Digital by Design: Building Capacity for Digital Education

The Initative Team

Initiative Lead
Trinity College Dublin

Primary Contact
Pauline Rooney

Initiative Budget


Initiative Type


Trinity’s Strategic Plan 2020-25: Community and Connection focuses on embedding ‘next-generation teaching and learning practices’ by committing to, among other priorities, the implementation of a ‘full spectrum digital learning strategy by 2022’ (3.8). Digital by Design supports the mainstreaming of evidence-based digital education practices, where digital teaching, learning and assessment (TLA) activities are purposefully designed and underpinned by robust pedagogical principles.

Digital by Design recognises the need to move beyond generic competences in digital education to enhance pedagogical capacities of third level educators tasked with teaching in a digital world. It considers the needs of differentiated disciplinary contexts, responding to sectoral strategic priorities around capacity planning for digital education, as defined in the EU ‘Digital Action Plan 2021-27′ which states that teachers ‘should have access to ongoing opportunities for professional learning and development tailored to their needs and their discipline’ (p.7).

Recognising the relationship between teaching and student success, this initiative commits to:

• A systematic institutional mapping of digital education practices and international benchmarking to establish digital pedagogic requirements across the disciplines at Trinity.
• A comprehensive, evidence-based professional development framework for digital education that addresses differentiated disciplinary requirements and provides guidance to support digital TLA at Trinity.
• Two online modules/micro-credentials targeted at teaching staff and Graduate Teaching Assistants, focusing on enhancing core pedagogic competences in digital TLA.

The initiative is led by Academic Practice in partnership with student interns and research assistants, thus strengthening Trinity’s commitment to a partners-in-learning approach identified in the Trinity Strategic Plan 2020-25.