Image of members of the project team at the project launch on 7 November 2019.

This 3 year project, which is funded through the HEA’s Innovation and Transformation Programme, is aimed at enhancing the digital attributes and educational experiences of Irish university students through enabling the mainstreamed and integrated use of digital technologies across the teaching and learning process. The project aims to mainstream digital in teaching and learning activities in Irish Universities, by addressing the professional development of all who teach or support teaching and learning.

In the context of Covid-19, the project re-focused to support a move to a more blended approach to teaching and learning in the academic year 2020/21, while adhering to the four project pillars. The EDTL Approach describes a pathway with considerations for those who are adapting a module or programme for effective remote teaching.

Since January 2021, the project has reverted to the original project objectives with particular focus on the student learning environment and student digital skills. The timeline has been extended to complete in September 2022.

How does the project match university strategic goals?

How does the project benefit staff?

How does the project benefit students?

Why Digital?

Higher Education is facing a number of challenges that effect teaching and learning. Student numbers are increasing, while the staff/student ratio has decreased. The student population is increasing in diversity and there are demands for increased flexibility in when and how learning opportunities are provided. Digital devices and applications are ubiquitous. To respond to the changes in student population and the increasingly digital environment, educators have to develop their digital skills and adapt to more innovative teaching approaches.

The 4 Pillars

Image representing the 4 pillars of the project, explained in the following text.

Not starting from zero: we recognise the work that is already being done within the participating universities and aim to build on existing resources, experience and expertise within the universities, and at a national level.

Pedagogy first: our work is not technology-led, instead we aim to start with pedagogical needs of a group or individual, and consider how technology might be used to support these.

Discipline focus: our aim is not to build technology champions, but instead to raise the level of digital competence across a discipline, school, programme group or team.

Students as partners: we are working with students as key members of the project at all levels.

The Digital Competence Framework for Educators

The European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigCompEdu) is a scientifically sound framework describing what it means for educators to be digitally competent. The EDTL project uses DigCompEdu to provide a common framework for project activities, by mapping existing and emerging CPD opportunities to the framework, and by using the DigCompEdu as a tool for staff who teach or support learning to reflect on existing digital competences and plan for further development.

Synthesis of the DigCompEdu framework
Synthesis of the DigCompEdu Framework (Redecker, 2017)