DEPTH – Digitally Enhanced Practical Teaching in Health science

The Initative Team

Initiative Lead
Trinity College Dublin

Primary Contact
Prof Cuisle Forde

Initiative Budget


Initiative Type


Teaching and learning practical skills is an area which many would not traditionally consider to be suited to online or distance learning methods. Restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic required those who teach and those who learn to adapt and to demonstrate innovation in methods of practical skill acquisition. This initiative aims to consolidate some positive disturbances that occurred in relation to practical teaching during 2020 in partnership with students.
Specific aims are to;
• Examine opportunities and barriers to digitally enhanced practical teaching.
• Analyse student, academic, clinical professional and patient perspectives on digitally enhanced practical teaching.
• Examine the feasibility and efficacy of digitally enhanced practical teaching (in skill acquisition and assessment) in partnership with students.
• Develop an open educational resource informed by results of this research to include resources outlining:
– Opportunities, barriers and considerations related to the acquisition of practical skills using technology.
– An analysis of the attributes of practical skills and their suitability to being taught and assessed using technology.
– Recommendations on digitally enhanced practical teaching and assessment for both those who teach and those who learn.
– Case studies on the acquisition of practical skills using technology.

This study will be conducted in the School of Medicine, however results and methods undertaken will be applicable to many other areas. This initiative aligns with Trinity’s Strategic plan by conducting research in partnership with students to ensure evidence-based pedagogical insights are applied to innovative digital teaching methods.