Fostering deliberate practice in critical analytical writing for postgraduate learners

The Initative Team

Initiative Lead
Institute of Technology Carlow

Primary Contact
Daire O'Broin

Initiative Budget


Initiative Type


In order for learners of any discipline to internalise the competencies necessary to successfully perform at postgraduate level, opportunities for deliberate, scaffolded practice (Sadler, 2010) in critical analytical writing are required.

This T&L initiative is a human-centred design (HCD) study in which an evidence-informed digital system to enable self and peer assessment and support a community of practice will be co-created with students and supervisors attached to IT Carlow’s research centres in computer science (gameCORE) and applied social sciences (socialCORE).

The proposed system goes beyond existing peer review technology in that it will be specifically tailored for learning at NQF Levels 9 and 10 and allow for repeated reviews, enabling structured progress towards agreed performance goals provide exemplars of good practice purposively foster meta-cognition.

The HCD study will comprise the following stages:

1. Empathise: work collaboratively with learners to determine their needs vis-a-vis critical analytical writing skills
2. Define: prioritise a set of needs to refine the problem statement
3. Ideate: generate a diverse range of possible solutions
4. Prototype: build the most promising solution 5. Test: evaluate how well the solution meets the learners’ needs.

This process is iterative; each iteration will refine the needs and quality of the proposed solution. Illustrative examples of possible solutions are provided in the accompanying video.

Materials from the project will be available to researchers across all HEIs to enable them to replicate the solution and establish a system of deliberate practice in critical analytical writing and training seminars provided.