Community Engaged Learning Online Course

What is Community Engaged Learning?

Community engaged learning is a form of experiential education with a community engagement for societal impact underpinning. Students gain academic credit for engaging and reflecting on a learning experience or piece of research in partnership with a community organisation.

This allows students to explore ‘real life’ problem solving, their future role as a professional, and how they can contribute to address Irish, EU and international societal challenges.
Existing examples include law students providing legal advice to the public in their local community law centres; engineering students working with older people to design innovative occupation support tools; or dietetics students giving nutrition workshops with local school students.

Pre-course content
Introduction to the course, the virtual learning environment and your course colleagues.

Week 1
Community Engaged Learning – Introduction and Rationale
Explore the definitions and characteristics of community engaged learning in Ireland, with case study examples.

Week 2
Community Partnerships
How to build and sustain working relationships with community groups with a partnership approach to support Community Engaged Learning.

Week 3
Embedding Community Engaged Learning in the Curriculum
Explore the various curriculum design options as you embed CEL and consider how to write learning outcomes for CEL.

Week 4
Engaging Students
Consider the key information students require about CEL. The focus is on preparing students to engage effectively in CEL activities.

Week 5
Assessment of Community Engaged Learning
How to assess if students have achieved the intended learning outcomes of their CEL experience.

Week 6
Claiming your NFETL Digital Badge in Community Engaged Learning

  • Enhance your teaching by providing students with practical experience of applying academic learning in a real-world setting with community-based organisations.
  • Contribute to students learning outcomes across citizenship, team work, effective communication, leadership, empathy and enhance their social capital.
  • Network with community partners to open up new learning and research projects, interdisciplinary funding opportunities, or publications. No prior experience with community organisations is necessary to take this course.
  • Walk away with a plan and tools to develop learning outcomes, assessment techniques, learning agreements, process guides, and case studies of successful projects.
  • Become part of a national Campus Engage network of community engaged teaching and research practitioners.
  • Get recognition of your CEL activities for institutional promotional criteria
Lorraine McIlrath (NUIG) Claire McDonnell (TU Dublin Colm O’Hehir (IUA)


Colm O’Hehir (IUA)
Josephine Boland (Independant)
Claire McDonnell (TU Dublin)
Lorraine McIlrath (NUIG)
Bernie Quillinan (Independant)

Register Here