The use of digital and open technologies, tools and platforms for teaching and learning has created unique opportunities in higher education as well as policy-related challenges, especially since March 2020.

In October 2021, the National Forum published an updated Guide to Developing Enabling Policies for Digital and Open Teaching and Learning. The guide is designed to support the development of institutional policies for digital and open teaching and learning, including online, blended and face-to-face modes of learning. The short but informative guide includes an updated definition of enabling policies, a five-step guide to developing enabling policies, case studies and example policies from Irish and international higher education institutions, and additional resources.

The guide is based on wide consultation across the Irish higher education sector between 2019 and 2021, building on existing knowledge and taking into account the context of remote/online teaching and learning. Since March 2020, there has been a recognition that many institutional policies for online teaching, learning and assessment did not sufficiently meet the needs of students, staff and institutions, and/or that the necessary policies did not exist in areas such as Blended and Online Learning, Lecture Recording, Virtual Classrooms, Digital Assessment, Open Educational Resources and more.

The Guide to Developing Enabling Policies for Digital and Open Teaching and Learning outlines a five-step process to ensure that policy-making is meaningful, inclusive, collaborative and intentionally equitable. The guide is designed for all who are involved in developing digital, open and/or T&L policies, as well as those who would like to be involved in the consultation and/or development of such policies, policy briefs, related procedures or guidelines – i.e. all higher education staff and students.

Previously published National Forum policy resources: