Building Digital Teaching and Learning Capabilities with DigitalEd.ie in Response to a Global Pandemic
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The COVID 19 emergency has fundamentally changed the way we all live and work, and this is having an enormous impact on the teaching and learning experience. The physical closure of our five campuses in GMIT, forced everyone online in a hurry and transitioned our learning, teaching and assessment activities to a new platform. The transition has been challenging, but it has also presented a number of opportunities for developing digital capabilities among the teaching community and alternative strategies for student engagement. Transitioning to online teaching and learning in GMIT was made possible due to a number of factors including: the advances in education technology globally in recent years and the seamless integration of Microsoft Office 365 suite and Moodle; Connacht Ulster Alliance (CUA) engagement with a HEA funded digital education development project called iNOTE, and the development of https://DigitalEd.ie; the Teaching and Learning Office’s digital teaching and learning online support resources; rapid response digital education workshops and a suite of flexible online learning development courses; and the flexibility and dedication of the teaching community engaging with professional development in digital teaching, learning and assessment strategies. This article will outline a range of programmes and initiatives established since March 12th, 2020, that are building digital teaching and learning capabilities in GMIT, IT Sligo and LYIT (the CUA, Connacht Ulster Alliance). Rapid response interventions included: the development of a digital champion team; Ask Me Anything (AMA) clinics; digital teaching and learning small group workshops; a digital education webinar series; alternative assessment strategies workshops; Show and tell insight sessions on digital education topics and technologies; the iNOTE digital education development pathway for the academic community in the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA).
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