DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Enabling Learning
Module Code ED8039
School 78
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Denis Moynihan
Semester 2: Denis Moynihan
Autumn: Denis Moynihan
Module TeachersAnn Marie Farrell
Deirdre Butler
Margaret Leahy
Mary Glynn
Zita Lysaght
Denis Moynihan
NFQ level 10 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module aims to support students in integrating and applying the key principles of digital learning, special and inclusive education, and classroom assessment. Students are enabled to design and create learning spaces and opportunities that optimise the engagement, achievement and rounded development of all children in all settings. Specifically, students explore the use of digital technologies, the role of assessment and the implications of individual special/additional needs to make informed decisions to engage and enable all learners in a pedagogically inclusive manner. Collaborative practice is modelled to ensure that concepts are explicitly linked and to prime students to engage in such practice at school level in a collegiate and professional manner.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify and critique key principles, practices, policies and research that inform the creative alignment of assessment, learning and teaching across the continuum of teaching and learning contexts (including mainstream, multi-grade, special, face-to-face, remote etc.).
2. Explain and defend the selection and use of different combinations of digital technologies, classroom assessment modalities, strategies and tools and special and inclusive pedagogies across the range of teaching, learning and assessment school/classroom context.
3. Apply the knowledge, skills and competencies developed in the module to design, describe and critique the planning, organisation, implementation and review of learning opportunities, reflecting the complexity and diversity of classrooms ( including whole class, support models, individualised planning process, range of teacher roles etc.) and schools.
4. Draw on (a) the ideas and pedagogies explored in class and (b) lived experiences of applying this learning on school placement/professional practises, to develop understanding of the teachers roles in creating and sustaining effective inclusive and democratic learning environments in collaboration with key stakeholders.
5. Identify, create and review opportunities for, and challenges to, engaging collaboratively with colleagues, face-to-face and virtually.
6. Actively promote the development of self-regulation and adaptive expertise in schools and classes.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture36Throughout, the pedagogical constructs and practices explored in the module are modelled in the pedagogical approach to the module e.g. co-teaching is used in some sessions to enable active and collaborative learning in the large class context; prior knowledge is activated utilising digital technologies; existing knowledge and expertise in the class is harnessed by allowing students to contribute/present to the class on their own experiences of inclusion and exclusion.
Workshop18Digital Learning will be taught using small group workshop format
Independent Study45Reading articles / review of web-based lectures in preparation for lectures etc Preparation for assessments Online activities
Assessment Feedback26Examination & Assignment
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

The indicative content for the Enabling Learning module is described below. In the planning, teaching, learning and assessment of this module, every effort is made within and across each of the distinct module components (DL, SIE and CA) to ensure that the six learning outcomes identified previously are met comprehensively. Ongoing collaboration and review between colleagues over the two semesters in structuring the timetable and the spiral use of a range of teaching methodologies including, for example, co-teaching, case-studies etc. facilitate this. Where possible, tangible links are made with foundational modules in the PMEP programme to help students identify synergies and deepen their understanding of the interplay of many of the ideas to which they are exposed particularly when on professional placement.

Assessment Strand
The Classroom Assessment (CA) element of ED8039 explores and builds upon students' prior knowledge of CA as both learners and teachers. Beginning with a critical review of the revised continuum of assessment (NCCA, 2020), students are introduced to a broad and inclusive understanding of CA as the process of gathering, recording, interpreting, using and communicating information about pupils to aid valid and fair decision-making. In turn, students begin to develop their assessment literacy through modelling, use and review (in class and on SP) of a range of adaptive pedagogies based on the allied principles underpinning alignment (between assessment, learning and teaching), universal and backwards design and theories of learning explored in complementary foundation studies. Linked with this, students iteratively critique perennial debates in the literature on CA regarding the evolving role of teachers as assessors and the opportunities and challenges teachers face when trying to implement emerging models of assessment in increasingly complex dynamic classrooms. Indicative Programme of Study (1) Classroom assessment: definitions, terms, key concepts, principles and practices; (2) New conceptions of, and in, assessment; (3) Approaches to assessment of, and for, learning; (4) Research on the impact of assessment on learning and teaching, with specific reference to developing self-regulation and adaptive expertise; (5) The role of assessment in learning and teaching, with specific reference to Assessment for Learning; (6) Sizing-up assessment; (7) Planning assessments, independently and in collaboration with others; (8) Assessment during the teaching and learning processes: the triad of teaching, learning and assessment; (9) Diagnostic and criterion-referenced assessment for all children, including those with assessed and/or suspected SEN with specific reference to collaborative, interdisciplinary work; (10) Using assessment data for teaching, learning and evaluative purposes; (11) Ethical and legal issues in assessment and testing.

Digital Learning Strand
The dedicated Digital Learning component of ED8039 develops the Digital Skills of student teachers through the embedded use of digital technologies to support teaching, learning and assessment for all learners. In support of both the ‘Being a Digital Learner’ competency from the Primary Curriculum Framework (NCCA, 2023), and the Digital Strategy for Schools to 2027 (DE, 2022), there is a combined emphasis on digital skill development, the introduction of a range of digital technologies, and the development of theoretical understanding and pedagogical competence. The DL strand is characterised by an immersive workshop approach that promotes and encourages each individual to “be a digital learner”. The teacher-learner is at the centre, and it is their experiences, needs and interests which constitute the learning process. In this strand students will begin to explore the interplay between digital technologies and learning. Drawing on a range of international frameworks and key research literature, they will be guided to identify, understand and design learning environments that provide all their students with opportunities to build digital skills and competencies. A critical introduction will be provided to a range of new and emerging digital technologies and their potential use for teaching, learning and assessment e.g. multimodal digital storytelling, digital citizenship and ethics, digital assessment, computational thinking and coding. The teacher-learner will also develop their confidence and competence through the active construction of digital artefacts. Through these activities, they will not only expand their palette of digital skills but will also be enabled to critically question and make informed decisions about the effective use of a range of digital technologies in the primary classroom. Finally, the personal and social responsibility of engaging with new and emerging digital technologies is a central tenet of the module.

Special and Inclusive Education Strand
This strand of ED8039 provides an opportunity for students to develop their understanding of inclusive pedagogy in terms of addressing and responding to the inevitable diversity of learners, classes and schools they may encounter on placement and as NQTs (pedagogy is conceptualised as including teaching, learning, assessment, curriculum and relationship). Students will explore inclusive pedagogy at both class and individual level, taking into consideration the diversity of teaching roles in which they may find themselves e.g. class teacher, SET. The importance of collaborative practice is emphasised throughout. Explicit links are made between the content of this strand and those of DL and CA, both in-class and in relation to assessment of learning outcomes. (1)Analysis of the concept of inclusion - perspective of primary teacher, society, life-span perspective; current policy and practice regarding inclusion with specific reference to legislation, international and national policy; implications for practice in schools - provision of and access to relevant educational services (range of teachers, types of schools, models of support, additional supports such as NEPS, Visiting Teacher Service etc). (2) Overview of range of special / additional needs; the purposes and difficulties associated with use of labels and categories; teaching and learning implications arising. (3) Individualised planning process – national guidelines and policy; diagnostic assessment; collaboration; roles and responsibilities; strengths/needs/priorities model; planning for an individual i.e. developing the plan, writing learning targets; focus on core areas of learning need that traverse all aspects of pupils’ learning e.g. language, literacy, numeracy, motor, social skills and so on; contextualisation of individual assessment and planning vis-à-vis the whole-class context. (4) Teaching strategies for inclusive classrooms – teaching to include pupils with a range of needs/interests/abilities; exploration of concept of designing the learning experience taking the inevitable diversity of the class cohort into consideration; collaborative practice with specific reference to SNAs, principal, parents, other teachers in the school, other professionals.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
PortfolioApplication of student learning from the module to a range of tasks* including, for example: - development of individualised learning plan - creation of an infographic/progressional sequence -development of whole class learning activities -personal +/or group reflection. *Provision will be made, where possible, for students to work individually or collaboratively.100%Sem 2 End
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Mishra, P., & Kereluik, K.: 2011, What is 21st century learning? A review and synthesis., SITE, Nashville, USA: SITE.,
  • Fullan, M. & Langworthy, M.: 2014, A Rich Seam: How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning, 3 & 4, Pearson, London https://www.pearson.com/content/dam/one-dot-com/one-dot-com/global/Files/about-pearson/innovation/open-ideas/ARichSeamEnglish.pdf,
  • Bellarca, J. & Brandt, R. ( Eds): 2010, 21st century skills. Rethinking how students learn., Forward (p.ix - xxviii) & Chapter 3 (p.43-63), Hawker Brownlow Education. ., Australia,
  • Butler, D. & Leahy, M.: 2022, Baseline Report: Towards a Successor Digital Strategy for Schools to 2027, Retrieved from: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/69fb88-digital-strategy-for-schools/#baseline-report-towards-a-successor-digital-strategy-for-schools-to-2027,
  • Department of Education: 2022, Digital Strategy for Schools to 2027, . Retrieved from: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/69fb88-digital-strategy-for-schools/#baseline-report-towards-a-successor-digital-strategy-for-schools-to-2027,
  • Butler, D. & Leahy, M.: 2022, Baseline Report: Towards a Successor Digital Strategy for Schools to 2027, Retrieved from: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/69fb88-digital-strategy-for-schools/#baseline-report-towards-a-successor-digital-strategy-for-schools-to-2027,
  • Department of Education: 2022, Digital Strategy for Schools to 2027 https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/69fb88 -digital-strategy-for-schools/#:~:text=S ee%20Also-,Overview,an%20ever%20evolving %20digital%20world.,
  • National Council for Curriculum and Assessment: 2023, Primary Curriculum Framework For Primary and Special Schools https://www.curriculumonline.ie/getmedia/84747851-0581-431b-b4d7-dc6ee850883e/2023-Primary-Framework-ENG-screen.pdf,
Other Resources

59788, The SIGNPOSTS section of the SESS website provides, SESS Team, 2022, Multi-media resources, 59789, Loop resources: podcasts, readings, videos, cases, Zita Lysaght, 2022, Multimedia Resources, 0, Punie, Y., editor(s), Redecker, C., 2017, European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators: DigCompEdu , EUR 28775 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2017, ISBN 978-92-79-73718-3 (print),978-92-79-73494-6 (pdf), doi:10.2760/178382 (print),10.2760/159770 (online),,
Programme or List of Programmes
PMEPProfessional Master of Education Primary

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement