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Awards, Grants & Fellowships


What are the Fellowships?

The Fellowships in Teaching & Academic Development are part of an institutional development structure to encourage a greater number of faculty to focus on advancing university-wide enhancement in teaching and learning through strategic policy/practice-based research. The fellowships offer a mechanism to recognise and reward individuals for these contributions.  Fellows are selected through a competitive process.

The fellowship scheme aims to identify and develop faculty with both the pedagogic expertise and the leadership capacity to effect transformational change in teaching, learning and assessment practices both in discipline-specific areas and thematically, across the institution.

The work of the Fellows in Teaching and Academic Development is focused in areas of strategic importance to the university and is informed by a scholarly approach to the enhancement of teaching and learning and UCD’s curricular structures and practices.

Fellowship activities are informed by international research and experts in the field.

Fellowships 2018-2020

Two Fellowship research teams were formed to focus on university-wide enhancement in teaching and learning through strategic policy and practice-based research on two very different themes: 

  • Designing for learning in the VLE
  • Teaching and learning across cultures

Designing for learning in the VLE

This project brought together four fellows:

  • Associate Professor Crystal Fulton, UCD School of Information & Communications Studies
  • Associate Professor Carmel Hensey, UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science
  • Associate Professor James Matthews, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Science
  • Associate Professor Emma O’Neill, UCD School of Veterinary Medicine   

Their action research project focused on leveraging the VLE (Brightspace) to develop students’ metacognitive skills.  Metacognition (or thinking about thinking) is an essential skill for both effective critical thinking and lifelong learning. However, there is uncertainty around how to use the online environment to effectively develop students’ metacognitive skills. The fellows undertook a comprehensive literature review and from this they created their metacognition design framework to support the development of metacognitive skills using a hybrid approach of face to face and online learning.

Having designed the framework, the fellows wanted to know how students would engage with this approach through three case study modules. The results showed a significant positive impact on student learning, including a significant increase in students’ metacognitive awareness.  Students’ feedback further reinforced the empirical results. This research is particularly relevant for teaching and learning in blended and online environments and offers evidence-based practical strategies that can be applied in diverse disciplinary contexts.

Two videos were created by the Fellows detailing their metacognitive design framework and their research findings, please see the short version below. Please ensure have cookies enabled on your browser to view the video. If you cannot see the video, please clear your cache, reload the page and accept cookies. 

Learn More

The full version video below provides further information on metacognitive design framework and the research findings.

Leveraging the Virtual Learning Environment to Develop Metacognitive Skills in Students

Teaching and learning across cultures

This project brought together two fellows:

  • Dr Cliona O’Sullivan, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Science
  • Dr Aideen Quilty, UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work & Social Justice

The aim of their research project was to deepen understandings and inform best practice for Intercultural Teaching and Learning in UCD. The fellows conducted focus group enquiries to understand perspectives of UCD students and staff about their experiences and perceptions of intercultural teaching and learning.  Participants were invited to bring an artefact to the focus group discussions which were used as prompts to help participants articulate their experiences and understandings of intercultural learning. The key research findings are presented in relation to the themes of

  1. Teaching and Learning;
  2. Culture/Interculturalism;
  3. ORCA Conceptual Framework for Intercultural Learning.

The ORCA Framework was developed and tested by the fellows and underpins their definition of Intercultural Learning as "the opportunities and experiences of working with and learning from people across different cultures". The fellows also developed an Intercultural Teaching & Learning 101 Tool which offers practical strategies to UCD lecturers and tutors who wish to promote Intercultural Learning opportunities for their students in classes, modules and programme.

Learn More

The UCD Teaching and Learning Across Cultures Report details the methodology and findings of the research on that project.

The Intercultural Teaching and Learning 101 Tool is also available in summary version

Previous Fellows