Recent Submissions

  • Turning our critical faculties up to eleven: reflections on creating a short course in digital literacy

    O'Dowd, Irene; Byrne, Ann; Davey, Emberly (2023)
    “I believe virtually everything I read, and I think that is what makes me more of a selective human than someone who doesn't believe anything.” (David St Hubbins) Approaching life like David St Hubbins from This Is Spinal Tap (1984) was all very well back in the 1980s, but it is a less good idea in today’s internet-dominated interconnected world, where anyone with a phone can publish anything and beam it around the world. Critically assessing the integrity of information has never been more important or more challenging, and to do this successfully requires digital literacy skills. Inspired by global initiatives such as the United Nations SDGs and the European Commission’s DigComp framework, we created an open digital educational resource to help foster digital literacy within our institution and beyond. This project ties in with an ongoing academic integrity project within our institution; it also coincides with the increasing availability of generative artificial intelligence systems that can potentially spread misinformation at scale. In this context, we feel the project is a very timely one. In this paper, we reflect on the process of developing the course, share what we have learned along the way, and indicate future directions for the project.
  • Digital literacy OER

    O'Dowd, Irene; Byrne, Ann; Davey, Emberly; Hibernia College (2023)
    Digital literacy refers to the effective use of digital media platforms when finding, evaluating and communicating information. This involves a variety of technical and cognitive skills and competencies. The aim of this course is to introduce three key facets of digital literacy and increase your skills and competencies in these areas. The course has three lessons: Information literacy, Digital wellness and identity, and Communication and collaboration. This course is shared as an OER which can be reused, adapted or built upon for educational purposes. It consists of one ZIP folder containing SCORM files for the individual lessons, and quizzes in Word and Moodle file formats. This OER is licenced under CC BY-NC 4.0. If you have any queries about this OER please contact
  • If You Build It, They Might or Might Not Come: How We Became Repository Detectorists

    O'Dowd, Irene; Byrne, Ann; Davey, Emberly (2023-06-20)
    Developing faculty and staff engagement with a new open-access institutional repository (IR) is a challenge often underestimated during IR implementation projects. The idea that “if you build it, they will come” does not reflect the reality of establishing a successful IR in a third-level institution (Ferreira et al., 2008). Factors that hinder the adoption of open-access IRs are many and varied, and a multi-pronged approach is required both to gain an understanding of these factors and develop a strategy to address them (Narayan and Luca, 2017; Tmava, 2022). For those involved in IR implementation projects, having surmounted the considerable hurdles of securing approval and funding for an IR and then developing the platform, the need for the development of such a strategy often comes as quite a surprise. However, it is arguably the most important part of ensuring a successful IR implementation. In this presentation, the genesis and continuing evolution our own IR engagement strategy will be reflected upon and our learnings shared for the benefit of those at a similar or earlier stage of the open-access IR journey. Crucial to our professional journey has been the process of replacing the hubristic “if you build it” metaphor with one suggesting a more incremental and infinitely less glamorous approach to the problem. Inspired by a popular television series (Crook, 2014-2022), we reflect on the role of IR administrators less as architects and more as detectorists. Informed by the reflective model of Experience, Reflection, Action (Jasper, 2013) and guided by Holliday’s (2017) thinking on the power of metaphor in theory and practice, we present a story of lofty idealism giving way to scuttling skullduggery; of the painful metaphorical journey from building a magnificent baseball stadium to squelching through a muddy field with a metal detector. It is also a story of how we were (almost) desperate enough to dress up in fish onesies and jump into the Liffey.
  • Can a Mobile App Help Create Virtual Learning Spaces and Communities of Practice for Students and Tutors?

    O'Dowd, Irene; Benson, Janet (2023-06-19)
    Engagement and collaboration can be challenging in the online learning space, a fact that was highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a leading provider of postgraduate blended-learning programmes, Hibernia College is cognisant of the challenges of creating authentic social-learning opportunities for online learners. In 2020 we launched a collaboration app for students and tutors, leveraging ubiquitous mobile technology to enhance the creation of virtual Communities of Practice (vCoPs) and virtual learning spaces. The platform, developed in partnership with technology company Moxo, provides workspaces and features to encourage online communication and collaboration. The current research project, a collaboration by Hibernia College and Learnovate, explores the impact of the app on students’ and teachers’ collaborative learning practices. Surveys and focus groups were conducted to investigate use of and attitude towards the app and explore whether use of the app had changed over time. Findings indicate that several factors influenced app use, including familiarity, perceived usefulness versus other platforms, and expectations for its use as part of the educational experience. Training on platform use was an important factor for teachers. Further investigation continues, and we anticipate interesting outcomes from a comparative analysis of engagement by different groups over time.
  • Bridging the gap: Managing an entire college’s continuous assessments using Moodle

    Lowney, Rob; Roche, Hilary (2019)
    Managing an entire college’s continuous assessments using Moodle.
  • Establishing an Institutional Repository:​ The story of IASC

    Byrne, Ann; Davey, Emberly; O'Dowd, Irene (2023)
    Presentation delivered at the LAI/CILIP Joint Annual Conference 2023
  • Enhancing Student Access and Engagement: A Reading List Migration Project

    Byrne, Ann; Davey, Emberly (2023)
    Poster presented at the LAI/CILIP Joint Annual Conference 2023
  • Institutional Repositories: The HECA Experience

    Byrne, Ann; Zorzi, Debora; Tiernan, O'Sullivan; Ni Bhraonain, Dimphne (2022-11-15)
    A presentation given by the HECA Library Group at the inaugural HECA Research Conference, held in Griffith College, Dublin on November 15th, 2022. The presentation addresses the experience of HECA colleges in setting up and maintaining institutional repositories. It also addresses some of the challenges faced by repository users and managers, as well as the opportunities they provide to researchers and institutions.
  • An exploration of the impact of a VLE assignment text-matching tool to improve students’ academic writing

    Lowney, Rob (2018)
    Hibernia College delivers blended Professional Master in Education (PME) programmes to students across Ireland. Their backgrounds are diverse: some enter the programmes directly from undergraduate studies, others are returning to education after many years working. Some students have difficulty adopting academic writing conventions such as paraphrasing, quoting, citing and referencing. The College added the URKUND text-matching tool to its Moodle-based VLE in 2018. Its intended use is as a formative tool for students to improve their academic writing (Rolfe, 2011). It generates a text-matching report that students scrutinise and they judge for themselves if they have used another’s material in an improper way – by incorrectly paraphrasing, quoting, citing or referencing. They then have an opportunity to amend their assignment and re-upload. Documentation was provided to students upon its introduction, explaining the capabilities, scope and limitations of URKUND and how to use it. This research on the impact of URKUND used a mixed-methods approach. Three student cohorts had the tool available to them when uploading assignments in spring 2018 and were surveyed after their upload deadline passed. The tool was widely-used and well-received but students also held misconceptions about URKUND’s capabilities. Students also had difficulty in making judgements on their assignment as they were unclear if what the report was showing them was ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. To maximise its potential as a formative tool, a continual re-enforcement of URKUND’s capabilities, scope and limitations would appear to be required. Similarly, it would appear students need support in developing skills to interpret the report and to make judgements on their own academic writing.
  • Eye tracking & e-learning: what and how do students see

    Rakoczi, Gergely (2022-05-18)
    Dr Gergely Rakoczi, Head of Digital Teaching & Learning at TU Wien, presents his research on eye tracking in the context of e-learning – specifically, the eye movements of learners during interaction with Moodle courses – and shares some interesting outcomes from these studies. He reflects on the methodology of eye tracking and the possibilities of this approach for enhancing online course design. His research topics of interest are e-learning design, eye movement analysis, user interface design (Moodle), multimedia learning, education with virtual reality and 360-degree content, and technology-enhanced teaching in general.
  • Exploring ePortfolios for Teaching and Learning

    Cassidy, Dara; O'Loghlen, Orla (2016)
  • Developing a student-centred approach to academic referencing support for postgraduate distance learners

    O'Dowd, Irene; Byrne, Ann (2022)
    Poster presented at IFLA WLIC in Dublin 26th to 29th July 2022.
  • Enhancing student access and engagement: a reading list migration project

    Byrne, Ann; Davey, Emberly (2022)
    The poster was presented at IFLA WLIC in Dublin in July 2022. In late 2021 Hibernia College library began migrating reading lists on the student VLE from PDF to EBSCO Curriculum Builder (CB) software. Following student surveys, an improvement in the student experience of reading lists was observed. The move reduced library staff's administrative load and improved reading list management. The migration project is in its final stages, but next steps will need to be considered.
  • An Investigation of Student Participation in Synchronous Online Tutorials and the Impact of a Technical Support Resource

    Gavan, Edel (2015)
    As schools, universities, retail stores and corporations flock to Online and eLearning, there are many compelling arguments to support their decision. Synchronous virtual classroom tools are used to support Online and eLearning interaction to mirror face-to-face learning. Martin (2012) identified that synchronous tools are a relatively new solution to supporting interaction in the virtual classroom. Ward et al. (2010) distinguished a strong, convincing body of literature which shows that synchronous online classrooms, enhanced by two-way audio, allow for real-time oral presentation, discourse, and checks for understanding among tutor and learners. Hrastinski (2008) determined the aural component of the synchronous virtual classroom as offering real time contact between teachers and students, mirroring faceto- face contact. Much of the research to date focuses on synchronous online resources and their link with participation while there is little or no research on the use of a resource to assist with technical issues inhibiting learners from participating. The aim of the study was to address this gap through means of an exploratory case study. The research included investigating, creating and assessing the usefulness of a resource to assist with technological issues impacting learners’ ability to participate. The learners were students undertaking a post graduate qualification at Hibernia College. Data was collected through observations and surveys from 46 students and tutors. This research concluded that audio is particularly important for both knowledge construction and learning but also in creating a social atmosphere. While the technical support resource provided a useful aid to learners in this study, further study will need to be conducted over a prolonged period to investigate the full extent of its usefulness. External factors do effect participation and poses a case for extending Moore’s Theory of Transactional Distance to include external factors similar to Fallon’s (2012) suggestion.
  • Surviving the avalanche: Improving retention in MOOCs

    Breakwell, Nicholas; Cassidy, Dara (2013)
    MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) bring together, for the first time, high quality "ivy league" providers, online education and a low-cost model. The evidence to date, however, strongly suggests that any reasonable measure of learner engagement in MOOCs is underwhelming. This paper describes a model of online content development and delivery, known as COACT, which aims to ensuring that higher-order learning and reflection is embedded within the learning process and that, as a result, learner engagement is enhanced. The paper reports on the development and delivery of Ireland's first MOOC, "Exploring Irish Identity" using the COACT framework and will explore whether MOOC content developed in this format can improve learner engagement and retention.
  • Can teachers be trained online?

    Breakwell, Nicholas; Quigley, U.; McManus, A. (2005)
    This paper describes the establishment and delivery of a Blended Learning Higher Diploma in Education, being a professional qualification for Primary School teachers in Ireland. This innovative course represents a major departure from the traditional mode of delivery of teaching training in Ireland. A careful analysis of student feedback and examination scores is therefore of crucial importance to inform further development of the course and to contribute to innovation in teacher training both in Ireland and internationally. The two primary modes of course delivery, that is an Entirely Online mode and a Blended Learning mode, were compared in terms of qualitative feedback from the students themselves and quantitative results from the formal assessment procedures. Across a range of questions that covered perceived workload, satisfaction with objectives and learning outcomes and perceived career benefit, the mode of delivery had no effect on student levels of satisfaction with the course. There was a small but significant grade improvement for Blended Learning courses over Entirely Online courses. However, alternative hypotheses make it difficult to attribute this grade increase to the mode of course delivery. The mode of delivery of course content does not affect student satisfaction or the ability of students to perform well in formal assessment. It is therefore concluded that a blended learning educational system that includes online education is a highly appropriate mode for the training of primary school teachers.
  • The Results: Using Swivl for Digital Observation in an Online or Blended Learning Environment

    Lenehan, John; Lynam, Aoife; McCoy, Selina (2019)
    This paper is a follow-up article on the examination of the use of digital video to enhance professional development for online and blended learning programs in higher education. Our first article published on IJIOE presented a case for using Swivl robot for digital observation. The article provides particular reference to initial teacher education (ITE) and pre-service teachers. The results of a pilot study are examined to evidence pre-service teachers use of Swivl to self-reflect during school placement (i.e., time spent teaching in a classroom as part of an assessment). The results from the study provide strong evidence that the digital video footage created by pre-service teachers in order to self-reflect was highly supportive in developing their self-reflective practice and provides an overview of the usefulness of the technology employed. A more detailed overview of the project methodology can be found in our first paper: “A case for using Swivl for Digital Observation in an Online or Blended Learning Environment”. The aim of this paper is to provide the findings of this pilot study, its effectiveness within a blended learning college, and provide recommendations for those wishing to use similar technology.

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