The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning in Ireland recently launched its Online Open-Access Professional Development Short Course platform aimed broadly at the ongoing professional development of all who teach in Irish Higher Education.

“This interface is designed as a ‘one stop shop’ for those colleagues who are interested in courses under the broad heading of Professional Development. The offerings are the result of work by National Forum staff and by higher education colleagues across the sector. As such, this space reflects the collaborative commitment of the HE community to ongoing professional development towards positive individual, institutional and sectoral change.”

The launch of this open course initiative aligns with the vision set out by the Forum in it’s National Professional Development Framework for All Staff Who Teach in Higher Education published in 2016. (View the document directly).


National Forum Professional Development Framework Aims


The PD Framework is underpinned by certain core values – Inclusivity, Authenticity, Scholarship, Learner-centeredness, and Collaboration –  and articulates five key domains that all staff who teach in Irish higher education should consider when planning to engage in meaningful professional development:

  1. Personal Development: The ‘Self’ in Teaching and Learning
  2. Professional Identity, Values and Development in Teaching and Learning
  3. Professional Communication and Dialogue in Teaching and Learning
  4. Professional Knowledge and Skills in Teaching and Learning
  5. Personal and Professional Digital Capacity in Teaching and Learning

National Forum Professional Development Framework Domains

This development showcases the foresight of the National Forum and emphasises how important it views its committment to devising and promoting the professional development of all staff who teach in Irish HEI’s. In particular, it recognises the increased hybridisation of roles over the past decade or so in Irish Higher Education. A number of roles outside of the traditonal lecturer role find themselves with the responsibility of teaching, or designing and developing teaching and learning interventions.

An online open-access short course platform for ongoing professional development of all Irish HE staff is a positive, welcome and progressive development from the National Forum and one worth keeping a watchful eye on.