A Conceptual Model for the Professional Development of Those Who Teach in Irish Higher Education

This report presents a conceptual model for professional development, based on the findings of a comprehensive national consultation process. It highlights the sector’s understanding of professional development, identifies some underlying values for the model and suggestions some teaching and learning domains for structuring the process. It presents some of the ideas and challenges for the model’s implementation and it concludes with some next steps in the professional development process.

A Snapshot of Non-Accredited Continuing Professional Development for those who Teach in Irish Higher Education

This is the third of three snapshot reports arising from the professional development consultation document: Mapping Professional Development Pathways for those who Teach in Higher Education. The purpose of these report is to provide focused in-depth coverage of key topics; accredited, non-accredited and disciplinary engagement with professional development.

The aim of this series of reports is to give readers the opportunity to delve selectively or comprehensively into the underpinning research and benchmarking activity that has informed the proposals and options outlined in the professional development consultation document. Based on structured data-gathering and analysis as well as active engagement with key personnel across the sector, these snapshot reports allow the current arrangements for professional development in Irish higher education to be described and interpreted further in the context of prevailing research literature. This report gives an overview of the non-accredited continuing professional development (CPD) activity currently delivered across the sector.

Teaching for Transitions: A Review of Teaching for Transitions Related Teaching and Learning Activity and Research

The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning commissioned this study of scholarship that focuses on ‘Teaching for Transitions’, with particular reference to higher education in Ireland. An international element was included to allow some benchmarking with national scholarship. The question ‘how can this scholarship be more impactful on the practice of teachers in the higher education sector?’ was a key question of interest in the project. Part 1 of the study is reported here. It sets out early results and insights and makes recommendations based on investigations carried out between January and June 2015. It raises questions for further investigation.

A Current Overview of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in Irish Higher Education

This report details an exploration of the current practice relating to the recognition of prior learning in Irish higher education. The research includes a review of the published policies of higher education institutions, their public-facing information as well as an analysis of the details of the mission-based performance compacts outlining goals and objectives for higher education institutions from 2014 to 2016.

In-depth interviews with practitioners in higher education institutions were conducted to explore the implementation of RPL in practice. An exploration of processes relating to identification, evidencing, assessment, and recognition of experiential learning by selected employer professional bodies was undertaken.

A Snapshot of International and National Disciplinary Intiatives for Enhancing Teaching and Learning

This is the first of three snapshot reports arising from the professional development consultation document: Mapping Professional Development Pathways for Those who Teach in Higher Education. As indicated by the term snapshot, these reports provide focused in-depth coverage of key topics; accredited, non-accredited and disciplinary engagement with professional development.

Why Students Leave: Findings from Qualitative Research into Student Non-Completion in Higher Education in Ireland

This project reports on a systematic survey of existing qualitative data on student non-completion gathered by 16 Irish higher education institutions, including Universities, Institutes of Technology and HECA Colleges. The findings of the current qualitative study identified five core themes which are significant in terms of student non-completion: course, personal, financial, medical/health and family. Of these five, course was the strongest influencing factor. Importantly the study calls for a more positive interpretation of non-completion as part of the wider context of students’ career and programme plans. It also suggests that developing systematic and standardised institutional approaches to qualitative data gathering on students who leave will help enhance institutional and policy responses for the future. This study also helps to inform the forthcoming HEA Report 2015 A Study of Progression in Irish Higher Education Institutions 2012/13 2013/14, a quantitative analysis.