Virtual Labs DELTA Award May 2024

Virtual Labs DELTA Award May 2024
Wednesday, May 15, 2024 - 16:30

Virtual Labs Project Receives Prestigious DELTA Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Enhancement, May 2024!

The Virtual Labs HCI P3 Initiative Team are delighted to announce that we have been awarded the Virtual Labs Project Receives Prestigious DELTA Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Enhancement. The Disciplinary Excellence in Learning, Teaching and Assessment (DELTA) Award is presented to discipline groups who can demonstrate a record of excellence in teaching and learning enhancement and who commit to an ongoing, clearly articulated, shared process of continued enhancement. This national award recognises their significant contributions to bio/chemical sciences education aimed at enhancing blended teaching and learning experiences and is funded through the Higher Education Authority’s HCI Pillar 3 programme.

The HEA HCI Pillar 3, is a government programme designed to meet priority skills needs, by increasing collaboration between higher education and enterprise with a focus on innovations in teaching and learning.

Dr Alan Wall, Chief Executive Officer at the Higher Education Authority (HEA), praised the team’s achievements: “Their success in enhancing teaching and learning within the bio/chemical sciences is inspiring and deserves this national recognition.”

A HCI Pillar 3 award brought The Virtual Labs Team together in November 2020, led by Professor Denise Rooney at Maynooth University it involves students and staff from five higher education institutions, Maynooth University, UCC, Dundalk IT, DCU, and TUS, with international edtech partners and regional enterprise from the Pharma/Biopharma/Semiconductor and Food & Drink sectors. There are academic leads at each institution including Professors Carmel Breslin and Frances Heaney at MU.  To-date, approximately 3,500 students, enrolled in more than 25 programmes across chemical/bio-sciences have engaged with the project, with ~1,400 active students in the current academic year. Laboratory education is a very significant component of education in these disciplines, often the most enjoyed part of an experimental science curriculum, yet the lab remains a complex learning space with diverse cognitive and social demands. The shared goal of the Virtual Labs Team is to determine and implement the optimal approach to enhancing the educational laboratory experience that best prepares our students embark on a future career in STEM. This is no simple task but the cross-sectoral collaboration between Virtual Labs Team gives a unique opportunity to innovate the laboratory experience at scale, in geographically disparate areas, with students on level 5 to level 9 programmes.
Find out more on the award at: Virtual Labs Project Receives Prestigious DELTA Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Enhancement - National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

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