All posts, Research postgraduates

AHSS PhD Life Hacks 2018

By PhD candidates Elaine Walsh and Beth Duane 


The AHSS Postgraduate Research Community Spring Seminar took place on 25th January, with the theme ‘Teaching Methods & Practices’.

The seminar, which is organised by members of the AHSS Postgraduate community addressed different methods of teaching used by postgraduates and faculty.

Robert Hutchinson presented the advantages of using Prezi as an alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint. He gave a practical demonstration of this format of presentation. Drawing on Gagne’s Nine Events of Instructions, in particular, gaining attention of the audience.

Darina Slattery gave a really interesting presentation of practical guidelines for online teaching. Two of the guidelines were the need to clarify tutor/teacher and student expectations and making full use of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You must clearly convey what you want them to do by establishing module objectives.

Gerard Coffey focused on teaching with the VLE. The presenter discussed his positive experience of the first-time delivery of a module in the VLE. With a focus on the use of online discussion forums to support student-student discussion. Having previously undertaking to study online, Gerard was cognizant of both the student and teacher perspective.


Dympna Tuohy gave a presentation on the power of reflection in learning. Reflection is such a key aspect of nursing and midwifery that it is funded by the government. The barriers and challenges to reflection were discussed. The presenter discussed two examples of reflective process models – Gibbs and Johns.

Ann Marcus-Quinn discussed the issues involved in transforming an on-campus module for online delivery. This presentation highlighted the importance of institutional guidelines and the need for appropriate resources.

Tracey McKillen presented on how Chris Rowell’s 12 Apps of Christmas format was adapted and used by UL. This presentation discussed the changes made to the course following the initial role out in 2016. One of the positive outcomes of this course was that it facilitated discussion amongst the participants.

Eamonn Fitzgerald discussed the resources and support required to maintain the infrastructure behind the VLE. He highlighted the importance of a robust system and their dependence on feedback from staff in order to provide the best possible service for the UL community.

Kathryn Hayes discussed the issues involved in teaching journalism in the age of social media. This presentation showcased an assessment which saw students working together to create and publish a newspaper.

Maire Ni Ghrada gave a very interesting presentation on teaching Irish. She discussed the collaboration with RTE Radio na Gaeltachta to produce Irish-language radio programmes. She also talked about the impact of students interacting with school children and conversing in the Irish language. Students were included in the RTE Guide last year which helped with their professional development as it was a helpful collaboration for their future.

Kathryn O’Sullivan spoke about a project, in collaboration with University College Cork, funded by the National Forum looking at the transition of international students through university. This presentation discussed the vertical and horizontal transitions including issues around assessment literacy, approaches to assessment, moving home, new university, language and cultural issue.

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