I write this forward in the midst of the infamous COVID 19 lockdown of 2020. Recent weeks have seen Higher Education institutions, students and staff taking what has proven to be a paradigmatic shift to fully online learning and assessment. The disruptive presence of the virus for education and society has shone a light on all that is good about how people can collaborate when faced with a challenge.
This second publication of the Practical Handbook Series, Technology Tools for Teaching in Higher education also highlights the benefits of international collaboration to create a piece of work that can be used by Educators all over the world. The demand for the first edition that was released as a hard copy was overwhelming with requests coming from Educators who are constantly looking for new methods and approaches to integrate active learning into their teaching environments. In line with TU Dublin’s approach to making knowledge widely available, this and future editions are being published on the web to encourage increased take-up by educators to improve the student experience.
Authors from Durham College, Ontario Tech University and TU Dublin have contributed activities that have been tried and tested in the classroom and other environments with a view to assisting their peers to make delivery as engaging as possible. I am grateful to these contributors and the editing team that have encouraged and cajoled them through the process. Specific thanks go to Shaun Ferns who has made this and other CHERPP projects that he has been involved in such a success.
All initiatives such as this require high-level support within organisations and CHERPP has been very lucky to have ongoing backing from the Presidents and senior management of Durham College, Ontario Tech and TU Dublin. I am indebted to Mr Don Lovisa, Dr Steven Murphy and Prof. David FitzPatrick for all their encouragement and willingness to continue to commit their institutions to produce high-quality practice and research projects.
As we begin the third decade of peace on the island of Ireland, I am drawn to the words of a person from the far end of the political spectrum as myself who played a vital role in bringing people together and disrupting embedded practices to achieve great things. The former and late Northern Ireland Secretary in the British Government Mo Mowlam said: “People working together can overcome many obstacles, often within themselves, and by doing so can make the world a better place.” ― Mo Mowlam
I hope and trust that your students will gain from your engagement with this latest book in the series.