Innovation in Education

Innovation in Education PNG

This School of Education Research Group has expertise and interest in innovation, pedagogy and technology in education, including STEM and science engagement, teacher professional learning, computational thinking and mathematics pedagogy, mobile learning and educational design.

National and international collaboration, expertise and doctoral research in mathematics and numeracy, history and heritage education, mobile learning in teacher education, professional learning for teachers, and online and blended learning.

Projects funded by European Commission (e.g. Horizon 2020, Erasmus+), Department of Education and Skills (DES), Teaching Council, Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland.



Dr. Cornelia Connolly 
Dr. Paul Flynn 
Dr. Tony Hall 
Dr. Veronica McCauley 
Kathy O'Sullivan
Seán Ó Gradaigh

Postgraduate Students

Edel Connolly
Ronán Connolly
Nora Flaherty
Orlaith Kelly(Devaney)
Maurice (Jim) King
Ronan McArt
Sally McHugh
Michael McNamara
Gemma O'Callaghan
Cillian ÓMurchú
Sarah Carroll

Research Projects:

Building a Research Infrastructure for School Teachers (BRIST) 

The key objective of this of this 3 year Erasmus+ funded project (2019-2022) is to develop teachers into teacher researcher-practitioners through a supported infrastructure and resources which themselves are evidenced based, thereby giving back agency to the very people who will need to make use of and should be driving forward research. Project website 

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Cornelia Connolly, Dr Tony Hall 
Project Partners: School of Education, NUI Galway; University of Hull; Education Futures Collaboration, UK; Universidad De Extremadura, Spain; Theofanis Alexandridis Kai Sia EE, Greece; Ellinogermaniki Agogi Scholi Panagea Savva AE, Greece; Akadamia Finnansow I Biznesu Vistulauszelnia Niepanstwowa, Poland.
Funded by: Erasmus+ (2019-2021)

Computational Thinking and Mathematical Thinking: Digital Literacy in Mathematics Curricula (2019-2021)

In technology-rich mathematics education, mathematics teachers experience two related challenges: fostering both mathematical thinking and computational thinking, stressed in curriculum reform. The main research question of the proposed study is: How can a teaching-learning strategy, focusing on the use of digital tools, support 16-17 years old pre-university students in developing computational thinking skills related to mathematical thinking in pure and applied mathematics courses? Project website 

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Cornelia Connolly 
Project Partners: National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA); School of Education NUI Galway; Eötvös Loránd University, Hungry; KU Leuven, Belgium; National Education Institute Slovenia; Estonian Education Competence Center; Norwegian University of Science and Technology; SLO, Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development
Funded by: Erasmus+ (2019-2021)

Circular HRM: Enhancing circular skills and jobs through human resources management training 

This project sets out to ascertain needs and develop training packages to upskill eco-companies throughout Europe with a Human Resource (HR) Management model that champions a circular economy approach. A new approach to HR management is required so that the circular economy can respond to social problems the linear economy produces (unemployment, skills mismatch, stress and depression in the workplace, work of ageing populations, etc.). Research methods include: Interviews, Surveys, Modified Delphi.

Principle Investigator(s): Paul Flynn, Dr. Veronica McCauley
Project Partners: Belgium, Italy, Spain, The Republic of North Macedonia & Lithuania.
Funded by: Erasmus+ (2019-2021)

Designing and Evaluating Innovative Mobile Pedagogies (DEIMP)

This project advocates an innovative, developmental approach to widen the spread and reach of the design and evaluation of innovative mobile pedagogies. Project website 

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Cornelia ConnollyDr Tony Hall, Seán Ó Gradaigh
Project Partners: School of Education NUI Galway; University of Hull; University of Technology Sydney; PXL Hogeschool; Hogeschool Inholland; TELLConsult; Cardet.
Funded by: Erasmus+ (2018-2020)

Developing Good Practice Guidelines for Numeracy Provision for Adults

This research project allowed researchers to design and develop good current practices in the teaching and learning of numeracy among adult learners. These guidelines will be used by adult tutors to promote numeracy development in adult education.

Principle Investigator(s): Kathy O'Sullivan
Project Partners: University of Limerick, NUI Galway and University College Cork
Funded by: SOLAS, ETBI

IDEA: European herItage 3D gamEs platform for teaching mAths

IDEA project through experiential action aims to address underachievement in the basic skills of maths. It aims at working effectively in relation to the subject of mathematics focusing on the "multiplication table" because of the complexity and the succession of manoeuvres needed for its application. IDEA project through experiential action will be fostering critical thinking skills by addressing cultural context in teaching science.

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Tony Hall, Dr Paul Flynn  
Project Partners: Greece, Cyprus & Spain
Funded by: Erasmus+ (2019-2021)

Numeracy Across the Curriculum Network 

This research project will allow teachers from primary and post-primary schools to share their experience of teaching numeracy across the curriculum. This will support a national network of teachers to work together and share teaching strategies and lessons embedding numeracy across the curriculum.

Principle Investigator(s): Kathy O'Sullivan
Project Partners: University of Limerick, NUI Galway 
Funded by: Teaching Council (2019)

Starship Earth

The goal of Spaceship Earth is to inspire, engage and educate teachers, students and the public about STEM through launching four high-altitude balloons from Ireland to the ‘Edge of Space’. The ability of high-altitude balloons to carry student projects & cameras to the “Edge of Space” into the stratosphere (~30,000m), allows reflection on the uniqueness of our blue planet - Spaceship Earth.

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Cornelia Connolly
Project Partners: University of Limerick, NUI Galway 
Funded by: SFI Discover (2020)


The STARTED project aims to reinforce and structure a European network for promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in the R&D area while improving the flow of knowledge and win-win cooperations between HEIs and businesses

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Paul Flynn  
Project Partners: TechInnovate (Lead), School of Education, Belgium, Spain, France & Italy 
Funded by: Erasmus+ (2019-2021)


Other 'Innovation in Education' projects: 

Apple RTC na Gaillimhe

Professional Development provider for teachers (Educational Technology Workshops) Project Website

Principle Investigator(s): Sineád Ní GhuidirSeán Ó Gradaigh
Funded by: Apple (2019-2021)

Breaking the S.E.A.L.

The aim of the programme is to support senior cycle history students as the complete their mandatory Research Study Report by connecting them with the important archives held at the James Hardiman Library at NUIG. 

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Paul Flynn  
Funded by: 
NUI Galway (2015-2021)


Principle Investigator(s): Dr Cornelia Connolly 
Project Partners: CSforALL, NCCA, PDST, Google
Funded by: Google

Innovate 21

The Innovate21 programme been designed to engage, encourage and nurture the entrepreneurial talent that is held within the Irish second level student population. Participation in the programme is structured on the TechInnovate Model at the National University of Ireland Galway and the MIT Disciplined Entrepreneurship Model. Participants are senior cycle secondary school students who are interested in developing entrepreneurial, creativity and innovation skill sets for application in a wide variety of areas. 

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Paul Flynn  
Funded by: 

Mobile in Teacher Education (MiTE)

International Conference on Mobile Technology in Teacher Education

Principle Investigator(s): Sineád Ní GhuidirSeán Ó GradaighDr Tony Hall
Project Partners: CalState University, University of Hull, UTS Sydney


Older 'Innovation in Education' projects: 

Academic Skills Hub

The Academic Skills Hub aims to support all NUI Galway students  - especially first-years - to develop the key skills required for academic success.

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Paul Flynn  
Funded by: 
NUI Galway (2018) 

Cell EXPLORERS: National expansion for a sustainable public engagement model 

Cell EXPLORERS is a successful science education and public engagement (E&PE) programme delivering STEM activities regionally and nationally ( It uses a unique model for sustainable science public engagement in HigherEducation Institutions (HEIs) where undergraduate and postgraduate student volunteers from local HEIs, deliver outreach activities to school children and the Irish public.  

Principle Investigator(s): Andrea HigginsDr. Veronica McCauley
Project Partners: Biochemistry, School of Natural Science, NUI Galway (Project lead); AIT, DkIT, IT Carlow, IT Tralee, LYIT, Cork IT, GMIT, LIT, Maynooth University, UCC, UCD, UL, Galway Education Centre
Funded by: SFI Discover (20??)

Computer Science Professional Development

The aim of this Computer Science Professional Development (CS PD) programme is to develop mathematics teachers and pre-service teachers in the field of computer science education, who will recognise the value of and remain committed to continued professional development throughout their careers. 

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Cornelia Connolly 
Funded by: Google (2019)


Development of an e-learning resource to deliver an adaptive approach to mathematics constructed around the user on multiple digital platforms.

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Paul FlynnDr. Veronica McCauley
Funded by: 
Enterprise Ireland

Creative Coding For Maths Makers

The Creative Coding for Maths Makers project integrates mathematical and computer programming concepts, with a specific focus on promoting STEM amongst our student teachers. The BA Mathematics and Education student teachers  work with primary and post-primary school children to promote mathematics and computer programming integration. Participants (both student teachers and school children) develop understanding and design of innovative mathematical concepts by a coding interface and then render their virtual models physically in the MakerSpace. Project website   

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Cornelia Connolly 
Funded by: Google (2018)

Guerrilla Science

Guerilla Science: Public Science Installations, Interventions and Interruptions Pilot Project: This inter-institutional and interdisciplinary research examines the potential for STEM Outreach best practice by drawing together scientists and artists to create public exhibitions to take STEM communication into public spaces and to change the way people engage with science in society.

Principle Investigator(s):  Dr. Veronica McCauley, Dr. Kevin Davison
Funded by: NUI Galway (2011-2012)


Principle Investigator(s):  Dr Tony Hall, Dr. Bonnie Long
Funded by: Erasmus+ 

Sea Change

Sea Change is a H2020 project that aims to bring about a fundamental “Sea Change” in the way European citizens view their relationship with the sea (defined in this project as all open and enclosed saltwater environments), by empowering them – as ‘Ocean Literate’ citizens - to take direct and sustainable action towards healthy seas and ocean, healthy communities and ultimately - a healthy planet. 

Principle Investigator(s): Dr. Veronica McCauley, Dr Kevin Davison
Project Partners: MBA, UK (Project lead); Marketing, NUI Galway; AuaTT, Ireland; CEFAS, UK; UGOT, Sweden; VLIZ, Belgium; EMB, France; Ecsite, Belgium; EUROGEO, Belgium; DTU, Denmark; Ciencia Viva, Portugal;  UNESCO, France; HCMR, Greece.
Funded by: Horizon 2020