Learning Connections 2019: Spaces, People, Practice

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Sponsored by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, the Learning Connections 2019 conference brought together learners, teachers, architects, designers and all who support teaching, from across third level institutions: from universities; institutes of technology; community; industry; government agencies; policy makers; and regulators, under the frame of learning connections. This conference is underpinned by the following research questions:
  • How can we connect across disciplinary boundaries, and break down barriers between academia, administration, community and industry to strive for optimal student learning in Third Level Institutions?
  • How can learning in different spaces - physical, active, virtual, off campus, enable all students, as global citizens, to think through and solve big problems?


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 42
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    Learning Connections 2019: Spaces, People, Practice
    (University College Cork, 2019) Supple, Briony; Delahunty, Tom
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    Modularity and interdisciplinarity: Confucian insight for STEM-related disciplines
    (University College Cork, 2019) Power, Kevin J.; Supple, Briony; Delahunty, Tom
    The modularity of the education system is generally geared toward a career-specific path for individual students. While varied subject choices and extracurricular activities can provide students with a rich range of experience, increased specialisation can create a sense of separateness between disciplines which may result in the neglect of engagement between fields which are otherwise mutually informative and insightful. A greater openness to interdisciplinarity would have the benefit of exposing specialists to fresh ways of viewing familiar subjects with a further potential to inform and inspire new and mutually beneficial pathways of education and learning. I illustrate the potential of an interdisciplinary approach in the context of the climate crisis. STEM-related disciplines can draw practical insight from compatible and well-founded philosophical principles e.g. Confucian leadership principles which warn against overconsumption, encouraging the kind of environmental awareness which could avert or mitigate the environmental and societal impact of climate change.
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    Podcasts as a tool to engage broader audiences
    (University College Cork, 2019) Scriven, Richard; Supple, Briony; Delahunty, Tom
    This paper examines how audio podcasts can be deployed by universities and other educational institutions to engage with a broader range of audiences and encourage critical discussion of contemporary issues. Using the case study of a podcast I produced, I consider how the medium is an accessible and user-friendly format that enables the generation of content aimed at a general listenership. Insight into how this approach can bring teaching and research materials to new groups of people is created by reflecting on the process of making and distributing a series (Hacker 2017). Since their emergence in the early 2000s, podcasts - as a form of internet on-demand radio – have been used by universities as an additional dissemination system. Departments and universities were early adaptors to help spread knowledge, research findings, and commentary on topics of public interest (Open Culture 2006). One of the main deployments has been to augment student learning through the recording of podcasts as an alternative or supplement to lectures or as a revision or feedback tool (Fernandez et al. 2015; Kidd 2011; Lonn and Teasley 2009). More recently, within the discipline of geography, podcasts are being recognised as a distinct tools for more inclusive research that can reach groups who do not usually follow academic discourses (Kinkaid, Brain, and Senanayake 2019). Building on these strands, this paper focuses on how a podcast can be used as an educational mechanism both for general audiences and undergraduates, which recognises diverse forms of learning and the importance of accessible materials (Ambrose et al. 2010; Towler, Ridgway, and McCarthy 2015).
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    Sports law in motion: The Sports Law Clinic @UCC - A unique learning and teaching space for student engagement, dynamism and creativity
    (University College Cork, 2019) Parkes, Aisling; Ó Conaill, Seán; Supple, Briony; Delahunty, Tom
    UCC Sports Law Clinic is the only undergraduate clinic of its kind in the world (https://sportslawclinic.wordpress.com/). It was initially founded and developed by Dr Aisling Parkes and Dr Seán Ó Conaill (UCC School of Law) in 2015, established on foot of an Irish Research Council New Foundations Award. The Clinic not only provides undergraduate law students with an exceptional research experience, as well as an extraordinary learning experience in terms of skills development and application of law to facts, but it also provides a free legal information service to the wider community both within and outside of UCC. It is a student-led initiative and encourages students to be creative, innovative and to think outside the box. Through student research, overseen by Dr Ó Conaill and Dr Parkes as clinic directors, a much-needed pro bono information service in the field of sport is made accessible to the local community.
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    Technology enhanced food industry engagement and work placement curriculum quality assurance
    (University College Cork, 2019) Dunne, Julie; Supple, Briony; Delahunty, Tom
    A recent report has identified several challenges and barriers from the employer perspective that can limit their ability to engage with work-placement (Jackson, Rowbottom, Ferns, & McLarend, 2017). These include a lack of shared understanding between the University and Industry of what is involved in work-placement; misalignment between employer and university expectations on the purpose and nature of the placement experience, especially what constitutes a quality placement and how this can be achieved; and ability to locate a suitable student. Additionally, not being approached by Universities and/or access to relevant University staff who arrange work-placements can be problematic. For unstructured work-placements, identifying suitable projects for students to undertake was found to be a considerable challenge. Recommendations to the University to reduce such barriers centre around developing collaborative relationships. In Ireland, specific guidelines to facilitate quality work-placement have been compiled in the ‘Roadmap for Academic-Employment Partnerships (REAP) Work-placement in Third Level-Programmes’ report (Sheridan & Linehan, 2011), and focus mainly on communications, learning agreements, mentoring practices, student selection processes, reflection on practice, and assessment and feedback mechanisms. This paper will set out how the recommendations of the REAP report for work-placement were realised in TU Dublin Food related programmes, and the important role that technology played in this process.