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Teaching Fellowships Report 2010 - 2011

Teaching Fellows 2010-2011

College of Arts & Tourism

Noel Fitzpatrick, Bernadette Burns, Brian Fay

School of Art Design and Printing

Launch of Teaching Fellowship
Using the existing BA Visual Art Programme (Sherkin Island), we intend to develop, use and evaluate innovative student feedback mechanisms. The introduction of more formative feedback mechanisms and the introduction of ‘oral’ assessment and feedback will lead to improvements in the effectiveness of feedback that will benefit DIT and the wider educational sector both practice based and written. Research into formative assessment techniques has pointed to feedback as an essential mechanism in the learning process (Gibbs, 2002). We wish to specifically examine our teaching practices in both Practical and Theoretical subjects delivered both virtually and contact to identify how student feedback can be more effectively employed. 

Adrian Davis

School of Hospitality Management and Tourism

The overall aim of this proposed research project is to examine the correlation between class attendance and academic achievement within a cohort of first year undergraduate students.

 The specific objectives of the project are as follows:

  • To ascertain whether a definitive relationship exists between attendance and attainment;
  • To determine the factors which contribute to unsatisfactory attendance by students who do not attend class regularly;
  • To suggest a strategy for enhancing student attendance;
  • To identify further research opportunities in the broader context of student engagement.

The benefits of the proposed research project findings will be to inform, both at student, institutional and national level, the relationship between class attendance and academic achievement during the first year of participation in higher education. Furthermore, the study will endeavour to identify factors which contribute to the lack of engagement by some students.

College of Engineering & Built Environment

Colin Caprani

School of Civil and Building Services Engineering

Structural engineering brings mathematics and physics together to solve real-world problems, such as the design of bridges and buildings. A core competency of its practitioners is therefore an ability to physically interpret abstract mathematical models. Failures to do so have serious consequences for public safety. In the teaching of structural engineering, there is an increasing disconnect noted between the mathematical models used, and the physical interpretation of results. This could be for a number of reasons. One solution is to expose students to more physical experimentation than has been traditionally included in courses. This project aims to improve students’ physical interpretation of mathematical models through model-building, physical testing, and computer modelling. This improvement will cut across all course modules, and will reveal itself in improved student engagement with the subject-matter, with consequent improved outcomes.

David Dorran

School of Electrical Systems Engineering

BASICS - Building a System to Ingrain Core Competencies within Students
The aim of the project is to develop a system which will promote a solid knowledge of programmes “core competencies” amongst students. This will be achieved by building a set of online quizzes which students will undertake on a regular basis throughout the delivery of programme modules. Quizzes will include feedback with links to web-based activities/information to help students develop their understanding. The anticipated benefits of the project are as follows:

•    Promote understanding of core competencies

•    Development of E-learning expertise

•    Re-use of quizzes across programmes

•    Promote vertical coherence within programmes

•    Efficient feedback

•    Encourage self-directed learning

Audrey Martin
School of Spatial Planning

GeoLearn Multi Media Resources Project
The objective of the GeoLearn Multi-Media Resources Project is to assess the potential of pedagogically designed video demonstrations in supporting the learning requirements of students in the Spatial Information Sciences. Currently, over 300 full and part-time students in the College of Engineering undertake a module in Land Surveying each semester in the area of practical land surveying techniques. Students often experience difficulties when carrying out practical project tasks due to the relatively short one-on-one field demonstration time. Thus to enhance the students’ practical learning experience a number of short videos with voice over instruction have been developed. It is expected that evaluation of the use of videos in formal field assessments will inform future content development. The videos are intended as an enhancement rather than a replacement to the more traditional forms of demonstration and notes based instruction, and combined provide a multi-media approach to learning

College of Business

Daire Hooper
School of Management

Research Methodology at level 8 & 9 - a web-enabled approach
The current project aims to examine students’ perceptions of webinars as an alternative to the traditional lecture. Through the implementation of webinars it is hoped that students’ will become more engaged with the course content as well as increase peer-to-peer interaction. The project will be piloted with postgraduate students taking a core module in Research Methods and will provide students with step-by-step instructions on how to perform various statistical analyses. As webinars can be viewed live or pre-recorded, it is advantageous in that it allows the students to return to the material at a time that is convenient to them.


Mary Lawlor
School of Marketing

Evaluating a Webinar approach to delivering a module in Marketing Planning
This project sets out to develop a module for Marketing planning which will be a blend of virtual and face-to face interaction.
It is the intention that this module would be suitable for delivery to part-time or full time students.
The main objective of this project is:
“To investigate how interactivity can be designed into a module  to enhance learning and improve engagement among the learners.”
The learning outcomes of the module will be the key consideration in the design of several academic tasks which will require learners to apply what they have learned.  The main interest is how these tasks can increase interaction between:
  • Instructor to learner interaction
  • Learner to learner interaction
The following tools will be assessed to enable the interaction for task completion:
  • Annotation tools
  • Collaborative exercises
  • Polls
  • Feedback
  • Audio discussions

College of Science and Health

Julie Dunne and Barry Ryan

School of Food Science & Environmental Health

The aim of the project is to maximise the learning associated with undergraduate laboratories for first and third year students by redesigning and aligning assessments and teaching strategies, devising and implementing appropriate and timely feedback processed, and integrating transferable skills at key stages in the curriculum.

Through the incorporation of transferable skills, the redesign of assessment practice and the provision more effective feedback to students it is hoped that students will be perform better in assessments, be better prepared for conducting their final year independent research studies, become more employable graduates and generally have greater satisfaction with the overall DIT learning experience.

Michael Seery

School of Chemistry & Pharmaceutical Sciences

The aim of this project is to develop pre-lecture resources for introductory chemistry lectures. The purpose of these resources is to

  • reduce the cognitive load of novice learners in lectures by introducing new terms prior to the lecture
  • Incorporate contextualised worked examples to stimulate interest in a topic and scaffold students problem solving skills
  • Provided immediate and targeted feedback to students so that they may identify areas of difficulty.

As a result of the introduction of these pre-lecture resources, the format of the lecture would change, by incorporating a discussion on areas of difficulty into the start of a lecture. The advantage of moving to an online system is that feedback can be immediate and customised to individual student’s difficulties.

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