Barry Ryan, Claire McAvinia, Catherine Higgins and Nevan Bermingham

Presentation Details:

Developing an adaptable approach to co-creating curricula in an Irish Higher Education setting

The establishment of Ireland’s first Technological University, TU Dublin, provided a unique opportunity to create a bespoke curriculum framework for students, staff and stakeholders of TU Dublin, produced by the students, staff and stakeholders of TU Dublin. A curriculum framework is a set of guiding values that inform the design of teaching and learning activities. The development of the TU Dublin CoCREATED Curriculum Framework was informed by consultation with all key stakeholders across all campuses, examination and synthesis of local, national and international best practice and policy, as well as relevant scholarly literature. The framework is considered, flexible and progressive so as to adapt to the diversity within TU Dublin, including accredited programmes, and is inclusive of all learners across the university.

In this talk, the rationale behind, and the evidence supporting, the TU Dublin CoCREATED Curriculum Framework will be explored to guide others seeking to travel a similar path. Two of the core values from the CoCREATED Curriculum Framework will be focussed on, by way of case-study, to provide a tangible connection between curriculum design values and innovative pedagogical practice informed by research.


Barry Ryan:

Barry is a biochemistry lecturer, and programme director, in TU Dublin. He is an award winning and research active academic with a proven expertise in the practitioner use of, and leadership in, evidenced-based pedagogies in modern higher education settings. He is passionate about the practical implementation of research informed teaching and in supporting others in their personal development in this area. His teaching and learning philosophy promotes (co-)creation to empower and centralise all students across all levels within undergraduate curricula. He is concurrently a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Chartered Science Teacher and a National Forum Teaching and Learning Research Fellow. He is currently on secondment to the Learning, Teaching and Technology Centre and leads the National Forum funded IMPACT project which is creating a sustainable student focused approach to Teaching and Learning enhancement in TU Dublin.

Claire McAvinia:

Dr Claire McAvinia is a Learning Development Officer at the Learning, Teaching and Technology Centre (LTTC) at TU Dublin, and also currently on part-time secondment to the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning. Claire coordinates and teaches on the LTTC’s MSc Education, and also teaches on the Postgraduate Certificate in University Learning and Teaching. She recently led the ‘Review of Literature and Practice’ workpackage of the CoCREATE project to develop a new curriculum framework for TU Dublin. Claire is a member of the Educational Developers in Ireland Network (EDIN) Committee and completed a two-year term as Chair in 2020. With Dr Roisin Donnelly and Dr Kevin O’Rourke, she co-edits the Irish Journal of Academic Practice (IJAP). Claire is a Fellow of the UK Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) and the UK Higher Education Academy. Her research interests are in academic professional development, open education, and digital literacies.

Catherine Higgins:

Catherine Higgins started her career in the software industry as a developer before moving to academia. She has been a lecturer in software development in TU Dublin for almost 20 years. She is currently working on a PhD which focuses on the integration of computational thinking into an educational software development process aimed at first year undergraduates.

Nevan Bermingham:

Nevan Bermingham is a lecturer in Computer Science, Engineering, Business and Information Technology at the Technological University Dublin. He has a technology background and over 15 years of senior management experience within the ICT and Telecommunications industries. His research areas include peer learning for improved engagement and developing bespoke mobile apps for first year orientation.