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Teaching Enhancement Unit

TEU Quick Guides

We provide a resources for staff covering a wide variety of areas related to teaching and learning. This section of the website provides links to each of these resources. If there is any area that you feel is not covered here, please let us know and we would be delighted to offer support wherever possible.

Assessment - Student reflections

Much of our traditional learning experience has led us to believe that we learn best by listening to experts. It has been found, however, that learning that results in increased self-awareness, changed behaviour, and that the acquisition of new skills must actively engage the individual in the learning process. In particular, adults have been found to learn more effectively by doing or experiencing.  In many educational institutions, students are encouraged to write reflective blogs or logs, reflective journals or other forms of reflection capture. The purpose of reflection is to work out what is already known and add new information, with the result of drawing out knowledge, new meaning and a higher level of understanding (Moon, 2004). Reflection should challenge a person's understanding of themselves, their attitudes and behaviours so that any biases are unearthed, thus allowing that individual to become more critical about their views of practice and the world (Jasper & Rolfe, 2011, in Patterson & Chapman 2013).

For the full guide please click here

Self & Peer Assessment

Traditionally, assessment has been the prerogative of the lecturer. Over time, however, universities have come to realise that encouraging student engagement in many aspects of the assessment process is advisable as it builds student understanding of assessment criteria; enables student knowledge and skills to be included in the assessment process; and develops skills of self-managing and teamwork that stand students in good stead for their future careers.

For the full guide please click here

Encouraging Student Engagement online

Those of us who teach partly or fully online are familiar with the difficulty of getting students to engage, either with the lecturer or with each other. It’s a well-known and researched issue. In the links below, you will find some ideas put forward by others who have had the same problems, and have found different ways of addressing them.

For the full guide please click here

Flipping the classroom

Lecturers may hear discussion about a ‘new’ trend, flipping the classroom, and wonder what it is about. It is a term coined by two American teachers, Sams and Bergmann, but the notion of having students do ‘content work’ outside of class and coming to class prepared to share, discuss and examine the material further is not new. This Guide sets out to introduce lecturers to the notion of the flipped classroom, and to look at its strengths and issues to consider.

For the full guide please click here

Learning Outcomes

The use of learning outcomes to specify what students are expected to achieve as a result of their study is a practice that has been occurring for decades, but it is still contentious for some.  This meta-compilation, then, contains not only sites that promote the writing and use of learning outcomes, but also academic articles where this practice is critiqued (foot of this page).

For the full guide please click here

Group Work - what students want from team mates

Providing students with useful information about how to function effectively when they work in groups stands a good chance of improving what the group produces. It also helps students develop important skills they can use in group activities in college and beyond. Providing the information doesn’t guarantee that students will make use of it, but it’s a better option than not providing it.

For the full guide please click here 

Reflection

It is increasingly being recognised that formal reflection on practice is a way that practitioners in any field can maximise their learning from experience.  This meta-compilation, then, contains not only sites that promote the writing and use of learning outcomes, but also academic articles where this practice is critiqued

For the full guide please click here

Assessment: Improving your grading skills

Grading student assignments is a time-consuming business. Lecturers who have a large number of assignments to grade can find themselves subject to fatigue issues that affect the fairness and reliability of grading. Even with the design and use of sound rubrics, they can struggle to give students feedback and feedforward that will best assist them to improve their work. In the tips contained in this guide, two experienced academics provide a range of advice to remedy these problems.

For the full guide please click here 

Creative Exhibits

In some fields, lecturers wish students to produce a variety of creative artefacts or products in order to demonstrate learning, or for assessment. These can take a number of forms. Some are discussed below. Creative exhibits enable students whose preferred learning style is visual and/or kinaesthetic, to demonstrate what they have learned. Additionally, as The NMC Horizon Report 2013, Higher Education Edition comments, engaging in some forms of creative undertaking such as video gaming “help stimulate the production of dopamine, a chemical that provokes learning by reinforcing neuronal connections and communications. Furthermore, educational gameplay has proven to increase soft skills in learners, such as critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and teamwork” (Johnson, Adams, Cummins, Estrada, Freeman & Ludgate, 2013:21). So when you are designing learning and assessment activities, do give some thought to whether and how students could produce a creative exhibit, individually or collaboratively, that demonstrates learning

For the full guide please click here 

Project work / Group work

Project Work/ Group Work covers assignments given to small groups of students (usually 3-4) where the results of the Project Work/Group Work are typically shared with the class as a whole in the form of a presentation, report, or creative exhibit. Problem Based Learning is one pedagogical approach that works well in a group work setting. This type of assessment is used across the disciplines. Care needs to be taken with assessment fairness (beware ‘freeloading’ and disadvantaging of second language students).

For the full guide please click here

Principles of assessment - getting it right

Most staff are required to design, implement and mark student assessments, often without any qualifications that help them to do this rigorously. This can be dangerous for them, and dangerous for their students. This guide provides you with some basic principles to consider as you design assessments for your students.

For the full guide please click here
A Beginner’s Guide to Programme Design

This Guide sets out to assist staff wanting to know how best to design programmes and modules, by referring to sound practice and resources from within DCU and elsewhere.

For the full guide please click here