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Dr Emma O'Brien

Dr Emma O'Brien

Academic Developer (TEL)
LEAD Centre

More information

Dr. Emma O’Brien is an Academic Developer in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) in Mary Immaculate College and has worked in the area of digital learning, since 2000. She has been a lecturer in Higher Education for 16 years teaching across several different disciplines. Emma has experience teaching in the University of Limerick, Limerick Institute of Technology, NUIG and UCC, through blended, online and face-to-face mediums. She has taught on undergraduate, postgraduate and professional programmes and has developed innovative curricula to support the needs of a variety of learners, particularly those requiring flexible models of learning to allow them to return to education.  Emma has supervised 125 final year students and 20 masters students. She has a PhD in Digital learning (2005, UL) and a Masters in Computing in Education (2003, LIT).

Emma is an accomplished researcher and has been Principle Investigator (PI) on several large scale  European research projects. Her total funding income as PI amounts to over €1 million in the areas of digital learning, workplace learning, problem and inquiry based learning with over 30 publications in these fields. Emma is currently co-chair of FACILITATE - the national inquiry based learning network and is external examiner for work based learning at the University of Northampton

For list of research grants awarded click here
For list of publications click here


Teaching 2019/2020

EDE454            The Role of the Teacher as an ICT Developer

EDU639            Research Methods 1 

EDU640            Research Methods 2 


Research interests

Emma's research involves the intersection of informal learning, workplace learning, flexible learning, and problem based learning. She is particularly focused on the role of digital tools in supporting such pedagogies. She is predominantly interested in how such pedagogies support the development of twenty first century skills such as entrepreneurial mind-set, and information literacy.