Tuesday, 9 May 2017

2017 Digital Skills in Action

On Wednesday 5th of April, as part of IADT's 2017 response to the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning's 'Digital Skills in Action' week, we organised a session on 'Digital Project Case Studies - Showcase of Community Based digital projects undertaken by IADT students to clients'.

We presented ReachOut and NRH Psychology projects from 2016 and 2017, with PCHEI's Katie Hendrick and NRH's Maeve Nolan and Simone Carton presenting, along with students including Mark, Rebecca, Anna, Sarah, Tara, Eleanor and the incomparable Jennie!

Thanks to all!



DQ presents


DQ, Mark. Anna, Rebecca, Simone, Jennie and Maeve





Katie Hendrick

The new NRH Psychology project videos will be available online soon. In the meanwhile, the Reachout/PCHEI videos are all available at...



Monday, 6 March 2017

Death of Fintan Ryan, RTE

The death occurred last Wednesday (1st March) of Fintan Ryan, long time deputy of my father Jimmy Quin as they rose through the ranks of RTE in the 1960's and 70's. Fintan stayed on in RTE when my father left in 1977 for his new role as Manager in the National Film Studios in Ardmore. Jimmy Quin established the earliest version of our animation company Quin Films around that time, to produce animation for tv.

Fintan was remembered at his packed funeral in Dundrum on Saturday morning as someone who assumed a real guiding role for many professionals, young and old, always ready to assist when and where he could.

The image below (from the RTE stills library) is of Fintan as we remember him, from 1980, in his role as Head of Film Production. For all of your help and advice through the years Fintan, thank you!


https://stillslibrary.rte.ie/indexplus/image/2108/035.html 



Fintan Ryan's funeral, Dundrum, Saturday 4th March 2017


Fintan Ryan's funeral, Dundrum, Saturday 4th March 2017 - Jimmy Quin, Patsy, Colm K and Frank from RTE film processing


Fintan Ryan's funeral, Dundrum, Saturday 4th March 2017 - Jimmy Quin and Colm K from RTE film processing

https://stillslibrary.rte.ie/indexplus/image/2066/051.html

http://notices.irishtimes.com/death/ryan-fintan/49365755

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Christophe Grolomund - five questions when reviewing or revising your Academic Programme

One of the great pieces of learning from last week's ANQA Q-Week in Armenia came from Christophe Grolomund, the Director of Swiss Agency of Accreditation and Quality Assurance. In his presentation to conference, Cristophe explained the five questions his agency would ask of a HEI or programme team...

  • Do you know where you want to go?
  • Do you have a plan for getting there?
  • Do you have a plan for what to do if you get lost along the way?
  • Do you have a light on your desk to tell you if there's a problem?
  • Do you then have a button to push, to solve that problem?

Thank you Christophe!



ANQA's Haikouki interviews Christophe Grolomund (ANQA image)

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Proceeds of Crime in Chicago Irish Film Festival

Thank you to my good friend (and longtime supporter) Judith Blackburn and to my Producer Jennie Kelly for organising to screen my 'Proceeds of Crime' in the Shorts Program 3 of the 2017 Chicago Irish Film Festival in the Gallery Theatre on Saturday March 4th at 19.00.

Judith describes the film as 'a dark alphabetic journey through Ireland's 2016 gangland.



from the 2017 CIFF website




check out the CIFF website - links below...

The very best of luck with the Festival Judith! Thank you for remembering my work!



Paul Hyland's 'Conceptions of Teaching'

This is adapted from the 'Conceptions of Teaching' section of Bath Spa University's  Paul Hyland & Inna Pomorina 'Developing Student Centred Learning' presentation for THE ANNUAL TEMPUS CONFERENCE ENHANCING THE QUALITY AND RELEVANCE OF STUDENTS’ LEARNING EXPERIENCE - Moscow, Russia, November 13 - 14, 2015.

Conceptions of Teaching.

1. Conceptions come from:

personal beliefs, experiences, peers, perception of the academic context and learning environment, view of purposes of higher education …

2. Teachers’ Conceptions influence:

approaches to teaching (design of courses & environment)…
teaching practices …
students’ experiences …
students’ conceptions …
students’ approached to learning …
nature and quality of students’ learning outcomes.

3. Phenomonographic (Empirical) Research-based Categories:

Bi-polar, linear scale:

teacher-centred (bad!)…………………………..……………………… student-centred (good!)

4. A ‘many kinds’ view:


Some examples...









ANQA Q-Week - David Quin Workshop - Yerevan 19th to 26th February

As part of ANQA's Q-Week conference and events, I was asked to do a workshop on 'Review of Programmes in the context of enhancing student assessment'. 40 enthusiastic participants arrived for the 90 minute session and we went 'interactive', even getting them to do CAT (Classroom Assessment Technique) responses at the end! A thoroughly enjoyable and productive session and I learned a lot, especially from my Armenian QA colleagues! Thanks to Ruben Topchayan, Varduhi Gyulazyan and the ANQA team for the invitation!



waiting for the workshop to start


waiting for the workshop to start


waiting for the workshop to start


waiting for the workshop to start


DQ presents 'Review of Academic Programmes in the Context of Enhancing Student Assessment'


DQ presents 'Review of Academic Programmes in the Context of Enhancing Student Assessment'


DQ presents 'Review of Academic Programmes in the Context of Enhancing Student Assessment'


some of the CAT responses from the workshop - thank you to all participants for your views, responses, ideas and inputs


DQ and Ruben


ANQA Q-Week panel including Geert de Lepeleer and Christophe Grolomund, Director of Swiss Agency of Accreditation and Quality Assurance


Christophe being interviewed by ANQA's Haikouki


Ruben and his fabulous ANQA Q-Week team!


Snow and hazy sunshine in Yerevan


Fog delayed my return from Yerevan - arrived back in Dublin late on Sunday 26th February, tired.




Tempus ALIGN - presentation images - Yerevan 19th to 26th February 2017

Here are some images from my 2 Tempus ALIGN presentations as part of project planning for 2017...

prepping for Tempus ALIGN planning meeting - Brusov


prepping for Tempus ALIGN planning meeting - Brusov


prepping for Tempus ALIGN ANQA Q Week meet - Brusov


prepping for Tempus ALIGN planning meeting - Brusov


DQ waiting for Tempus ALIGN ANQA Q Week meet to begin - Brusov


DQ presenting to Tempus ALIGN ANQA Q Week meet - Brusov


DQ tv interviewed for Tempus ALIGN ANQA Q Week - Brusov


DQ tv interviewed for Tempus ALIGN ANQA Q Week - Brusov



Tempus ALIGN - Recommendations To Governments Discussion Doc - Yerevan 19th to 26th February

I've just returned from the latest Tempus ALIGN planning meeting and ALIGN events as part of ANQA Q-Week in Yerevan. The events were held in YSULS Brusov University and in AUM American University of Armenia. On behalf of the ALIGN EU expert group, I presented discussion documents on 'ALIGN recommendations to HEIs' and on 'ALIGN recommendations to Governments'.

Below are some of the ALIGN recommendations for governments, in the spirit of discussion and development and mindful of the fact that the Tempus ALIGN project has not yet concluded... Much of the work on these tentative, possible recommendations was started by Liza Sizinova in July August 2016, in Ukraine - thank you Liza.


The need for continued development of each territory’s NFQ. All territories have started this process, but the NFQs need ongoing work and refinement - a lot of beefing up and clarification. Where possible, that the territorial NFQs work towards international recognition.

The need for a 'correct' and clear, internationally understandable description of awards - Batchelors, Masters and PhD.
Any territory with 'professional' (lesser) awards will have to wrestle with fitting those into international structures like Bologna?

Each territory must decide on whether it is going for, or moving towards self-accreditation, Ministry accreditation, or agency accreditation, licensing, a mixture of these systems, or parallel systems? How is accreditation/validation going to be rolled out and blended?

Each territory must decide on the relationship between internal and external QA?
Academic autonomy – each HEI has the right to design and implement their own academic programmes and has responsibility to provide quality of education for these programmes. That means that qualification resulting from a programme should be clearly and understandable to all stakeholders, but especially to the student stakeholders. All qualifications should clearly relate to the correct level of the NQF and, consequently to the Framework for Qualification of the EHEA.

The need to establish regular (every 5 years?) peer review processes - separately for academic programmes and for HEI's?
These peer review panels will involve EU or international experts? It must be decided how many EU or international experts on each panel? Two is quite normal? In some territories (eg Lietuva and Croatia), the agencies prefer EU panel members to Chair the peer review panels.

How will the powers, responsibilities and terms of reference of the peer review panels be legally constituted in each territory?
Early peer reviews MIGHT (for the first two cycles (10 years)) be more developmental than regulatory (more like what we've just done with ALIGN)? Everyone involved (HEIs, students, stakeholders, agency, Ministry etc) will need some time to work into the culture of peer review?

If professional standards are to be developed and implemented, they must be created with Professional bodies and according to the local market and with the assistance of the best foreign practices. The best option - professional standards must be prepared in two languages: local and English? Any territory-specific Professional standards need to be transparent for students, HEIs, agencies, stakeholders (industries/employers) and international partners.

National Student Survey for final-year students – these tools can help to know about:
  • The quality of the teaching and learning experience that universities provide;
  • whether academic programme goals are achieved or not achieved during the study programme;
  • what HEIs need to change or improve in their academic programmes;


At the HEI level, involvement of students needs a LOT of work. All the HEIs are gathering student info and are encouraging 'student self-government', but with no clear notion as to HOW student voice should be heard, or even what should be done with the information gathered from student surveys. Are the HEIs listening to students and acting on their feedback and concerns where this is appropriate? Can students clearly see the impact of their inputs and expressions of concern?

At HEI and national level, the Student Unions need autonomy and need to develop the student voice and student representation for themselves.

Ranking universities that will increase competition among them and increase the level of quality. Will this increase competition and quality?

Develop and implement a registry that will track the number of employed graduates - which will help to forecast labour market needs. Q: Who should develop this? HEIs? Some National Agency?

All HEIs and programmes should be encouraged to move towards FORMAL links with stakeholders, industry and employers - including MoUs, short contracts, QA supervision, insurance, health and safety etc etc..., clear for employers, lecturers, HEIs and most of all clear for the students.
The role of employers 'as the leads on examination boards' needs to be reviewed (and possibly removed?).

From the evidence of the Tempus ALIGN peer-reviews, HEIs clearly need help with the following points (this is not a prioritised list)
  • The link between student learning activities and assessment, especially summative assessments, linked to modules, ILOs, workloads & credits.
  • Blended and constructively aligned assessment.
  • EU higher education ‘terminology’.
  • Student-centred learning.
  • The development of Student Handbooks.
  • The development of Programme Aims and Module Aims.
  • The development of module (or course) descriptors.
  • How to foster effective student representation.
  • The developmental principles and process of regular peer review.
  • The development of Programme Self Evaluation Documentation.


HEIs in each territory would benefit from seeing clear examples of local best practice – starting with examples from our ALIGN peer reviews (we’re thinking module descriptors from one university, a clear exposition of IT student feedback in another university, clear expositions of a third university’s relationships with employers and 'workplace' teaching arrangements etc…)

Such a 'best practice toolkit' or database or website, should be established in each territory, clearly curated and updated in a thoughtful, considered and measured manner. Maybe a clear curatorial role for each national QA agency here?

The development of student-centred learning is a cultural change which is just beginning in the HEIs involved with Tempus ALIGN. Once again the only way forward is to provide more training and information, more international links and mobility, to work in the HEIs and with students and to keep developing a student-centred culture in higher education.

This will take hard work and time.