Technology Enhanced Learning

UCD Educational Technologies

We provide expertise in UCD core educational technologies, including the Virtual Learning Environment (Brightspace), Virtual Classroom (Zoom), Google Workspace Apps and others. 

Our support is focused on the pedagogical application of educational technologies, demonstrating how they can be effectively used to support learning in face-to-face, blended or online teaching and learning contexts. 

The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is a core component in the provision of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) and is critical to the student learning experience.  Faculty and staff have the opportunity to leverage the affordances of Brightspace to provide students with a more responsive and personalised learning experience.

In UCD Teaching and Learning we endeavour to support the implementation of pedagogical-driven approaches ensuring that the VLE is not merely a passive digital repository but utilised in more innovative ways to provide an active learning environment. 

For further information, within our Brightspace Guides section you will find a number of pedagogically focused on: Module/Programme Design; Assessment and Feedback; Collaboration and Communication.

Brightspace Workshops are available and bookable via UCD IT Services

A Virtual Classroom is an online environment that enables lecturers and students to communicate synchronously using audio, video, text chat, interactive whiteboard, application sharing, and instant polling. It supports a wide range of teaching and learning approaches and has the potential to enable peer collaboration as well as build immersive online communities when students are remotely located. Zoom is the recommended virtual classroom tool available in UCD and is integrated with the UCD VLE (Brightspace).
 

Google Workspace is a suite of educational technology tools that are available to UCD staff and students. Google Workspace provides an integrated suite of productivity, communication and collaborative applications which can be used for various teaching and learning purposes.

  • Google Drive - provides a secure unlimited online storage space with the ability to share and collaborate  with colleagues and students through shared files/folders and drives.  The components (as outlined below) of this productivity suite are powerful online collaborative tools that can be leveraged for various teaching and learning purposes i.e. facilitating collaborative learning, group work, instructor or peer feedback and the presentation of learning materials/activities within Brightspace.
  • Google Documents (docs) - a collaborative word processing tool used to create documents which enables synchronous or asynchronous collaboration by multiple users. In a teaching and learning context Google docs are often used to; facilitate student group work (using a single shared document), co-creation of content, peer review, to collect and share notes. 
  • Google Slides - an online presentation tool used to create visual presentations and slideshows.  In a teaching and learning context Google slides are often used to facilitate students to create group presentations where multiple students can work within the same presentation either synchronously or asynchronously. Slides can also be used to present learning materials to students and embedded in Brightspace. 
  • Google Spreadsheets (sheets) - an online application to create spreadsheets, organise and analyse data.  In a teaching and learning context Google sheets may be used to facilitate student group/project work (e.g. using a single shared sheet) to collect, share and analyse data. 
  • Google Forms -  an online survey/quiz tool with various question types used for data collection. In a teaching and learning context Google forms can be used to survey/poll students, facilitate ice-breakers activities, check students' understanding through formative assessments.  Learn more about Google forms.
  • Google Jamboard - a digital whiteboard that can be used to facilitate collaboration. Jamboards can be shared with individuals/groups or a shareable link can be created. In a  teaching and learning context  Jamboards are often used in virtual classroom sessions to facilitate students working together in small groups to share ideas, problem solve or brainstorm (using sticky notes feature). 
  • Google Meet - a video conferencing tool which can support  virtual meetings/discussions and classes.  In a teaching and learning context it is commonly  used to facilitate small group tutorials, one-to-one meetings (virtual office hours) or as a student-led online meeting space.  Learn more about setting up a Google Meets call
  • Google Currents - an online space with a ‘community’ feature which allows cohorts of staff or students to engage in subject specific discussions, information and idea exchanges within a secure online environment. In a teaching and learning context it has great potential to support communities of practice/learners. An example of a Google Currents community is the UCD Teaching and Learning Community which is open to all staff across the University to join, share and discuss information on subject specific topics relating to teaching and learning. Learn more about getting started with Google Currents. 
  • Google Keep -  an online tool for creating and saving notes, lists and reminders. It can be used to create, share and collaborate with colleagues/fellow students on notes/lists to manage projects, set goals, bookmark or curate content. Keep synchronises across all devices and integrates directly with Google docs and slides. Learn more about using Google Keep. 

All of the above Google Workspace applications are integrated with UCD Gmail/Calendar & Google Drive and many of them when used for teaching and learning purposes can be easily integrated into Brightspace (i.e. Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, Jamboard by embedding a shared/published link). 

To access Google Drive and the above mentioned apps within it go to UCD Connect log in with your UCD Connect username and password and click on the Drive icon at the top of the screen and choose the tools you wish to access. 

For more technical assistance or support with using these tools see IT Services support web pages on Google Workspace

Student Response Systems (SRSs) are educational technologies most often used for the purpose of making lectures (specifically for larger classes) interactive by engaging students in real-time activities. Typically during class (either face-to-face or online) the lecturer would pose a question or poll which students would respond to instantly via their own device such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Student Response Systems are also commonly referred to as Polling tools, Classroom or Audience Response Systems, Clickers and Electronic Voting Systems. 

Poll Everywhere is a web-based student response system (or polling application) that is available to all UCD staff and can be accessed via https://www.polleverywhere.com/auth/saml/ucd

To use Poll Everywhere from a Teaching and Learning perspective see our resource:  Introducing Poll Everywhere for Teaching and Learning

For technical support and assistance with Poll Everywhere contact the Educational Technology Team, IT Services.

Pre-recorded lectures and screencasts are commonly used to deliver learning materials asynchronously as a component of blended and online delivery. They are beneficial to students in that they facilitate a student-centred learning approach enabling learners flexibility to view recordings at their own pace and at a time and location of their choice. 

A screencast is a video recording of a computer screen describing on-screen actions and is commonly accompanied with audio narration and visual annotations. Most commonly both screencasts and pre-recorded lectures are created in an MP4 video file format which can be easily shared with students via the VLE. A wide range of technologies can be used to create these pre-recorded videos.

For further information on the use of pre-recorded lectures and screencasts in teaching and learning and an overview of technologies available, see the following resources:

peerScholar is an online peer review and assessment tool that is available within Brightspace to support peer to peer review and assessment.

peerScholar is a customisable tool which supports peer review/assessment on individual, group or case study assignment types. Through a three step approach (create, assess, reflect) it enables students to provide constructive and anonymous feedback on each other's work and facilitates critical reflection on how they might improve their own work.

For more information on peer review and assessment see our resources:

For technical support and further information please refer to the support Peer Assessment webpage of the Educational Technology Services team in UCD IT Services.