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Digital by Design: Building Capacity for Digital Education at Trinity

Digital by Design is about building capacity for digital education across Trinity at personal, disciplinary and organisational levels.

The project aims to build on what we have learned from our pandemic experiences of digital learning, to mainstream evidence-based digital education practices in support of ‘next-generation teaching and learning’.

Project overview

Play this video for an introduction to our Digital by Design project.

Context: responding to institutional and strategic priorities 

Trinity’s Strategic Plan 2020-25 focuses on embedding and mainstreaming ‘next-generation teaching and learning practices’ across programme curricula, by committing to, for example:   

  • developing a ‘full spectrum digital learning strategy’ (3.8). 

  • enabling more diverse and more flexible learning and programme delivery (1.10). 

  • nurturing a ‘Partners in Learning’ approach (3.3). 

  • and establishing new Curriculum Hub to support continuous pedagogical renewal (3:3). 

Trinity’s priorities align with the European Commission’s strategic objectives which call for enhanced digital skills in all those who teach and which highlight the need for effective digital capacity planning at organisational level (EU ‘Digital Action Plan 2021-27.)  Similarly, Ireland’s National Forum emphasises the importance of supporting hose who learn, teach and lead in higher education to critically apply digital technologies in order to enhance learning, teaching and overall digital capability. 

Digital by Design builds on what we have learned during the pandemic pivot to digitally mediated teaching and it responds to strategic institutional and sectoral priorities around capacity planning for digital education, at personal, disciplinary and organizational level. 


Project deliverables 

Recognising the relationship between teaching and student success this project commits to four key outcomes:  

  1. A systematic institutional mapping of digital education practices and international benchmarking to establish digital pedagogic requirements across the disciplines at Trinity. 

  1. A comprehensive, evidence-based professional development framework for digital education that addresses differentiated disciplinary requirements and provides guidance to support digital TLA at Trinity. 

  1. The design of targeted professional development offerings for teaching staff and Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)/Demonstrators, focusing on enhancing core pedagogic competences in digital teaching, learning and assessment and aligning with the EU’s DigCompEdu Framework; 

  1. Nurturing and supporting disciplinary communities of practice focused on digital teaching, learning, and assessment strategies within cognate fields. 


Impact on those who teach  

  • The creation of a research-based professional development framework for digital education will support the mainstreaming of digital teaching, learning and assessment activities which are purposefully designed and underpinned by robust pedagogical principles.  

  • The two online modules will empower teaching staff and GTAs to adopt and further innovate on their use of strategies for high-quality teaching and learning in digital contexts.  

  • The establishment of Communities of Practice will enable the exchange and showcasing of good practice across the disciplines. 

Impact on learners

  • Learners will benefit from the adoption of high-quality digital teaching, learning and assessment strategies, differentiated according to their disciplinary needs.  

  • The partners-in-learning approach will ensure that digital teaching, learning and assessment approaches will be informed by, and designed in partnership with, students. 

Project team

This project is led by Academic Practice (Project lead: Dr. Pauline Rooney) and involves a team of Academic Developers, Learning Designer, Project Manager, Research Assistants and Student Interns, thus strengthening Trinity’s commitment to a partners-in-learning approach identified in the Trinity Strategic Plan 2020-25. 

This project is funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education as part of the Strategic Alignment of Teaching and Learning Enhancement (SATLE) Fund 2020