Learning Analytics: Innovative Practices

This is a recording of the National Forum’s webinar ‘Learning Analytics: Innovative Practices’ from November 2019. Our second learning analytics seminar, this event provided presenters from Irish and European higher education to offer brief but highly informative and thought-provoking presentations on the innovative practices relating to data-enabled student success that they are currently engaged in. Presenters include Hazel Murphy from Waterford Institute of Technology who outlines the rich value of quiz data for enabling staff who teach to develop a data-enhanced practice, Pieterjan Bonne of Artevelde University College, who introduces some of the early key findings of the Erasmus+ OFLA (Onwards from Learning Analytics) project and Mark Glynn who gives an overview of how Dublin City University uses data gathered through Moodle to avoid assessment overload, identify students that may be at risk of underperforming and enhance the experience of all students.

Embracing alternative formats, assessment strategies and digital technologies to revitalise practical sessions in Science & Health

A report commissioned by the steering committee of the
“Technology Enhanced Assessment Methods (TEAM) in science & health practical settings”
project entitled:
Embracing alternative formats, assessment strategies and digital technologies to revitalise practical sessions in Science & Health
Author: Ronan T. Bree
Department of Applied Sciences, Dundalk Institute of Technology
Editors: Akinlolu Akande, Dina Brazil, David Doyle, Nuala Harding, Yvonne Kavanagh, Moira Maguire and Anne Mulvihill.

Learning Analytics: What Works?

This webinar explores innovative approaches to harnessing data, and the growing recognition of its potential to support whole-of-institution strategies for student success.

Primarily aimed at Ireland’s higher education teachers and policy-makers/managers, this interactive online event discusses what an effective data-enabled student success strategy looks like. It also explores a range of national and international best practice on dynamic data-led student success initiatives.

The speaker line-up includes Linda Hanna who discusses her experience of implementing a successful institutional learning analytics strategy at the University of Essex. The award-winning use of everyday software to provide personalised feedback to large student groups is presented by GMIT’s Dr Cormac Quigley. Dr Niamh Nestor and Diane Cashman explore UCD’s advanced learning analytics initiative.

Introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER) & Open Licensing

A National Forum webinar “Introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER) & Open Licensing” took place on 11 June 2019. The webinar provided an overview of open licensing using Creative Commons licenses and featured the published resource, the National Forum Open Licensing Toolkit (itself an OER).

Guest speaker Jennryn Wetzler, Assistant Director of Open Education at Creative Commons, defined open education and open educational resources (OER) and demonstrated how to use Creative Commons licenses to find, use, create, and share OER. Catherine Cronin, Strategic Education Developer at the National Forum, spoke about the power of open education to improve access, enhance teaching and learning, and improve equity.

National Professional Development Framework: Domains

The PD Framework identifies five distinct areas to assist staff to explore how they may structure their professional and personal development as teachers. These areas are called domains. The flexible structure of the Framework means that an individual or group may start with any of the five domains, as they complement each other. Engagement with the scholarship of teaching and learning is an underlying component of each of the five domains.

National Professional Development Framework

Ireland’s first framework to support the professional development of those who teach across the sector was published by the National Forum in 2016. It is underpinned by a set of core values and provides a structured outline of professional development activities for teaching and learning within the sector.

National Professional Development Framework: Values

An explanatory video of the five core values underpinning staff engagement with professional development: Inclusivity, Authenticity, Collaboration, Scholarship, Learner-centredness. The values reflect the aims of the PD Framework on empowering and encouraging staff, enhancing the learning experience and contributing to quality in teaching and learning in Irish Higher Education.

Learning Analytics Platform Guide

The information in this guide was submitted directly by interested vendors through a request
for information (RFI) that was issued internationally by the National Forum and HEAnet through
eTenders, the Irish Government’s tendering platform (Reference number: HEAnet_DESSI_
LearningAnalytics18). RFIs are standard business processes, through which suppliers and vendors
are asked to provide information on their products’ capabilities.

Individual vendors were not targeted. Rather, a general request was extended through eTenders,
inviting responses from self-selecting vendors that met a range of criteria, most notably that they
had already worked with HEIs in Europe to provide platforms that enabled analysis of data relating
to student engagement and success.

Vendors were asked to respond to a standardised set of questions relating to:
— User functionality
— Service agreements
— Cost
— Infrastructural and technical specification
— Compatibility with platforms currently in use in Irish HEIs

In total, nine responses were received, all of which are included in this guide. The responses have
not been altered or edited and are presented in the exact format in which they were submitted
directly by the vendors themselves.

National Teaching Expert Learning Impact Awards

The national learning impact awards, co-ordinated through the National Forum, aim to support institutional efforts to promote, learn from and extend the reach of excellent practice in teaching and learning across all disciplines. Ireland has three learning impact awards, the student-led Teaching Hero Awards were completed in September 2014 and 2016, and one institution-led Teaching Expert Awards was initiated and presented in 2015. The third national learning impact award type, the discipline-focused DELTA Award. was prsented in 2017. This document describes the process and criteria for the Teaching \expert Awards.