Quick Case Study: University of Limerick and the Covid-19 crisis
By David Moloney (@daveymoloney), Project Lead in UL
How did you go about recruiting your 7 groups (pre-crisis)?
To begin pilot phase 2 of the project at UL, all Heads of School and Department, and Course Directors, were invited by email to an information session about the project on January 15th. The information session served to explain the project, to highlight the work undertaken to date, and importantly, to outline an opportunity for participation.
Following the information session, a short online Expression of Interest (EOI) form was circulated to all Heads and Course Directors. The designated representative of a group (discipline, inter-disciplinary, programme team or other grouping) was invited to complete the EOI on behalf of their group.
Using the DigCompEdu framework for reference, groups prioritised the digital teaching and learning competences that they most desired to enhance. Their representatives then expressed their interest in engaging with a professional development opportunity to work towards these prioritised goals. The deadline for submissions for consideration was January 31st. It was fantastic to see such substantial interest from across UL and, in the end, 7 groups were successful with their submissions.
How did your plans evolve during the crisis?
Since the crisis, plans have changed quite considerably. Group prioritisations have changed somewhat in the midst of the current context. Professional development workshops, initially intended to take place face-to-face, now require revision and amendment to be implemented as online workshops instead. Some groups find themselves in the unenviable situation of having to learn as they go – implementing immediate online approaches this semester – rather than participating in collaborative and supportive professional development to synthesise and discuss learnings prior to implementation next semester, which was the original plan.
What are you doing to support staff currently?
In our current remote working context, I’ve created a Microsoft Teams space for each group to interact within which is helping us to communicate, pose questions, provide solutions and help one another out. Teams is facilitating interaction between group members, the sharing of useful resources and information with one another, and the ability for groups to reach out to me for guidance or support with regard to their online teaching.