TLC Newsletter

Newsletter - February 2020



‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.’

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859) 

And just a thought from the Teaching and Learning Centre: why do we continuously use underlying binary oppositions and what purpose do they serve?

Teaching and Learning Centre


It’s February 2020 and our next newsletter. January is now behind us and we can look forward to a stretch in the evenings. We will continue to share with you every month some considerations for your teaching practice, some design and tech resources and a calendar of upcoming T&L events. But we’ve also reserved a place for your valuable input; we would love to hear about what you are doing in your classroom to help your learners learn and, with your permission, to share this in subsequent editions, thereby building a community of learners.

We very much look forward to hearing from you!

The TLC team

Learning, Design & Technology Resources

(Resources for consideration)

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








Screencast-o-matic is an online video recording and editing platform. You can create screencast videos with the screen recorder. It’s fast, free and easy to use! You can capture your screen, add a webcam and use narration to customize your video.

Go to Screencast-o-matic website

We have PRO licences available in TLC – so contact us – if you would like to try it out free for a month.

Teaching and Learning Centre






For more useful information on screencast-o-matic go to their blog here

FutureLearn course

The Online Educator: People and Pedagogy

The Online Educator




Design engaging courses, make your teaching more inclusive, navigate online research ethics and shape your digital identity.

This course is starting on 10th February, you can take it for free.

For further information and to join the course for free, click here


Improve your digital skills one minute at a time. 

Improve your digital skills one minute at a time








All of the tech covered is aimed at higher education, and the 1minuteCPD info is provided by people working in higher education.

To access all of the tech they have covered and for more info click here

And to follow on twitter @1minuteCPD

Using Quiz Data

Using Quiz Data




A new case study based on using quiz data has launched in ORLA (Online Resource for Learning Analytics).

It shows how Dr Hazel Farrell of Waterford Institute of Technology is using low stakes quizzes as a key data source for iteratively informing her teaching practice and for identifying students that may require further support.

This approach uses only tools that are readily available and the institutions' use of data as a core support for student success.

The case study is available here:

If you wish to find out more about using quizzes in Blackboard, check out all of the resources here in TLC Staff Hub (you will need to login to Blackboard to view)

Online Quiz Info in Blackboard

Online Quiz Info in Blackboard







Teaching and Learning Reflections

(Items to consider for your teaching practice)

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






What are the meanings of ‘expertise’ within a discipline?  Is it enough to be an ‘expert’ in your own field? Have a read of Wieman’s (2019) article (abstract and introduction below) and consider what it might mean to you…the link to the complete article is available below (under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License)

Expertise in University Teaching & the Implications for Teaching Effectiveness, Evaluation & Training

by Carl Edwin Wieman


Universities face the challenge of how to teach students more complex thinking and problem-solving skills than were widely needed in the past, and how to teach these to a much larger and more diverse student body. Research advances in learning and teaching over the past few decades provide a way to meet these challenges. These advances have established expertise in university teaching: a set of skills and knowledge that consistently achieve better learning outcomes than the traditional and still predominant teaching methods practiced by most faculty. Widespread recognition and adoption of these expert practices will profoundly change the nature of university teaching and have a large beneficial impact on higher education.


University teaching is in the early stages of a historic transition, changing from an individual folk art to a field with established expertise, much as medicine did 150 years ago. What is bringing about this transition, and what can we expect of it? To answer, I start with the nature of expertise and how it applies to the context of academic disciplines. In particular, I discuss how such expertise defines disciplines and how research and other scholarly work plays an essential role in establishing disciplinary expertise. Then I show how recent research has established expertise in university teaching: a set of instructional practices that achieve better student outcomes than traditional teaching methods. These advances also illustrate the essential role that disciplinary expertise has in effective university teaching and provide perhaps the best justification for the research university as an educational institution. However, while disciplinary expertise is a necessary part of good university teaching, it is far from sufficient: there are many other elements of teaching expertise. I conclude by arguing that the widespread recognition of expertise in university teaching will improve both the effectiveness and efficiency of teaching by making it a more collective and coherent endeavor with better-defined standards for evaluation and training.

For the full article click here
Posted Online September 18, 2019
© 2019 by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences Published under a Creative Commons
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license

Ref: Wieman, C. E. (2019). Expertise in University Teaching & the Implications for Teaching Effectiveness, Evaluation & Training. Dædalus, 148(4), pp.  47-78.

Calendar of Events

(Upcoming Teaching and Learning Events)

Upcoming Teaching and Learning Events






Supporting Students with Dyslexia Workshop

Supporting Students with Dyslexia Workshop


  • Venue: IT Carlow
  • Date: Thursday 18th February, 10-1pm (A204) book your place at
  • Facilitator: Caoimhe O’Malley (Adult Dyslexia Coordinator for the Dyslexia Association of Ireland)

This workshop will explore what dyslexia is and how to recognise the signs of dyslexia. In addition, the workshop will analyse ways of supporting students with dyslexia and, in particular, will consider practical techniques that could be implemented within a teaching environment.

National Forum Seminar Series

National Forum Seminar Series


The National Seminar Series gives those working in higher education the opportunity to connect with colleagues and to focus on shared interests in both the research and practice of teaching and learning enhancement. The series also creates opportunities to hear from national and international experts in different areas of teaching and learning.

Themes included in upcoming seminars include:

  • Supporting Doctorial Students to Submission - Strategies for Supervisors (NUIG - 6th Feb)
  • Using Digital Storytelling for Learner Engagement (WIT - 7th Feb)
  • Engaging Staff in Meaningful Change in Assessment Practice (TCD - 11th Feb)
  • Using Games to Teach: Gameification and Game-Based Learning in Higher Education (TUD - 13th Feb)

And there are lots more, so check out the full list of NF Seminars for 2019/2020 here

Academic Support Sessions

The Academic Support sessions will continue in February.

All students are welcome to the drop-in sessions on:

  • Academic Writing
  • Maths Support

Maths Support






The schedule is posted on the TLC Student Hub on Blackboard, on the notice boards of various different faculties and outside of room A204.

Take a tech break! : 30 mins of learning tech

Take a tech break






Our weekly informal learning technology workshops have completed for this term.

If you missed the sessions, you can take a look at the tech explored here:

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.

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

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

Quizlet : is a free website providing learning tools for students, including flashcards, study and game modes.
For more info, go to

Mentimeter : engage with your learners, you present, learners easily connect via smart phone enabling; real-time polling, voting and feedback. Gives all your learners in your class a voice. 
For more info, go to

One Note : is your very own digital notebook. Use One Note to present in your class. It is part of MS Office 365.
For more info, click here

Collaborate - Virtual Classrooms for you in IT Carlow

The Collaborate Couch to 5k programme was designed, developed and launched in September 2019. It is all on-line, available anytime, allowing you to learn at your own pace.  Now, we’ve blended 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 face-to-face bootcamp sessions took place in November and December 2019.

If you wish to enquire about further face-to-face bootcamp classroom sessions or would like additional support in starting to use virtual classrooms with your learners, contact

Over To You

TEL (Technology-Enchanced Learning) us your story

TEL (Technology-Enchanced Learning)





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.

Contact Us

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

Teaching and Learning Centre