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Module Enhancement
Learning to Teach; Teaching to Learn
Project: Learning to Teach; Teaching to Learn. Developing Effective Practices in 3rd Level Education
Project Team: Crystal Fulton
Collaborator(s): n/a


President’s Teaching Award, 2010 funded by SIF II


One anticipated outcome of a doctorate is the acquisition of teaching expertise and experience.  However, while doctoral students are sometimes called upon to participate in teaching, they often do not receive explicit instruction in third level teaching.  This project offers doctoral students the opportunity to explore effective means of creating curricula, presenting content, designing and implementing assessment, engaging students in learning, and integrating e-learning tools in teaching and learning in an actual undergraduate class environment through a new module aimed at doctoral students, IS50060: Learning to Teach; Teaching to Learn. Developing Effective Practices in 3rd Level Education (10 credits).
  • To support UCD’s strategic plans with respect to education by developing graduate education, encouraging innovation in education, and fostering academic development.
  • To engage with doctoral students at an early point in their careers to help them acquire the necessary skills that will provide a strong foundation for ongoing excellence in teaching in their future employment.
  • To offer doctoral students the opportunity to consider principles and approaches to effective teaching, and then to apply this information within a live classroom environment.
  • To engage doctoral students in reflecting upon their teaching practice through a teaching e-portfolio to facilitate continuous development of their teaching.
IS50060 was offered in Semester 2, 2010-2011 through the School of Information and Library Studies (SILS).  Doctoral students became involved in all aspects of delivery for the SILS’ undergraduate module, IS20090: Web 2.0 and Social Media, including lectures, labs, small group sessions, test invigilation, and assessment. Information about the experience, gathered from both undergraduate and doctoral student perspectives, will be used to evaluate and further develop this model of learning.

Outcomes to date:

  • Successful launch of new doctoral module, IS50060, based in the School of Information and Library Studies (SILS) and advertised to doctoral students across UCD in 2010-2011.

Ongoing work:

  • A paper identifying the particular needs of doctoral students and experiences as developing instructors, and ways to address those needs, will be written in the autumn 2011.  The paper will be submitted for publication in a leading international education conference and journal.
Next Steps:
This project promotes high quality teaching across the university, increases the competitiveness of UCD’s doctoral graduates, enhances the doctoral experience, and is a key component in an overall university-wide approach to doctoral education.  A bi-annual offering of this module is proposed for the future, pending available resources.