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Teaching and Learning Showcase
Myths & Legends in Irish Folklore - New Elective Developed

Module Title:

Myths and Legends in Irish Folklore

Module Coordinator:

Bairbre NĂ­ Fhloinn

Module Code:


The establishment of this module was partly as a result of student reaction to, and engagement with, previously existing modules in Irish Folklore. There was scope to develop the idea of myth and legend as keys to understanding and exploring our world, in the present as in the past. The module aimed to examine the enduring importance of symbolism and metaphor and the persistence of themes in contemporary society. It also intended to address the continuing relevance and use of myth and legend.


The module set out to explore the use of group assignment, rather than individual work, as a means of assessment, and as a means of increasing student interaction with the module content and with each other. All students were required to carry out fieldwork, using both traditional interview methods and by engaging with various media, including newspapers, blogs, and radio. The module also examined and experimented with the use of non-traditional teaching resources, such as Internet sites and blogs, and contemporary media.

The Innovative Approach:

The module involved an original combination of source material, which encouraged students to be pro-active in their assignment research. This material included traditional archival and library sources, combined with the use of both classic and contemporary fiction and film, as well as mass media resources and the Internet.

There was one group assignment for the module - with the class divided up into a number of small units - and an end-of-semester examination. The group work was a key aspect of the learning environment, with use being made of on-line resources, augmented by weekly tutorials.


The module proved attractive to a wide-ranging group of students, from Ireland and abroad, representing a very inter-disciplinary and varied cohort. Responses to, and participation in, the group assignments were generally positive, as was overall reaction to the module. Inevitably, the module proved to be a learning curve for those involved in teaching it, and fine-tuning of certain aspects – including increased use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter – should ensure the module’s continuing popularity.