FACiLiTATE is the national problem and enquiry based learning network in Ireland. It was supported in the first instance by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) of Ireland and benefited greatly from a round of funding provided by that agency called ʻStrategic Initiatives Fundingʼ. It arose out of the growing interest and use of PBL as a method of curriculum delivery in Irish HE institutes. It was launched at the Problem Based Learning Symposium that was held at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUI Maynooth) on November 4th 2005.
The role of the network is:
- to facilitate the sharing of experience and expertise in the introduction and implementation of PBL across disciplines and institutions in Ireland, and
- to develop and support research in the practice of PBL.
The purpose of the steering committee is to represent PBL practitioners in Ireland on the PBL Network and to support the development of the network. As at it inception, FACiliTATE continues to have representation from a wide range of disciplines from the third level universities and institutes of technology in Ireland. The steering committee is comprised of representatives from the following institutions:
Dublin City University, Dublin Institute of Technology, NUI Maynooth, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University of Limerick, University of Ulster, Waterford Institute of Technology.
FACiLiTATE is a community of practice/network which supports staff teaching in education in the use of enquiry and problem-based learning methodologies (EPBL).
FACiLiTATE aims to:
- promote the use of enquiry and problem based approaches to learning
- collaborate with EPBL practitioners and networks locally, nationally and internationally for the development and advancement of the practice and research of EPBL
- provide on-line and face-to-face opportunities for EPBL practitioners, from beginner to expert, to share experiences and expertise, and disseminate their research findings
- promote discipline specific and interdisciplinary research regarding EPBL
- provide training, mentoring and other learning opportunities regarding the practice and research of EPBL to the HE community
- source, develop, and publish EPBL resources
- develop networks and partnerships with other international EPBL networks and organizations
- source opportunities for funding the development of EPBL nationally.
- inform policy with regards to curriculum design and development at a national level.