Ann Marie Farrell, Mark Glynn, Rob Lowney, Seán Smyth and Suzanne Stone

Presentation Details:

Moving Large Classes Online

The overall aim of this project is to examine the needs of academics teaching large class groups when moving to teaching those groups entirely online. This innovative research sought to document academic practice and to explore the swift move to online emergency remote teaching during March – June 2020 at Dublin City University. 

Large class pedagogy is not a widely researched field generally and certainly, the sudden move to the online environment for such groups was unprecedented.  This project will enhance this new learning context in the short term but also the understanding of pedagogical practices in the longer term in relation to large class teaching, learning and assessment. The research will also contribute to the literature on online pedagogy and technology-enhanced teaching, learning and assessment.


Ann Marie Farrell:

Ann Marie is a lecturer in the School of Inclusive and Special Education, Institute of Education, Dublin City University.  Ann Marie began her career as a primary school teacher, working with infant classes.  Following that, she worked with post-primary aged students, initially in a mainstream post-primary school as a special class and learning support teacher before moving to work in a special school for students with mild general learning disabilities where she introduced and coordinated the Leaving Certificate Applied Programme – the first special school in Ireland to provide access to this programme. 

In 2001, Ann Marie joined the Special Education Department of St Patrick’s College and now works in DCU Institute of Education.  She is a graduate of St. Patrick’s College (BEd, 1988, NUI; Dip Sp Ed, 2001, DCU), Dublin City University (MSc Ed and Training Mgt, 1998) and Dublin Institute of Technology (Dip Higher Ed, 2012).  She  is now enrolled in Sheffield University’s EdD programme and will be investigating the pedagogical beliefs of higher education teachers of large classes. Ann Marie has conducted, published and/or presented on a range of topics relating to teaching, learning and inclusion of pupils with special educational needs in primary and post-primary schools and is currently engaged in research focusing on preparation of teachers for effective inclusion of pupils with special needs and learning difficulties in initial teacher education.  She works across a number of initial and continuing teacher education programmes at levels 8, 9 and 10.  She won the St. Patrick’s College President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012 and was nominated for the DCU President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching 2019.

Dr. Mark Glynn:

Mark is the Head of the Teaching Enhancement Unit at Dublin City University. Mark has a deep insight into the key issues for higher education in Ireland in particular the implementation of national strategy for higher education, the technological universities and flexible learning. He plays key leadership roles in promoting innovative teaching and learning methods throughout the sector and is considered to be a leading authority in the use of virtual learning environments. Mark has also had leadership roles in the Irish Learning Technology Association and the Learning Innovation Network, two of the leading organisations for learning innovation in Irish higher education. Mark has organised a range of national and international teaching and learning conferences for higher education. The main aim of his current role is to encourage and enable staff in DCU to increase their capacity to offer flexible learning. This involves managing both organisational and pedagogical based projects. 

Mr. Rob Lowney:

Rob is a Learning Technologist in the Teaching Enhancement Unit, Dublin City University. He works with academic staff to enhance the teaching, learning and assessment practices on their modules with digital technologies. Rob has a particular interest in empowering academic staff to implement technology-enhanced assessment strategies. Other areas of interest include flipped learning, mobile devices in education, learning analytics and reusable learning objects. Additionally, he is a Moodle expert and an Apple Distinguished Educator. He holds a BA and MA from University College Dublin and an MSc in Applied eLearning from Dublin Institute of Technology. He is currently a digital learning EdD student.

Mr. Seán Smyth:

Seán Smyth is a final year Bachelor of Education student in Dublin City University. As part of his degree, Seán undertakes a major specialism in digital learning. This specialism examines how digital technologies can be effectively embedded in teaching, learning, and Assessment. Alongside his studies, Seán is an active member of the DCU Students’ Union. He has been elected Class Representative on two occasions. Seán also represented DCU Institute of Education students on the DCUSU executive during the 2019/20 academic year. In this position, Seán liaised with students, class representatives, and university staff, particularly during the emergency transition to remote learning in March 2020.

Ms. Suzanne Stone:

Suzanne is a Learning Technologist at Dublin City University and has worked in the education sector for over 15 years.  Actively engaged in research relating to the application of educational technologies in teaching and learning, Suzanne’s research informs her practice as a learning technologist.  Professional interests include: student engagement in online synchronous (live) online teaching and learning; assessment and feedback; digital skills and competencies for staff; video for teaching and learning; social media in education; and Universal Design for Learning.  Suzanne is currently engaged in research relating to Digital Well-being as part of a Doctorate in Education.