This Summer staff across Irish higher education, student representatives, as well as incoming and returning students, are facing a number of challenges and considerations. Our new Summer Series will seek to address some of these challenges and offer practical advice for approaching student engagement in the coming year. At NStEP we believe that the pandemic has highlighted just how much meaningful student engagement underpins the very nature of Irish higher education, so this Summer, let’s keep the conversation going!

Find out more about our speakers and register below.

Building Learning Communities during Covid-19

Dylan Scanlon


Dylan Scanlon is currently completing a PhD at the University of Limerick (UL) which explores the positioning of school knowledge in Irish school curriculum reform through a case study of Leaving Certificate Physical Education. Dylan also teaches pre-service teachers in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, UL and is also completing a Graduate Diploma in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship. Most recently, Dylan has joined the NStEP team in becoming a Student Trainer for the next academic year. These research and teaching experiences inform Dylan’s presentation on the possibilities of learning communities from both a student and teacher perspective.

Dylan’s Session: An opportunity to redesign and rethink student engagement and partnership in teaching and learning: the possibilities of learning communities 

Catherine McConnell, Lucy Chilvers and Francesca Thornton

University of Brighton, Centre for Learning and Teaching


Catherine McConnell, Lucy Chilvers and Francesca Thornton are based in the Centre for Learning and Teaching at the University of Brighton. They form a specialist team focused on Student Academic Success and Partnership, working on a range of projects contributing to enhancing education and the student experience, retention, achievement, academic and employability skills, through a strong partnership ethos.

The session will introduce participants to two significant cross-institutional projects at the University of Brighton along with practical suggestions about introducing such initiatives in their institutional context. First, the development of a Peer Learning Framework: building on the internationally recognised model of Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS), the team are in the process of embedding peer learning principles into all aspects of the curriculum and teaching delivery through an academic staff development programme. Second, the team will present on their Student-Staff Partnership approach, with specific attention to five collaborative resources developed to facilitate authentic and equal relations between staff and students.