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20172023

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Personal profile

Biography

Fionnuala Brennan is a lecturer in the School of Humanities at South East Technological University (SETU), Ireland. She has experience and expertise in in-person classroom as well as online and blended learning delivery, with a particular interest in working with lifelong learners. She has spearheaded initiatives at programme level and on projects to research and enhance learning, teaching and assessment. 

She completed her undergraduate studies in Communication Studies in Dublin City University (DCU) and later returned to DCU to complete her Doctorate in Education in 2017. 

Following fifteen years of event and project management in the arts sector Fionnuala joined Waterford Institute of Technology (Now SETU)  in 2007 teaching on undergraduate arts programmes, and co-developing the MA in Arts & Heritage Management. As programme leader on the MA, in 2015 she won a 100K Springboard+ application enabling funded places.  In 2017 she joined the team on the Higher Certificate in Custodial Care (HCCC), is now programme leader and has been instrumental to the collaborative development and delivery of the programme to over 700 recruit prison officers to date. From 2019 to 2020 she was the lead on a research and enhancement project on the HCCC Every Contact Counts.   Under the 2021 - 2022 Strategic Alignment of Teaching & Learning Enhancement Fund she ran an interdisciplinary research and enchancement project SPARC focused on student feedback.  She is currently heading an NTutorr project examining the digital divide and improving the Moodle experience on the HCCC. 

Teaching

Learning and Teaching Philosophy

Fionnuala's learning and teaching philosophy is active and learner-centred. She strives for partnership with learner groups, co-creating knowledge through module design, assessment and feedback. She works towards aligning each learning experience with the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and Restorative Practice (RP). In line with UDL, Fionnuala aims to empower students to make connections between content and their own interests, for example integrating the BA Music Christmas concert into the content and assessment of the Arts Management module. She offers students learning resources in multiple means, for example recording audio versions of key texts, and allow students choice in how they demonstrate their knowledge and skill, for example reflective portfolios or role play recordings as assessment. Above all in line with RP, Fionnuala commits time and energy to creating a welcoming learning climate where learners feel valued and supported, through opening and closing circles, group work, discussion and interactive tools.

Undergraduate

Fionnuala began teaching in WIT (now SETU) on the BA Music, BA Design Communication and BA Visual Art. She developed and delivered modules to enable students plan for sustainable creative careers. Following the success of these modules she was invited to develop and deliver career development modules on the BA Arts and on Government funded Springboard+ programmes in the Department of Computing and Mathematics. 

Postgraduate

Fionnuala was a member of the development and delivery team, and work placement co-ordinator on the MA in Arts & Heritage Management from 2008 to 2016. Through that time, Fionnuala supervised both dissertations and work placements, developing successful relationships with over fifty external agencies regionally and nationally. Following completion of the WIT (Now SETU) level 9 Research Supervisory Skills module in 2011, she was invited to re-develop the module in blended learning mode. Through collaboration with colleagues in the Schools of Education and Business, Fionnuala co-designed and co-delivered this module for colleagues from across the institute. Following completion of the National Forum online digital badge PACT, Getting Started with Professional Development in 2019, she was invited to co-deliver the badge for the National Forum in 2020. Again, following completion of the National Forum’s online digital badge Universal Design for Learning in 2020, Fionnuala was invited to act as local facilitator for badge delivery in 2021.

Programme Leadership

As programme lead, Fionnuala aims to support and enable students and colleagues in their learning and teaching, through sharing of experience, and seeking feedback. In 2014, on the MA in Arts & Heritage Management, she led the programme team through a redesign process integrating graduate and student input. In 2015, Fionnuala won highly competitive funding of 100K as part of the government initiative Springboard+ to offer twenty free places on the MA. On the HCCC, she acts as academic liaison between WIT (now SETU) and the Irish Prison Service (IPS), meeting organisational needs, through relationship and programme development, e.g. organising prison visits for new members of staff, and integrating restorative principles and content in line with IPS strategy. In 2019 Fionnuala won competitive funding of €41.5K for programme development under the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Microcredential in Restorative Practice, Maynooth University

… → 2023

EdD, Doctor of Education, Dublin City University

… → 2017

Masters Degree, Masters in Media Studies, Technological University Dublin

… → 2002

Bachelors Degree, B.A (Hons) Communication Studies, Dublin City University

… → 1992

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