FAQs - Lecturers
Yes, you can run a community engagement project on virtually any module if an opportunity is identified within the module to work with a community partner as a way to enhance student learning. The staff of Students Learning with Communities are available to assist you in the adaption of a module to incorporate Students Learning with Communities projects should you require support.
The project does not have to run for the whole semester. The length of time given to each project depends on the module selected to incorporate a community engaged learning project, the nature of the project, and the timeline agreement between the lecturer and community partner.
Please contact us at email@example.com for support in brainstorming project ideas, connecting with a suitable community partner, and accessing a database of suitable project ideas put forward by community partners.
You can work with people in a suitable community organisation yourself. If you would like us to support you in this process, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can speak with the community partner in advance of the project set-up meeting, and support you both.
The Community Partner is generally not directly involved in marking the students. The Community Partner may give feedback on the completed project, however, it is entirely up to the lecturer if it will have any consequence on the final result. Occasionally lecturers want community partners to be involved in marking the students, and in that case, we can help talk this through to make sure everyone knows what is expected, the time commitment involved, and is comfortable with this.
This is dependent on the nature of the project, the type of community partner, and the type of contact students will have with the community partner. If students will be working with children or vulnerable adults, Garda Vetting may be legally required. For everything else, we follow the TU Dublin Child Protection Policy and that of the community partner.
TU Dublin insurance covers all normal student activities that are part of their coursework. You will need to fill out a risk assessment form and submit this to the Health and Safety Team in advance of any site visits or more atypical activities (eg fundraising activities).
You can do group work with students or they can work individually. It depends on the nature of the project and your agreement with the community partner.
You can choose to work with a number of community partners on a module however in our experience, if you are starting out in community engagement it is more manageable to begin by working with one.
No – you can choose to work with a number of different community partners on a range of different projects which can be either group work or individual work. In our experience, however, if you are beginning your journey with community engaged research and learning, it is best to work with one partner per module, and a smaller number of projects per module.
Yes, provided it fits the nature of the project and meets the needs of the organisation and students. In fact, due to Covid-19, more and more community engaged research and learning project ideas have been put forward by community partners with an online focus.
The staff of the Programme for Students Learning with Communities have a number of resources available to support lecturers in matching projects to student learning outcomes.
Yes – Community Engaged Research and Learning incorporates the principles of an ‘engaged’ curriculum. Students deepen their learning while the community benefits too.
Community Engaged Research Learning is different to volunteering in that it is part of the student’s course work. The project must achieve module learning outcomes and the student receives university credits for their work.
If circumstances change for you or your students please contact a member of staff on the Programme for Students Learning with Communities. We will assist you and endeavour to support the smooth continuation of your project should this suit the circumstances.
Research project outputs will often be in the form of a thesis with findings and results, with information graphics or other media used to convey the information found. The outputs of other projects will vary. You can discuss what the outputs will look like, and when you will receive them with the lecturer in your initial meeting.
The student, lecturer, and community partner will agree that all partners have free use of IP for non-commercial purposes. This is part of the collaborative research agreement and will be signed by all three participants in advance of the project.
There is extra time involved for the lecturer in community engagement projects as you will want to meet with the Community Partner and discuss project ideas and processes. Depending on the nature of the project, there can be more time involved with site visits and/or online meetings between community partners and students/a student representative for the group.
Once you have identified a suitable project (please contact email@example.com for assistance with this) we will facilitate the project planning meeting, where we will agree timelines and exactly what the students will do.
If you don’t see any suitable projects for your students on our list, you can contact us with possible project ideas of your own and we will contact relevant community partners with these suggestions.
This depends on the nature of the project, however, we recommend at least an initial introduction between the partner and the student, a mid-point check in with the community partner and students, and a meeting at the end for students to present any outcomes to the community partner and ideally receive feedback. The lecturer should attend these meetings. The staff of the Programme for Students Learning with Communities will facilitate your introduction to the community partner and the project planning meeting, at which a ‘Timeline Agreement Form’ will be co-signed by both parties.