Profile of Assessment Practices in Irish Higher Education

This report aims to inform the current enhancement theme of the National Forum by profiling documented assessment practices across a sample of 30 undergraduate degree programmes. Further, the study aims to explore whether and how assessment practices differ between fields of study and to share insights regarding students’ experiences of assessment across Irish higher education.

Student Non-Completion on ICT Programmes

This report is based on findings from a National Forum-funded research project on student non-completion on ICT programmes led by a team based at the University of Limerick.

The Paper summarises international literature on student non-completion with a focus on students of ICT ; it outlines proven initiatives and pedagogic practices designed to tackle ICT student non-completion and it presents the results of exploratory case study research on ICT non-completion at the University of Limerick. It also includes further considerations arising specifically from the institutional case study as well as those arising more generally from the question of non-completion in the Irish context.

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.

Teaching and Learning in Irish Higher Education: A Roadmap for Enhancement in a Digital World 2015-2017

One of the key goals of the National Forum is, via wide consultation, to create a digital roadmap to help to guide institutions and organisations in the development of local and national digital strategies and to ensure alignment, coherence and a sense of common endeavour at a sectoral level.

This document is designed to inform and guide senior managers, heads of department, schools or faculties and leaders within the higher education sector. It focuses also on systems-level higher education organisations, as well as representative organisations within the sector which together must take the lead in building digital capacity to enhance teaching and learning across the sector. The roadmap identifies the key priorities for change and provides an informed framework for supporting organisations in addressing these
priorities.

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.

Learning Resources and Open Access in Higher Education Institutions in Ireland

This report arises from the findings of a collaborative project led by Dr. Angelica Risquez from the Centre for Teaching and Learning in the University of Limerick. The project was funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning. The project team included Dr. Claire McAvinia, Learning Development Officer, Learning, Teaching and Technology Centre, Dublin Institute of Technology; Dr. Anne O Keeffe, Director of Teaching and Learning, Centre for Teaching and
Learning, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick; Ms Catherine Bruen, Technology Enhanced Learning Manager, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; Ms. Yvonne Desmond, Manager of the Library Central Services Unit, Dublin Institute of Technology; Dr. Pauline Rooney, Learning Development Officer, Learning, Teaching and Technology Centre, Dublin Institute of Technology; Dr. Sharon Flynn, Assistant Director, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, National University
of Ireland, Galway; Dr. Deirdre Ryan, Teaching and Learning Officer, Blended Learning Unit and Centre for Teaching and Learning, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick; Dr; Fiona Farr, Dean Teaching and Learning, University of Limerick; and Dr Ann Marcus Quinn, University of Limerick. Dr. Ann Coughlan was appointed to the project as Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Limerick.