Learning, Teaching & Assessment Strategy

Strategy for 2016-18


This Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy (LTA) of the Institute of Technology, Sligo (IT Sligo) sets out the underlying philosophy, general principles and key objectives to create and maintain a vibrant and sustainable learning and teaching community.  The strategy has been developed by the Academic Council of the Institute, drawing on the expertise of the teaching and administrative staff, student representatives and external stake holders.

The strategy is fit for purpose in the context of rapid change and a diverse student body.  It supports the learning and teaching objectives specified in the Institute’s Strategic Plan and will inspire continuous improvement in the quality and standard of learning, teaching and assessment. The strategy is practical, innovative and mindful of financial and resource constraints.  It has an implementation plan with measurable outcomes which will be clearly and effectively communicated to the Institute community.  The strategy is subject to oversight by the Academic Council and will be formally reviewed by it.

Educational Philosophy

IT Sligo is guided by a student-centered pedagogical approach to learning, teaching and assessment.  The Institute recognises and defends the right to academic freedom of expression.  It is founded in a commitment to educational integrity, built on ethical standards of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility.  This philosophy is underpinned by the “Guiding Principles” that shape the objective outcomes. 

Guiding Principles

The Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy is guided by the following principles:

  1. The Institute promotes a student-centered approach that recognises student experience as a firm basis for further learning and active student engagement as necessary for effective learning.
  2. Learners and teachers are the principal stakeholders in education. They are encouraged to take an active role at all levels in the shaping of the learning process.  The Institute will develop structures to support this active role.
  3. Programmes of study are organised and managed in ways that are appropriate to and reflective of the diverse experiences and needs of learners.
  4. The necessary resources and infrastructure to deliver programmes are provided within the available resources.
  5. In response to the demands of  social and working environments that require complex information exchange and communication, all learners are supported in the development of their critical problem solving and information literacy capabilities.
  6. Learning and teaching practices are informed by the best available evidence from educational research.
  7. The reflective practice and experience of our educators is valued. Educators are actively supported by the Institute in the development of their own professional knowledge, research, skills and competencies and to be capable of responding to the external environment through feedback and dialogue with employers and professional bodies.
  8. Learners are encouraged to be critical and reflective about the world, while at the same time operating ethically, responsibly and professionally in specific environments.
  9. Learners are enabled to develop skills, values, competencies and practices that enhance their ability to be employable, enterprising and innovative as appropriate.
  10. Learners are supported to become active citizens. They will develop an understanding of their role in contributing to change and development at the local, national and international level.

Learning, Teaching and Assessment: Aims and objectives

Aim 1: Foster a student-centred approach to learning, teaching and assessment
1a)     Provide appropriate learner support
1b)     Provide enhanced student facilities
1c)     Facilitate effective articulation and progression
1d)     Increase the enterprise and employability capability of learners

Aim 2: Meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student body
2a)     Promote awareness of cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity
2b)      Address the barriers that inhibit learning
2c)      Address the varying levels of experience and diversity of learners

Aim 3: Ensure appropriate assessment of programme and module learning outcomes
3a)     Ensure compliance with the QQI guidelines on Assessment & Standards
3b)     Establish procedures for all forms of assessment that address issues such as fairness and consistency and  student workload.

Aim 4: Support the professional development of staff 

4a)      Establish a Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT)
4b)      Support staff in attendance and participation in relevant conferences and in networking with colleagues in other HEIs
4c)      Support staff in the attainment of postgraduate pedagogical qualifications
4d)      Support academic staff in their research and in pursuing postgraduate qualifications
4e)     Facilitate staff to take sabbaticals in industry and other relevant settings

4f)      Support, through formal structures, the involvement of emeritus and adjunct staff and of alumni

Aim 5: Support staff in the development of new and diverse modes of delivery and assessment
5a)     Provide training and support for staff in activities related to different modes of delivery and assessment
5b)     Ensure that relevant facilities are available to staff to support appropriate modes of delivery and assessment
5c)     Ensure that timetabling and allocation of teaching hours reflect diverse modes of delivery and assessment
5d)     Identify and allocate resources to support all modes of delivery and assessment
5e)     Develop models of academic workload that reflect and enable the diverse range of LTA activities.

Aim 6: Be compliant with the requirements and standards of QQI, NFQ, European Guidelines for Standards and Quality Assurance and accrediting and professional bodies
6a)      Develop and communicate quality enhancement systems
6b)      Review and develop the role of external examiners
6c)      Foster and develop industry/professional reference groups and accrediting bodies to ensure relevancy of the programmes of learning

6d)      Deliver programmes within the Institute that are predicated on a model of team teaching
6e)      Facilitate co-delivery processes with other providers

Aim 7: Monitor, assess and review the LTA Strategy and its implementation
7a)      Assess the effectiveness of the LTA Strategy
7b)      Review the LTA Strategy annually

ITSligo – Learning Teaching and Assessment Strategy 2016-2018