Open Education – DCU Connected Tutor Awards and Festive Coffee Morning

Usually around this time of year, everyone in the Open Education Unit would be celebrating the season together with festive treats and mulled wine. While 2020 has been a very different one, that hasn’t stopped us from celebrating the hard work and commitment of our many DCU Connected tutors working for Open Education. Accordingly, last week we hosted a virtual Festive Coffee Morning to recognise their hard work and commitment to supporting our fully online DCU Connected programmes. With an attendance of over 40 people from all of the country, and indeed the world, it was a fantastic way to end the year and reconnect with colleagues after a challenging few months.

Every year, we recognise three of our 90+ part-time teaching staff with awards for excellence in teaching and this year is no different. Receiving their awards in the post and getting a special mention at our coffee morning, we made sure their work was recognised. This year’s awardees are profiled below…

DCU Connected BA in Humanities Tutor of the Year – Dr Sophia Pallaro

Sophia has a passion for sociology and is extremely thorough with her explanations and engaging tutorials. She has an infectious enthusiasm for sociology and provides unambiguous feedback on assignments while being very encouraging. Sophia is always very helpful, informative and enthusiastic which resonates with all her students.

Student Feedback:

  • I found the tutorials both informative and stimulating and appreciated the opportunities Sophia gave us for discussion
  • I really enjoyed this module. Sophia is a very engaging and encouraging tutor. 
  • Sophia was very helpful throughout the module with very clear directions and really helpful feedback on all my assignments.

DCU Connected IT Programmes Tutor of the Year – Philip Carey

Philip has been tutoring on our Communications Technology modules for the last five years.  In that time he has consistently brought the subject to life for the students by leveraging his vast experience in this dynamic field.  He regularly receives highly positive feedback from his students for his knowledge, ability, feedback and indeed his patience.  He is a highly valued member of our Open Education team and a pleasure to work with.

Student Feedback:

  • Philip was a brilliant tutor, easy to understand and explained material we covered very well. He was passionate about what he was teaching which made it more interesting to learn it.”
  • Philip is an excellent tutor, made the classes interesting and broke down some very complex topics into ways that were easy to understand.
  • Philip Carey was excellent. He was very approachable and knowledgeable where we had any questions or needed help.

DCU Connected Postgraduate Programmes Tutor of the Year – Ann Whyte

Ann graduated from our M.Sc. Management for Sustainable Development programme as the overall top graduate across our five M.Sc. programmes in 2018. In 2019, she joined our staff as an academic developer and programme tutor. Ann’s commitment to developing excellent sustainable development academic material across our programmes is equally matched by her support to colleagues and her endless generosity to students. Ann goes above and beyond  to ensure her students have a very positive experience at DCU and that they reach their academic potential. She is a most worthy winner of Open Education’s 2020 Postgraduate Tutor of the Year.  

Student Feedback:

  • I would like to acknowledge the support, and assistance I received from my dissertation supervisor, Ann Whyte. Her guidance and patience throughout this research project have been incomparable .
  • I would sincerely like to thank my dissertation supervisor, Ann Whyte, for your encouragement, feedback and all round support throughout this dissertation process.
  • I would like to thank my supervisor Ann Whyte for her support and extensive knowledge in this area. She has offered continuous guidance and encouragement throughout this process.

A Big Thanks to the Whole Team

Throughout 2020 all of our tutors went an extra mile to ensure the highest quality of delivery and support was provided to our DCU Connected students through this difficult year. To recognise this, each tutor received a DCU Mug in the post just in time for the coffee morning!

The Open Education team hope all of our tutors, students and industry partners have a restful break as you enjoy the festivities of the season and we wish you all the best for the year to come! We know that 2021 will bring further challenges but the resilience developed over the past year will hold us in good stead for the start of Semester 2 in January.