I place a high value on continued professional development, and lifelong learning plays a vital role in this. In 2011, I successfully completed a Master of Science degree in Energy and Sustainable Building Design. I have been able to incorporate this learning into the Advanced Civil Engineering Software and the Environmental Management modules which I co-wrote and deliver. In 2015, I successfully completed a Master of Education degree, focusing on the use of Technology Enhanced Learning in my professional practice. Since May 2016, I have been working on a Doctor of Education degree.
My Doctoral research involves exploring the views of various stakeholders on digital open badges. Digital open badges are relatively new in higher education, and there are many questions to be answered with respect to how people perceive them, how they can be designed into undergraduate studies, and what impact they might have on learner motivation. I conducted an initial pilot study to gather the views of students, lecturers, institute management and employers: generally speaking the response has been positive across all stakeholder groups, and I am currently working on the next phase which will involve the design, implementation and review of a digital open badge scheme on the Civil Engineering degree at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology.