NIDL Team Receive “Best Paper” Research Awards

EDEN Award.jpgSeveral doctoral students and staff supervising research in the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University (DCU) were delighted to accept “best paper” awards at two recent European conferences. At the EDEN Research Workshop in Barcelona, PhD students Elaine Beirne and Conchúr MacLochlainn and Professor Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl were presented with an award for their paper on Moody MOOCs: An Exploration of Emotion in an LMOOCThe paper was singled out for its originally, unique methodological design and investigation of a relatively new area of research in the area of online learning.

DCU was also well represented at the full-day Doctoral Symposium as part of the research workshop, with five doctoral students presenting on aspects of their research. In addition, NIDL scholars had a strong presence in the main workshop programme with   another five full papers showcasing current research activities. A full list of scholarly outputs produced by the NIDL team over the course of 2018 is available on the NIDL website.

Award ECEL.jpg

More recently at the European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL), PhD student Colette Kirwan, supervised by Dr Eamon Costello and Dr Enda Donlon received an award for her paper on Computational Thinking and Online Learning: A Systematic Literature ReviewColette is an Irish Research Council scholar currently investigating the teaching of computational thinking online.

Congratulations to recipients of these two research awards and we look forward to a growing doctoral community, particularly now that DCU Institute of Education has launched a new doctoral strand in the area of Digital Learning in the Doctor of Education  (EdD) programme.

Learning for Tomorrow, Today: Future Fit Universities for 2040

An innovative future-focussed Higher Education Symposium bringing together students from more than 10 universities across Europe will take place in Brussels in early November. The main objective of this free symposium (only a few places remaining) is to explore different scenarios for Higher Education by 2040 and help shape futures thinking with a strong learner perspective on new models and approaches to teaching and learning. In addition to a strong student presence, the symposium has been designed for rich dialogue between educational leaders, policy-makers and industry stakeholders.


Why a Focus on 2040

A child born today will not graduate from a European university until around 2040. The question is what type of university education will they experience in another 20 years from now? How will universities have responded by 2040 to the major challenges and forces of change facing our societies, and the Higher Education sector in particular? The student voice is central to this unique future-focused symposium as we discuss ‘learning for tomorrow, today’. Students will feature throughout the event as we look to challenge conventional institutional thinking and to reimagine the teaching and learning experience for better futures – for all.


Brussels, Dutch House of Provinces
Rue de Treves 59


Programme Outline – Tuesday 6th November

10:30 – ECIU Student Summit (Students Only)

12:30 – Lunch

‍13:00 – Welcome from Moderator

13:05 – Welcome from Rob van Eijkeren (Head of Office Dutch House of Provinces)

13:10 – Introduction to ECIU and the Big Questions by Professor Mark Brown

‍13:20 – Student Insights – Teaching and Learning in the University of 2040

‍13:50 – World Cafes – Exploring the Big Questions (led by students)

15:00 – Refreshment Break

15:20 – World Cafes Report Back

‍15:45 – ECIU Response to the World Cafes

‍16:00 – Stakeholder Panel Discussion

– Adam Gajek (European Students’ Union),
– Thérèse Zhang (European University Association),
– Vanessa Debiais-Sainton (European Commission),
– European Parliament (TBC)

16:45 – Summary Comments

16:55 – Close of Event

‍17:00 – Networking with Refreshments

Event Host

The Symposium is being hosted by the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) under the leadership of the Steering Committee for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, chaired by Director of the NIDL.

Further Information

You can register and find more information about this event on the ECIU’s website:

If you have any further questions about this event, then please do not hesitate to contact Olga Wessels in ECIU’s Brussels office: