Dublin Symposium – March 11th-15th, 2013

The second symposium of the pilot phase of the project took place in Dublin, Ireland from March 11th-15th, 2013. The purpose of this symposium was for Engineers Ireland to share knowledge of learning outcomes and learning contracts with the project partners. The plan was to give the partners a holistic overview of the importance of learning outcomes from the varying perspectives of students, teachers, course designers and the private business world. After the symposium each partner would then in turn use this knowledge to trial the use of learning outcome statements and learning contracts in selected courses that their organisations currently run.

Day 1: Tuesday 12th March, 2013 – Review of Mentoring Pilot Phase

Day 1 started with each partner organisation giving a short presentation on their ‘lessons learned’ and progress from their respective mentoring pilot phases. These presentations allowed each partner share their experiences of the pilot phases which in some cases were very similar. The afternoon of Day 1 saw the visit of two recent participants (David Reddington, DAA and Gene Flynn PMCE) of Engineers Ireland’s Future Professionals Programme. Both David and Gene presented on their experiences of using learning contracts within the programme and how the process compounded and maximised the knowledge gained from completing the programme.

Day 2: Wednesday 13thMarch, 2013 – Visit to Dublin Institute of Technology

Day 2 of the symposium commenced with a presentation from Damien Owens, Registrar of Engineers Ireland on the importance of learning outcomes for international standards and professional recognition. This presentation was vital for the group to understand how the European and national frameworks of EU members linked up. The group then visited DIT, Bolton Street for presentations from Dr. Brian Bowe, Head of Learning Development, College of Engineering and Built Environment, DIT and Dr. Colin Caprani, Lecturer, Structural Engineering, DIT on ‘Using Learning Outcomes in the overall design of Higher Education programmes’ and ‘The benefits of Learning Outcomes in the classroom’.

These presentations were hugely helpful for the partners as they now had a process map of how an educational organisation had altered their programme structure with the programme learning outcomes being the driver force for the design.

Day 3: Thursday March 14th, 2013 – Use of Learning Outcomes in Business

The final day of the symposium commenced with a web conference presentation Barry Davies, Senior Training & Development Co-ordinator, Creganna, Galway on ‘The importance of Learning Outcomes in business’. In the afternoon the group reflected on the activities of the week and the varying perspectives of using learning outcomes from the student, course designers, teachers and the private sector. With this in mind the group planned ahead for their respective pilots of the use of learning contracts in conjunction with a selected training programme from their organisations.

The meeting was adjourned with each partner fully prepared to implement a learning contract pilot phase in their own organisation.