Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

You are here Professional Development > Special Certificate

Perspectives on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

This module is aimed at academics and/or academic-related professionals who teach and support student learning and who may be new to a teaching role. The module enables teachers in higher education to clarify conceptions of, and reflect on their own approaches to, teaching and learning in higher education. Module participants are empowered to evaluate their teaching role, articulate their own teaching philosophy, and to apply theories of education and the principles of teaching and learning to their discipline.  

Module participants will explore how to apply the theories and principles of teaching and learning to their practice. The module will introduce strategies for teaching online and in hybrid environments and explore the fundaments of curriculum design & assessment. The module is designed to develop a supportive community of practice through formative peer feedback. 

For those early career academics taking the Special Purpose Cert for credit, this module should be completed as one of their three 5 ECTS modules. The modules form part of the Special Purpose Certificate in Academic Practice, where modules are taken individually and built up to a professional qualification in academic practice (15 ECTS). 

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module participants should be able to:

  1. Discuss concepts, theories and philosophies of teaching and learning.
  2. Demonstrate how appropriate teaching and assessment strategies have been developed and applied to promote learning.
  3. Demonstrate critical awareness of the literature of teaching and learning.
  4. Articulate/illustrate how their professional values about academic practice, have been influenced by engagement with this module.


Colleagues should commit to engaging with ‘continuous’ assessment tasks, e.g. engaging with discussion boards. Module participants taking the module on a for-credit basis should also submit one of these four assessment tasks:

1. Develop (and critically locate) a comprehensive Teaching Philosophy Statement (c. 800-1000 words or equivalent), reflecting throughout on your practice.


2. A case study or vignette of ‘pedagogy in practice’, typically of c. 1000-1500 words of equivalent. This might involve:

  • The production of one or more resource documents intended at enhancing academic practice in your disciplinary context, e.g. produced for academic staff and/or students.  
  • A reflective case study focused on your own practice, which should be critically located in the context of your approach and philosophy/ies of teaching and learning.
  • Undertaking a peer observation.  The critical reflection accompanying the observation/session outline should identify clear benefits to current approaches and constructively outline potential areas for practice enhancement.


3. Submission of a rationale for the planning, redesign, or development of a module from scratch. The curricular plan accompanying this rationale should be critically located and acknowledge the appropriate literature of teaching and learning in how you demonstrate your selection and sequencing of activities. The rationale and curricular plan would typically be c. 1000-1500 words or equivalent, e.g. 8-minute video artefact, animation, performance, etc.  


4. Participants may alternatively develop a critical reflection on the module’s impact on their practice as part of the professional teaching portfolio, e.g. as one of the four elements of the portfolio (total c.7,500 words or word equivalent). This critical reflection might be text-based or developed as a digital artefact.

Please see Rubric on Page 36 of the handbook.

Module Co-ordinators

Dr Caitríona Ní Shé & Dr Ana Schalk

Teaching Staff

Dr Caitríona Ní Shé & Dr Ana Schalk