Now showing 1 - 10 of 11
  • Publication
    Bridging the gap between theory and practice in creativity education
    This paper presents the findings of an inter-disciplinary literature review that seeks to provide an evidence-base from which discipline specific and cross-disciplinary modules aimed at nurturing and developing creativity can be developed. The review focuses on identifying theoretical frameworks guiding the pedagogy of creativity as well as on the environmental conditions that are associated with greater levels of creativity in student learning.  The paper will present an overview of key theoretical frameworks (e.g. investment theory and design thinking) as well as an evaluation of the empirical research on the environmental factors that have been demonstrated as influencing student creative development.  Amongst these are tolerance of and exposure to: risk, cycles of divergent and convergent thinking, an active learner-centred approach to education, rewarding originality, learning from failure and experimentation and an acceptance of diversity.  The paper will also discuss methods of assessment and their influence on student creativity.  The paper will offer a critical reflection on our understanding of the pedagogy of creativity and point to directions for future work in this important area. 
  • Publication
    Fatigue resistance of bituminous layers incorporating reclaimed asphalt pavement
    This paper presents the results of an investigation into the fatigue performance of a 20mm Binder Course Asphalt Pavement Mix incorporating Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP). For the study, a series of binder course mixes were designed containing varying percentages of RAP. A mix made only from virgin material, was selected as the control mix for the investigation. A Circular Wheel Tracker (CWT) was developed in order to simulate the dynamic loading conditions of a rolling wheel and to study the initiation and growth of fatigue cracks in an asphalt pavement mix. The CWT was commissioned within a temperature-controlled room with a customised data acquisition system. The test specimens were subjected to dynamic loading in the CWT and the dynamic strain on the underside of the slab was monitored throughout the test. A digital image processing technique was also used to measure the crack area and crack length at the underside of the test specimen. Parallel to this a separate testing programme was undertaken, whereby the fatigue resistance of bituminous mixtures incorporating same RAP contents was assessed using the indirect tensile fatigue test as described in BS DD ABF:1997. The results from these parallel strands are compared, and the performance of the various mixes incorporating RAP is assessed.
  • Publication
    Mapping Existing Research Output Focused on Higher Education Teaching and Learning in Ireland 1990-2015
    The purpose of this six-month 'snapshot' project was to map the extent and characteristics of research on teaching and learning in the Irish higher education field. This is the first such study focused on Ireland, and the first systematic study of teaching and learning research at a national level. The project set out to capture the nature and key characteristics of such research in Ireland between 1990 and early 2015, including the main fields of interest the types of publication and historical development. The two main benefits of such a study are that it provides; i) an evidence base for the enhancement and development of teaching and learning at a time of major change in Irish higher education; ii) direction for further research, and coordination of research. The first phase of the study involved a systematic review of published research, comprising a wide range of sources, and involving electronic and hand searches. This was followed by a review of conference papers (Phase 2) and of research by identified experts (Phase 3), resulting in the identification of a total of 2275 records. The first stage of analysis in the study consisted of a review of abstracts for key themes. The thematic approach followed that of Malcolm Tight's (2012) analysis of higher education research in the English language outside US and Canada. In the second stage, full papers will be sourced for full text analysis. 
  • Publication
    The influence of recycled asphalt pavement on 20mm binder course mix performance
    This paper presents the results of ongoing research on the mechanical performance of a 20mm binder course asphalt pavement mix incorporating recycled asphalt pavement (RAP). A series of binder course mixes were designed containing varying percentages of RAP. A mix made only from virgin material was selected as the control mix for the investigation. The effect of introducing RAP into the binder course mix was evaluated through a series of laboratory tests including the Marshall Test, Indirect Tensile Stiffness Modulus Test, Indirect Tensile Fatigue Test and Water Sensitivity Test. A Circular Wheel Track (CWT) was developed in order to study the dynamic effects of a rolling wheel travelling over an asphalt pavement. The CWT was commissioned within a temperature controlled room along with a customised Data Acquisition (DAQ) system. The system involves the testing of rectangular slabs and allows for the investigation of the dynamic tensile strain. The dynamic tensile strain is digitally recorded and the loading effect assessed. The laboratory tests have shown that the introduction of RAP to the binder course mix resulted in an improvement in all mechanical properties. This was also observed in the dynamic tensile strain test.
  • Publication
    A systematic review mapping twenty five years of Irish SoTL research (1990-2015)
    This six-month 'snapshot' project, commissioned by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (, outlines the extent and characteristics of research on teaching and learning in the Irish higher education field. The project is the first systematic study of research focused on teaching and learning at a national level and brings together a considerable corpus of Irish SoTL research. It takes a wide lens, or 'big tent' approach (Huber and Hutchings 2005), including research made public via publication in peer-reviewed and other journals, working papers and presentations at conferences and other fora. The systematic review protocol and the findings will be presented.  Systematic reviews are becoming common in higher education research (Bearman et al 2012). However outside of the medical and nursing fields (e.g. Cant and Cooper 2010), to date they have not been used to map other SoTL domains. A critical assessment of using this method to map SoTL research will be presented.A wide range of electronic academic databases, proprietary journal packages, institutional repositories and one search engine (Google Scholar) were searched. Hand searches were also used to locate studies not included in electronic databases and/or where the keywords used by the authors did not match the ones used in the search. In total 6, 851  records  were screened by two of the project steering group for inclusion/ exclusion. Two additional methods were used to complement the systematic review: 1. A search of the programmes of seventy national and international educational and disciplinary conferences, meetings and symposia where Irish academics present teaching and learning research (2013-2014). 2. A search of one hundred Irish higher education teaching and learning experts' publications and presentations. All material located in these searches was also screened. The analysis draws on Tight's (2012) framework for higher education research. For each study located, themes or issues, methods or methodologies, engagement with theory and level of analysis were identified. This systematic review establishes in a scholarly way the current state of research in the Irish higher education teaching and learning field, tracing aspects of its development, investigating its strengths and limitations, and offering suggestions as to future directions required. We conclude by arguing that any national level vision of future pedagogies and learning paradigms in Irish higher education should be evidence based. In a time of major change in Irish higher education, the findings will provide an important resource for teachers, policy makers, the National Forum and others seeking to enhance and develop teaching and learning Irish higher education.
  • Publication
    The First-Year Experience: Assessing Expectations and Enhancing Reality
    This project aimed to assess student expectations of university on arrival and their experiences during the first year with a view to identifying key issues relating to student engagement and recommending possible enhancements at University College Dublin.
  • Publication
    Development of a combined micromechanics & damage mechanics model for the design of asphalt pavements
    Asphalt is a complex, heterogeneous material that is composed of differently sized aggregates, binder and air voids: in other words, it is a particulate reinforced composite. The focus of the present work is to investigate the structural effectiveness of this material composition following the introduction of recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) into the mix. The virgin mortar mix (i.e., matrix) consists of an asphalt binder, sand and crushed rock fines (CRF), while the RAP-containing mix additionally includes fine aggregates ranging in size from fine dust (< 75μm diameter) up to small particles (< 3.35mm diameter). The stress distribution throughout such a material and the resulting mechanical response is strongly related to the interaction between the mix constituents. Previous work has shown that this performance is less influenced by the presence of larger aggregate than it is by the mortar composition and it is for this reason that the present work attempts to model damage evolution in various mortar mixes.
  • Publication
    Development of a recycled polymer modified binder for use in stone mastic asphalt
    The number of commercial vehicles using Irish roads has increased considerably in recent years, leading to higher demands being placed on pavement materials and increased use of polymer modified bitumens. This has also coincided with significant changes in Governmental policy which has produced large increases in Irish recycling rates. Improved recycling levels are set to provide Ireland with a new challenge: to find potential uses for the large quantities of recycled polymer that are becoming available. Towards this end, the potential of developing a recycled polymer modified binder was investigated. The polymers most commonly recycled in Ireland were identified and sourced from industry. Fundamental bitumen tests were conducted to assess the effect of the recycled polymer and a mixing methodology developed. It was found that the addition of 4% recycled HDPE into a pen grade binder produced the most promising results, and the mixing process was then optimised with respect to mixing parameters and binder additives. A developmental recycled binder was produced and compared in performance tests to binders currently used in road construction practice. Results obtained from wheel track and fatigue tests show that although the binder does not deliver equivalent performance levels to a proprietary polymer modified binder, it does out-perform traditional binders used in stone mastic asphalt. Recommendations are offered on the further development of the recycled polymer modified binder to achieve the standards currently required.
      7839Scopus© Citations 151
  • Publication
    The first semester of university life ; ‘will I be able to manage it at all?’
    This paper reports on an Irish study examining first year students’ recollections of their concerns, motivations, level of preparedness and perceived skills on entry to university. The study aims to investigate and understand the implications of the attitudes of first year students as they make the transition to university. It also explores students’ behaviour during their initial weeks at university. It is important to understand the anxieties of new students, their views on their abilities and their confidence in managing their new role as these factors will have consequences for their experience as first year university students. These findings are explored with a view to enhancing the quality of support for students during this key transition.
      3098Scopus© Citations 40
  • Publication
    Modelling the quasi-static behaviour of bituminous material using a cohesive zone model
    This paper investigates the applicability of a cohesive zone model for simulating the performance of bituminous material subjected to quasistatic loading. The Dugdale traction law was implemented within a finite volume code in order to simulate the binder course mortar material response when subjected to indirect tensile loading. A uniaxial tensile test and a threepoint bend test were employed to determine initial stress-strain curves at different test rates and the cohesive zone parameters (specifically, fracture energy and cohesive strength). Numerical results agree well with the experimental data up to the peak load and onset of fracture, demonstrating the value of the cohesive zone modelling technique in successfully predicting fracture initiation and maximum material strength.
      1582Scopus© Citations 25