NUI Galway Symposium on Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Jun 05 2018 Posted: 10:07 IST

The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at NUI Galway will host its Annual Symposium on Higher Education on Friday, 15 June in Áras Moyola. The conference theme is “Design for Learning” and will focus on the design and use of teaching and learning spaces that facilitate active learning, collaboration, and student engagement.
The Symposium will explore a wide range of aspects of designing for learning: from state-of-the-art learning spaces to inspiring examples of 'hacking' spaces, from classrooms and labs to libraries and learning commons, and from physical to online, hybrid, and open environments.

Professor Iain MacLaren, Director of the Centre for Excellence and Teaching at NUI Galway, said: “At this symposium, participants will explore the question of how the design of the spaces in which we teach or study might shape the experience. Are there different ways of designing classrooms, for example, that would enable more active, engaged learning and discussion? If we are using a wide range of technologies to support learning, what kinds of study spaces would be best for students, particularly when working in teams or on projects? We'll be looking at examples from around the world and also considering the important role of virtual and online spaces. Through a combination of presentations, workshops, and discussions – involving international speakers, university staff, and students – we hope to generate practical ideas for the future of university learning and teaching.”

The conference will feature keynote speakers:

  •  Dr Alastair Blyth is an architect and research analyst specialising in learning environments and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster. Alastair aims to help people re-imagine the creation of learning environments – educational and physical – that motivate, engage, and inspire students and teachers alike, to enable societies to produce students with the creative, collaborative, and communication skills they need. Alastair is the co-author of several OECD surveys and policy reviews, including ‘Higher Education Spaces and Places’ for learning, innovation and knowledge exchange.
  • Dr Donna Lanclos is an anthropologist working with ethnographic methods and analysis to inform and change policy in higher education, in particular in and around libraries, learning spaces, and active learning pedagogies and practices.
  • Lorna Campbell works for the University of Edinburgh’s Open Educational Resources (OER) Service within the Learning, Teaching, and Web Services Directorate, where her work includes strategies for embedding and supporting open education and OER within the institution. Lorna is a Trustee of Wikimedia UK and of the Association for Learning Technology and a member of the Open Knowledge Open Education Working Group Advisory Board.

The Symposium will also contain presentations, workshops, and discussion sessions offered by staff from NUI Galway and other Irish higher education institutions.  
The event is free and open to all. For further information or to register visit

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