Name of the participant and other supporting staff if relevant

Catherine Gorman.

Other academic staff involved: Jennifer Stewart, Ziene Mottiar

Name of the module and discipline, level and  year of study and any useful background info

 3rd year BA Tourism Management students, across 3 modules: Sustainable Tourism, Tourism and Technology, and Enterprise Development.

Name of community partner and/or any other supporting partners (public or private sector)

Phibsboro Tidy Towns Committee.

CERL project title(s)

Beyond the Trail

What they changed about their programme/course in relation to CERL

Built in CERL across their own module and across 2 others, with the collaboration of those lecturers, in an integrated CERL assignment.

Tangible info – e.g. module descriptor, learning outcomes, assignments, assessment criteria, …  


Module descriptors do not make reference to CERL.

How was it taught:

·        number of students

·        student groupwork or individual,

·        how they worked with the partner,

·        how the project proceeded,

·        any reflection done with students,

·        evaluation or formal assessment of their learning,

·        Could or should we follow up with students?

·        tech used

·        Anything else interesting?

This CERL project demonstrates a scaffolded approach, as these three 3rd year students were building on a first year CERL project they had done 2 years earlier on a Heritage, Culture and Tourism module (that module descriptor did include CERL). Now in their 3rd year, the 3 students decided to work with the same community partner to develop their project ideas further, and Catherine liaised with Jennifer and Ziene, lecturers on the other 2 modules, to develop an integrated assessment based on this project.

The project was about developing tourism trails around the Phibsboro area, building on the previous 1st year project highlighting Victorian heritage pubs, as there are a number of buildings of significance in that area.

The students had initial meetings and briefings with the community partner and the 3 module lecturers, then an interim feedback meeting, and final feedback meeting.

The students produced videos, which were evaluated both from a tourism perspective and from a technological perspective for those 2 modules, and a separate video with a plan for a social enterprise development which was evaluated from an enterprise development perspective as well, to meet all 3 module requirements. They also produced reports, and a partially-constructed website, as well as a brochure.

Technology provided great opportunities in terms of taking a blended and hybrid approach to CERL, particularly where there was a pre-existing relationship with the community partner.

This project felt transformational rather than transactional. Scaffolding, building from year to year, worked really well.

Introducing CERL to lecturing colleagues new to this area was very positive for the lecturer.


What did your students learn or how will they benefit?

They learned about the agility and adaptability that’s required from both students and community.

They learned about working within the community context.
One member of the community group gave unexpected feedback, which provided a challenge for the students.

Students achieved very high grades, and they were very positive about what they got from the project. 

What do you think the benefit was to the partner? Do they have any feedback from the partner?

The partners’ reaction was generally very positive and they’ve asked the lecturer to work with them again next year.


ow could/will you improve your CERL teaching practice next time?

The integrated assessment worked really well, but there was potential for confusion –when the students were communicating with a given lecturer about the project, it could be unclear which module they were discussing. They had to be really clear in emails etc and highlight which module their email was about. 

Any challenges and how you overcame them


The community partners were very keen that the students produce a brochure, which wasn’t specifically required for any of their assessments, so was an extra requirement, which was a challenge, as it’s not possible for the marking criteria to be changed mid-module. The students produced this in a volunteer capacity independently of the module. 

The lecturer was involved in 4 different learning and teaching innovation projects this year, including this CERL one, which she found was an overload, but she felt that there were advantages in terms of synthesis of ideas across the different projects, in particular in relation to addressing SDGs, and sustainability. 

The lecturer has also done some voluntary work with the group, but she is no longer involved as  it had grown in scale and had found challenging to manage. Managing expectations can be issue even when there are clear written agreements, the partners are always understandably trying to do more within the community.   

It was challenging to manage the project at times – the lecturer would try to be more structured in negotiating with the community partner next year, but then there might be a risk of losing the community partner, so it’s about balancing priorities.

 The breadth of the assessment was sometimes confusing for the students, and some of the specific requirements of each module and discipline were slightly lost in favour of delivering what the community partner was looking for, so it’s important to balance community requirements and what the lecturers need to deliver on the module, assessment etc. It will be important to be strict on that in future projects.   

Time management was a challenge – it does take additional time, and there was no additional time allocated on the timetable for this or the other innovation projects. The lecturer is now stepping down from some commitments as a result of having too much to do this year. In previous years there was an extra hour allocated on the timetable for CERL, but not now, and yet it’s in the university QA systems, strategic plan, etc., so the university needs to make this possible.  

Advice you would give to someone starting a CERL project with students?


If you can, work with a colleague so you can bounce ideas backwards and forwards

Any good quotes we could use in the IO1 report

Any of the above.


Did anything notable come up that about their LC, Triad, ILC, LTTA  or module experiences?

The issue of transactional versus transformational projects had been discussed in the quads.