IT Services Research Collection

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UCD IT Services provides all central IT applications, support and infrastructure for staff and students throughout the University. The scope of the service includes Academic & Administrative Systems, Research IT, Teaching & Learning Technologies and UCD Web Services.

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Publication
    Rapid development of media-rich, interactive elearning
    (Formatex Research Center, 2006-11-25)
    This paper describes how the UCD Audio Visual Centre developed tools to help the UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science to increase the quantity and improve the quality of its elearning materials. The Medical School wished to create pedagogically sound learning materials without converting the lecturers into elearning developers. In particular, there was an interest in making greater use of images and digital media, encouraging the students to reflect on their learning and in developing case studies on the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Any tool had to be suitable for use by medical lecturers with limited IT experience. Having evaluated the available software, a decision was made to develop a tool in-house. For reasons of portability, the tool was to tag content in XML and be SCORM conformant.
  • Publication
    Promoting Reflective Writing among Psychiatry Students
    This paper reports on a study on the use of online learning to teach reflective writing to psychiatry students. The students learnt about reflection and reflective writing using an interactive learning unit and a discussion forum. They posted responses to an article at three levels of reflection. Their learning was assessed using a reflective essay. The majority of students engaged with the discussion forum though some had difficulty in distinguishing the levels of reflection. The students rarely commented on each other’s posts. Modifications will be made for future use based on ongoing research.
  • Publication
    Reflecting On Models For Online Learning In Theory & Practice
    (All Ireland Society for Higher Education, 2010-07-29)
    This paper investigates the application of several well-known pedagogical models to the design and delivery of a series of blended workshops on online learning. The models were the five-stage e-moderating model for teaching and learning online, e-tivities, the e-learning ladder and communities of practice.The workshop series was aimed at academics and teaching librarians in a campus-based university. Its objective was to introduce them to some of the pedagogies and technologies in blended learning. Some of the participants were interested in delivering library and information skills classes online while others wanted to learn how to enhance the online elements of their existing courses.The tutor/moderator designed the workshops using the five-stage model for e-moderating as a framework. The model was presented to the participants as they progressed through the stages. Issues raised by the workshops included socialisation, technology, the role of the moderator, face-to-face classes, pace of progress through the stages and transfer to teaching practice. The class compared the five-stage model to the e-learning ladder and communities of practice to see how they addressed these issues.The paper looks back at the workshop and the practical and theoretical issues that it raised. It concludes with some issues for future research.
  • Publication
    Aligning Professional Identity with Institutional Culture: The Role of Educators’ Digital Fluency in Harnessing the Potential of Online and Technology Enhanced Learning
    (Dublin City University, 2020-05-13) ;
    Globally, higher education is facing the challenges of a growing and diverse student body and the potential of digital technologies to transform their learning. How digitally fluent educators work to harness technology enhanced learning (TEL) is a defining factor in this. This paper presents an analysis of the power and possibilities of digital fluency. It draws on innovation theory (relating to diffusion of innovations and to acceptance and use of technology), and also on understandings of institutional culture – conceptualised as communities and landscapes of professional practice. It is set against recent doctoral work, comprising a thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with key, digitally fluent academics in Ireland and of a national (Ireland) policy document; the Digital Roadmap. This analysis led to some rather unexpected conclusions about educators’ professional identity and institutional cultures whose alignment (or lack thereof) can profoundly influence practice in online and technology-enhanced learning. Essentially, this research suggests that enthusiasm, educational qualifications, and prior experience of digital technologies are major influences in the development of digital fluency and related professional identity, but that there has been little consistency or predictability in how this happens. Major similarities emerged among participants around how fluency was pursued, but marked variations emerged between those whose career focused on TEL and those who mainly used TEL as part of their instructional practices. Similarly, the research identified differing practices at institutional level regarding the prioritising and fostering of this digital fluency and related professional identity. It also identified very mixed levels of understanding relating to institutional and national policy in the area. The paper presents a discussion of both individual and institutional aspects of identity development under headings relating to career focus; the interrelations of formal and informal learning; the institutional promotion of cultures of development; and reward systems and structures. In this way the paper foregrounds the importance of meaningful alignment of professional identity and institutional culture in harnessing the potential of online learning in higher education. By examining in particular the factors that influence the development of digital fluency among academics and the role of sustainable, supportive institutional cultures in this, it contributes to understandings of the ongoing transformation of online learning both globally and glocally, suggesting some measures for better facilitating and fostering that alignment. This paper aligns with the conference sub-themes of New Skills for Living and Working in New Times and Global Challenges and Glocal Solutions
  • Publication
    The Relationship between Learning Style and Reflection in Student Blogs
    (UCL Institute of Education, University College London, 2014-12)
    Authentic blogging allows students to develop their own thoughts and exchange ideas with their peers without activities or assessment set by an educator (Downes, 2006). Research on learning processes in higher education has found that blogging can encourage and facilitate reflection (Hall & Davison, 2007; Xie, Ke & Sharma, 2008). Reflection is associated with higher- order learning outcomes and a deep approach to learning and as such is considered desirable in higher education (Garrison & Vaughan, 2008; Moon, 1999; Ramsden, 2003). Some students find reflection difficult (Xie et al, 2008) while others may not reflect in the absence of set tasks and assessment (Mackey, 2007). A preference for e-learning tools, such as blogs, and an aptitude for reflection may relate to a student's preferred learning style (Kolb, 1984; Kolb & Kolb, 2005; Saeed, Yang, & Sinnappan, 2009). This exploratory study investigates the extent to which undergraduate students are engaging in authentic blogging where tasks are not assigned by a lecturer, the extent to which their writing shows evidence of reflection under these conditions and the influence, if any, of their learning style on their blogging practice. The study participants were eleven final year students on an undergraduate Multimedia and Communications course in a non-traditional university-level institution in Ireland. Six of these students kept blogs over an eighteen-month period. An analysis of the ninety-two student blog posts and thirty-one comments in this study found that over one third were reflective, using discourse analysis based on Hatton and Smith (1995), while analysis of a questionnaire based on Kember and Leung (2000) found the student bloggers to be reflective learners. Most of the bloggers and all the most prolific bloggers showed a preference for Kolb's converging learning style. Albeit with a small sample, this study suggests that authentic blogs are effective tools for engaging undergraduates in reflection. It suggests that, despite misgivings about the lack of structure and scaffolding, lecturers can encourage their students to engage in authentic blogging as a means of developing reflection.