Designing the Learning Experience

a laptop, glasses and stationery on a plain background

The University's general educational philosophy and its ambitions in teaching and learning are captured in the Academic Strategy, the latest version of which is available here.
 Colleges and Schools have responsibility for proposing, designing, and delivering their own educational programmes which reflect their research and domains of professional expertise. 

Whilst modules and programmes comply with formal quality requirements, policies, and standards for structure and organisation, there is still considerable room for creativity and innovation in the design of courses and learning materials.  Approaches to assessment; how technology can be used most effectively; ways of encouraging and promoting active learning; incorporating the results of research and scholarship on teaching, learning, and design – all of these provide opportunities for programme teams and individual lecturers to share their passion for their subject whilst also enhancing the student learning experience.

CELT's courses, seminars, workshops, and consultancy can provide guidance and support in all of these areas and we are very happy to work directly with programme leaders, teaching teams, schools, and disciplines on curricular design and innovation projects.  We have many years' experience working with colleagues across this and other institutions, as well as recognised leadership in a number of these areas.  Contact us directly with any queries, ideas, or project proposals.

Assessment & Academic Integrity

Assessment of student learning requires consideration of a range of different factors including: 

We also provide specific module(s) on assessment as part of our PgCert and PgDip courses, which include discussion of assessment of/for/as learning, authenticity, oral assessment, formative and developmental approaches, and much more! 

Evaluating & Enhancing Your Teaching

Balls with happy and sad faces to describe feedback

In addition to our range of courses and events, CELT supports staff in reflecting and obtaining feedback on their teaching
. Three ways in which we can help include: 

Feedback from students

It is good practice to routinely monitor courses and modules (and indeed is University Policy  Feedback on Modules and Programmes) and feedback from students can shed light on their perception of content, delivery, and learning activities. There are a number of approaches that can be taken to getting student input to any review or evaluation, each of which has its strengths and limitations.

Evaluating Teaching Guide

A typical 'End of Module Questionnaire' which has been adopted or adapted in Schools across the university is available here: 

Printable versions: 

Additional templates: 

Feedback from colleagues

The 'Partnerships for Learning & Teaching' method is essentially peer review or observation of your teaching. Typically, an academic staff member will pair with a critical friend or peer who agrees to attend and review a teaching session of their choosing, and this is then reciprocated.  

The issues to be reviewed or observed are agreed in advance and then a final feedback discussion is held. Those who have previously used this approach have found it to be highly effective and a direct means of strengthening collegiality and a sense of mutual support in a non-threatening context. Sometimes, partnering with a colleague from a very different academic discipline can provide refreshing and alternative perspectives, whilst if the focus is to be on how well you teach a particular topic then it may be helpful to have someone from your own or cognate discipline. 

Partnerships for Learning And Teaching

Evidence gathering and self-reflection

Teaching Portfolios are now commonly used for promotion applications, for making a case for a Teaching Excellence Award, or as part of our PgCert programme. However, they can also be a very effective means of taking stock of your teaching experience and bringing together relevant evidence and reflections, as part of your general professional development and routine practice. 

End of Module Questionnaire (in English).doc

Partnerships for Learning And Teaching

Research, Scholarship, and Projects

mug of coffee, laptop and stationery

CELT undertakes and supports research and scholarship in the broad area of higher education practice and policy. Individual staff interesting include technologies in teaching and learning, sustainability in the curriculum, assessment and academic integrity, academic identities, learning design and creativity.

We supervise and co-supervise PhDs and Masters projects and, through the Higher Education Research & Scholarship Network, we aim to support staff across the university who may wish to engage with the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning. 

Current projects which we lead or in which we are co-investigators are as listed below, the total value of these over their lifespan (1 year, 3 years, and 5 years, depending on the particular project) is approximately €3 million and they fund 5.0 (FTE) posts. [Previous external funding from competitive schemes and initiatives at national and international levels have also totaled several million Euros and supported posts and research students.]  

Funded by the national SATLE (the Strategic Alignment of Teaching and Learning Enhancement) scheme: 

SAT22-1: Academic Integrity & Assessment

This project will:

(1) develop, evaluate, and refine policies and procedures for dealing with academic misconduct and ensure the integrity of assessment;

(2) produce training and professional development resources for students and staff;

(3) provide workshops, seminars, conferences, and other events on the broad topics of integrity and assessment reform/innovation;

(4) train and support a network of Academic Integrity Advisors across disciplines/schools;

(5) develop and embed effective systems for case management, tracking, and metrics;

(6) investigate, process, and review cases and challenges to academic integrity (as per the policy/guidelines);

(7) collaborate with national/international organisations, sharing expertise and research;

(8) maintain awareness of developments, including impact of new technologies such as Generative AI; 

(9) actively promote the value of integrity as a core dimension of professionalism and responsible citizenship in the academic and wider communities. The work is also supported by a Strategic Fund award. 

SAT22-2: Sustainability - Awareness, Education, and Transforming Practice 

This project supports the development of an holistic approach to sustainability and ESD in the institution, working with all schools and colleges, with programme teams, and other staff, exploring how ESD, the SDGs, climate, environmental, and related issues can be embedded within programmes and the broader student learning experience, empowering students to work and lead in the context of a world under pressures from climate change and injustice.

The appointment of two specialist academic staff will also help facilitate connections across teaching, learning, curricular design, research, and community engagement. The project will both promote the use of and collaboratively develop open educational materials, building on existing collaborations and new networks of practice, and promote the use of innovative, engaged, active forms of learning.

SAT22-3: Digital Transformation: The Last Mile Project

The focus of this work is on that often missing, crucial connection, in training or support which determines whether or not someone will actually commit to using particular technologies in their routine teaching practice. This can be due to technical or organisational issues, or a need for training, practice, and confidence. During the COVID period a wide range of technologies were used, some which can also enhance the onsite teaching and learning experience, though in some cases this has not happened.

Locally, the environment has been challenging (in the short term) due to rapid change including a major upgrade of main teaching venues (capital funding) and the transition to a new Virtual Learning Environment. This project aimed to identify any barriers to change, pilot new training and support approaches, and build a user community that will enable a sense of ownership and co-creation for future projects.

European Funded Projects:

CUTIE – Project on Digital Competences, Student Partnership,  and Leadership in Teaching 

This Erasmus+ project is entitled Competences for Universities using Technology in education and Institutional Empowerment (CUTIE) and follows on from a previous successful project with an expanded consortium from the Universities of Galway (Ireland), Copenhagen (Denmark), Murcia (Spain), Krakow (Poland), Zagreb (Croatia), Akureyri (Iceland), and a commercial partner, GTN Solutions (Linz, Austria). 

Digital Champions

a series of laptops on a desk with a blurred office background

Originally a development from the All Aboard project, and funded via a university staff-student partnership scheme, Digital Champions or 'DigiChamps' provides workshops and events that aim to develop and enhance everyone's digital skills and confidence, whether staff or student. The events combine, knowledge, hands-on training, and creativity in a friendly and collaborative environment. 

Get in touch with us with any requests or queries:

Blaneth Mc Sharry 
Gráinne Mc Grath


Teaching Excellence Awards

The University runs an annual teaching awards scheme which is managed and overseen by the Office of the Deputy President & Registrar (DPR) and each of the Colleges.  CELT's administrator manages the nominations and applications, but the details of the criteria and the selection process are the responsibility of the DPR and the selection panels rather than CELT.  Details are published each year and the most recent call is available here;