News and Events

Newsletter - December 2019



Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

By Portia Nelson
American Singer, Songwriter, Actress, and author (1920 - 2001)


I walk down the street. 
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost...
I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I'm in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall's a habit
My eyes are open; I know where I am;
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.


I walk down another street.


It’s December and the final newsletter of the decade! It’s been a great 2019 for the Teaching and Learning Centre, which is continuing to develop and expand and support all learners. Since September we have offered seven accredited professional development modules along with numerous workshops and many minutes of tech! And now with 2020 on the horizon, we look forward to continuing to support staff and students, especially through our Academic Writing Centre and Maths Support Centre. We anticipate many more events in 2020 and look forward to hearing from you as, together, we build our community of learners.

Happy December!

The TLC team

Learning, Design & Technology Resources

(Resources for consideration)

it carlow teaching and learning centre - learning, design & technology resources







PowerPoint - Presenter Coach

A new feature in Office 365 PowerPoint which enables you to rehearse your presentation. It will then give you feedback in terms of your pace, whether you have used any sensitive phrases, use of fillers (umms etc) and managed to avoid reading text from the slides.

To try it, open a presentation in PowerPoint in Office 365 and choose Rehearse with Coach from the Slide Show tab.






It doesn’t record to play back audio but uses microphone to pick up words.

For a video overview and more info, click here

Teaching and Learning Reflections

(Items to consider for your teaching practice)

it carlow teaching and learning centre newsletter - teaching and learning reflections






'Any questions...?'

Two words uttered by every teacher at some point in their day…

two words which are normally tagged on to the end of a session, like minutes of added time before the final whistle blows…

two words which may comfort us into thinking that we have checked our students’ understanding…

two words which may only serve to evoke a shaking of a head as the student disappears out the door…gone…assessment opportunity lost…

two words which are essentially bad value for money…a poor investment, if we really want to assess learning…

So before you next ask ‘any questions?’ maybe consider the following…

Is this the best way of assessing learning? Does this really show us what our students have learnt or haven’t? If we realign our view of assessment and consider it more as ‘assessment as learning’ (Earl, 2003, 2013), a golden opportunity to support meta-cognition for our students, then surely we can abandon ‘any questions?’ to the scrapheap and move towards ways of getting our students to consider more deeply, to move beyond content, to develop those transferable skills of critical and independent thinking…

By sidelining the ‘any questions?’ phrase, we are also separating the dichotomous relationship between questions and answers, and removing the notion that they are the only ones who ask questions and that our role as educators is simply to provide answers. Instead, we are encouraging them to question everything, including their own thinking and to embrace the fact that we all have answers…

This, in turn, allows us to become more learner-centred in our teaching practice…and allows learners to be more learner-centred in their learning.

So instead of leaving your assessing until the end of the session, why not pepper your classroom sessions with a new term, ‘any puzzlings?’ and observe how, by simply substituting one word, we can expand the potential for thinking. By asking this, we are now seeking interaction, consideration, application to particular contexts, evaluation and critical thinking. We are inviting our students to reflect, to grapple with concepts, to tease out challenges, to be discombobulated, to propose new thinking, to juxtapose new ideas with more established ones, to be curious…and, most importantly, to learn…

Earl, L. (2003, 2013). Assessment as learning: Using classroom assessment to maximize student learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Calendar of Events

(Upcoming Teaching and Learning Events)






Welcoming our friends from Wolaita Sodo University in Ethiopia

it carlow teaching and learning centre welcomes wolaita sodo university





On Thursday 21st November, we were delighted to welcome our colleagues from Wolaita Sodu University (WSU) in Ethiopia. The visit formed part of the Building Resilience through Education (BRTE) project. The team from Ethiopia is currently working with staff in UCD on developing a postgraduate modular system for their university back home. Whilst in IT Carlow, our visitors engaged in some great discussions around modularisation and its impact on teaching and learning in higher education; we learned a lot from each other…

再见Saying goodbye to our friends from China…

institute of technology carlow teaching and learning centre


Following weeks of TLC sessions on technology, active learning, instructional design, academic leadership, digital pedagogy, flipped learning, library supports and maximizing research, it was time to bid goodbye - zài jiàn - to our colleagues from China. Thanks for your endless enthusiasm and your demonstrable love of learning over the past few months – we have thoroughly enjoyed having you all in class…

Thank you - 谢谢…

European Distance Learning Week: RESOURCES AVAILABLE - following the event





The event took place: 11-15 November 2019

Resources available - following the event

With the success of the last 3 years' European Distance Learning Weeks in the background, EDEN organised the high profile online event again in November 2019.

This year 6 webinars with over 1600 registered participants were held. The participants came from 65 different countries including 37 countries from outside Europe from Canada to Peru, from South Africa to Nepal, encompassing all continents (Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Australia) and demonstrating a strong geographical coverage and a substantial outreach.

Altogether 37 facilitators contributed to the successful implementation of the ambitious programme. EDEN thanks the valuable contribution of the facilitators and trusts that the initiative contributed to the European dialogue about the state and the future distance education.


National Forum Workshop

We were delighted on Wednesday 27th November to welcome Lee O’Farrell from the National Forum to facilitate a DESSI (Data-Enabled Student Success Initiative) workshop. We were particularly pleased to welcome our colleagues from Carlow College to the session and to share ideas around student success from across both institutions. Together, the workshop participants explored how data might be used to better support student engagement and considered what an effective institutional data strategy might look like. Feedback from the session was very positive, so thank you Lee!

Teaching and Learning Enhancement Funding: 2019/2020



The funding for all of the approved project proposals is in from the National Forum. All of the projects will commence in January 2020 for a duration of one calendar year (Jan - Dec 2020). IT Carlow submitted, have been approved and now received the funding on a range of projects across a range of disciplines:

  • Seeding Growth Initiative = 15 small scale initiatives
  • A blended apprach for Pharmacy Technician studies
  • Supporting Student Success in Information Literacy
  • Virtual Reality-based learning experience
  • Fostering deliberate practice in critical analytical writing for postgraduate learners

Well done to everyone involved.

For more information on the Strategic Alignment of Teaching and Learning enchancement funding click here

National Forum Seminar Series


Theme: Enhancing Intercultural Communication on Teaching and Learning Practice
Venue: Carlow College
Date: Wednesday 11th November
Time: 10.00 - 15.00

The aim of the seminar is to introduce participants to concepts and practices of intercultural communication and to enhance skills and competencies in the teaching environment. The seminar will discuss the relationship between, culture, communication and language and identify practical approaches to develop intercultural teaching practice.

The seminar will be delivered using a workshop approach to support an interactive and engaging learning space with opportunities for participatory, experiential and reflective learning.

For more details and to register for the event, check out Eventbrite

The Real Project - Re-imagining Experiential Academic Learning

Dates: Thursday 12th and Friday 13th December

Professor Richard Roe of Georgetown University, Washington will provide advocacy training to third year law students in IT Carlow on Thursday 12th and Friday 13th December 2019.  This training is part of the above project that is being undertaken in collaboration with LYIT and UL and funded by the National Forum for Teaching and Learning.  The project includes the introduction of experiential legal education onto the LLB programme in ITC whereby a mock trial has been incorporated into the Company Law module.

For more information click here

Academic Support sessions

This week (starting 2nd December) will be the final week of Academic Support sessions for Term 1.

All students are welcome to the drop-in sessions. The schedule is posted on the TLC Student Hub on Blackboard, on the notice boards of different faculties and outside of room A204.

Take a tech break!

30 mins of learning tech.





Our weekly informal learning technology workshops. Two sessions per week, Monday 1.00-1.30 and Thursday 10.45-11.15. Both in A204 in LRC

Topics, resources, apps, tech – covered to date:

Canva: design anything
For more information, go to the Canva website

Unidoodle: a classroom response system app which allows students to quickly submit sketch-style answers via their iOS or Android device to questions asked by their teacher in class.
For more info, go to the Unidoodle website

Carrd: create simple, free, fully responsive one-page sites from pretty much anything.
For more info, go to the Caard website.

MS Forms: easily create surveys and polls. An online survey tool and part of Office 365.
For more into, go to

Any tech, apps, resources you are using and would recommend, please do share with us.

Collaborate - Virtual Classrooms for you in IT Carlow

The Collaborate Couch to 5k programme was designed, developed and launched in September. It is all on-line, available anytime, allowing you to learn at your own pace.  Now, we’re blending the programme with a Collaborate Bootcamp!

The Bootcamp is a face-to-face classroom based session, providing hands-on support to bring you through the entire Collaborate Couch to 5K programme, from absolute beginner to proficient user. It will support you to get up and running and enable you to use Collaborate Virtual Classroom effectively with your learners.  

The first Bootcamp took place on 28th November.

We are now pleased to announce a second Bootcamp:

  • Room: A306 in LRC
  • Date: Monday 9th December
  • Time: 6pm - 9pm

An email from TLC will follow with the sign-up details for this Bootcamp.

Over To You

TEL (Technology-Enchanced Learning) us your story





We'd love to hear from you.

In 200 words or less, share your thoughts and experience of TEL that you are using with your learners.
For example, tell us how you are using it, what your students like about it, how effective it is in supporting learning and whether or not you believe it has applications in other contexts.
If you are happy to share your piece (either with or without your name/dept/section), we will include it in a subsequent issue of the newsletter.

Your contribution - this edition

Teaching in Higher Ed:






This blog has useful content aimed at those who teach in Higher Education, from podcasts to articles about teaching and learning. There are many useful recommendations such as apps, activities and books. The main producer is Bonni Stachowiak, Dean of Teaching and Learning at Vanguard University of California and Associate Professor of Business and Management. The blog is quite interesting because readers can get news on different and various topics on education, get access to podcasts but also communicate directly with Bonni and ask her questions on many teaching and learning subjects. I really enjoyed a recent blog named How to Demonstrate Confidence in Your Teaching as it made me understand why true confidence is important in teaching and also as it mentions some very interesting tips that I'd certainly try to use.

Recommended by: Sofia Skoumpa

Contact Us

If you would like more information on the Teaching and Learning Centre email or follow us on Twitter