evidence-based, flexible, inclusive professional development opportunities that reflect the contextual needs and drivers within and across higher education institutions

The National Professional Development Framework

Ireland’s framework to support the professional development of those who teach across the sector

View Framework ➔

Structure of the Professional Development Framework

A values-based framework, underpinned by scholarship relevant to all who teach in higher education

View Structure of Framework ➔

Open Courses Professional Development Interface

Non-accredited professional development opportunities for all who teach in Irish higher education

Open Courses Interface ➔

Professional Development Resources

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 overall goal of enhancing learning, teaching, and overall digital capability

Key Development Since 2014

Supporting students and staff in developing their digital capabilities and informing institutional structures and processes

View Key Developments ➔

Enabling Policies For Digital Teaching And Learning

A policy framework and guidance to support institutions in developing policies for digital teaching and learning

View Enabling Policies ➔

Digital Skills Framework For Higher Education

A shared vision of a higher education culture that fully embraces digital learning and digital innovation

View Digital Skills Framework ➔

National Reviews

Informing decision making and developing a strong evidence base for enhanced pedagogy

View National Reviews ➔

Digital Resources

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

DELTA Framework

Strengthening networks of practitioners in academic disciplines and supporting impact on the teaching within disciplines

View DELTA Framework ➔

Erasmus+ DELTA

A new opportunity which supports international visits to share best practice and recognise enhancement of teaching and learning within disciplines

View Erasmus+ DELTA ➔

DELTA Awards

Celebrating excellence in teaching and learning within the disciplines and commitment to an ongoing, clearly articulated, shared process of continued enhancement

View DELTA Awards ➔

Discipline Resources

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

National Understanding of Student Success

Enabling student success is a key strategic priority of the National Forum. The National Forum understands student success as more than access, progression and completion rates. Helping students to achieve success and attain a quality educational experience is the responsibility of everyone in higher education.

In November 2019, the National Forum was delighted to launch Ireland’s national understanding of student success, compiled in collaboration with a range of sectoral representatives. The shared understanding is as follows:

Student success optimises the learning and development opportunities for each student to recognise and fulfil their potential to contribute to, and flourish in, society.

To be achieved, this requires a culture in Irish higher education that values inclusivity, equity and meaningful engagement between students, staff, their institutions and the wider community.

Since 2013, the National Forum has been engaged in considerable work related to enabling student success. A sectoral focus on teaching for transitions (2013-2015) provided key insights on how transition periods can be successfully supported in higher education. The National Forum facilitated conversations exploring assessment OF/FOR/AS learning and developed nationally recognised principles of assessment (2018-2018). These principles support innovative, engaging, collaborative, learner-oriented and integrated approaches to assessment that take account of the complex dynamics and requirements of higher education.

The focus of the National Forum’s work to December 2021 is on building sectoral understanding of what constitutes student success in different contexts and at different stages. The Forum will also identify and share best practice and support the use of learning analytics, survey data, pilot projects, and a range of partnerships to enable student success.

Online Resource for Learning Analytics (ORLA)

National Forum’s open-access, online library of guides and manuals, covering key topics relating to learning analytics.

View ORLA ➔

Data-Enabled Student Success Initiative

Supporting institutions as they look to develop effective, informed, sustainable strategies for maximising the value of data as a resource

View DESSI ➔

Our Enhancement Themes For Student Success

Teaching for Transitions

A sectoral focus on the enhancement theme ‘Teaching for Transition’ 2013-2015

View Teaching for Transitions ➔

Assessment OF/FOR/AS Learning

A sectoral focus on the enhancement theme ‘Assessment of/for/as Learning’ 2016-2018

View OF/FOR/AS Learning ➔

Student Success Resources