Following the Research Alive! conference in 2013, the feedback from teachers was carefully analysed and discussed, particularly on the point of critical engagement, and the Research Alive! consortium agreed that the creation of an online hub to facilitate this critical engagement would be the best “next step”.
The group examined a large number of similar websites across jurisdictions. This audit showed a range of approaches, from sites that simply host research content and facilitate access, to sites that focus on the mediation of research for various educational audiences. Having reflected on the strengths and weaknesses of existing sites, and reflected further on the feedback from the conference, the working group representing the three organisations then sought proposals to develop, launch and support a new website for the Irish education system – www.molfeasa.ie. The Irish term “mol feasa” means “hub of wisdom / knowledge / learning”.
Unfortunately, following two Invitation to Tender processes, no successful tenderer was identified, and the Research Alive! consortium then began to explore alternative means by which teachers could be most effectively supported to enhance their engagement in research.
As part of that process, it became aware of the existence of the Research Expertise Exchange online platform, which appeared to deliver on the vision of the Research Alive! group for a research hub. The consortium subsequently funded the further development of the platform, and it was renamed T-REX.ie (Teachers’ Research Exchange). See here for more information in relation to T-REX.ie