E-learning has enormous potential for enhancing teaching and learning at all levels of the education sector. However, the potential of e-learning is often undermined by academics’ lack of technical (software and hardware) expertise and lack of knowledge of e-learning pedagogies. Consequently, the potential of e-learning remains unfulfilled in many institutions.
Ireland’s education sector is increasingly required to provide third and fourth level education on a very large scale. In addition to providing traditional campus-based learning, there is a growing need to provide both Irish and international students with opportunities to study in ways that are flexible and suited to the work and family needs of individuals. Increasingly, graduates recognise the need for lifelong learning, often to Masters level, and the provision of blended and online learning opportunities will provide the modern lifelong learner with opportunities to upskill as required by their employers.
The aim of this T&L initiative is to develop technical e-learning expertise and knowledge of e-learning pedagogies within schools across each of the Faculties at DCU. The initiative will ensure that each of the participating schools will have an eLearning champion who will act as a school-based ‘resource’, providing both technical and pedagogical advice to colleagues, thus enhancing the e-learning capabilities within each school.
The chosen e-learning champion within each of the participating schools will receive some relief from his/her teaching duties and undergo intensive and extensive training, both within the Teaching Enhancement Unit of DCU, and externally, as required.