Professor George Veletsianos Awarded Fellowship: Join a Transatlantic Conversation on the Future of Universities

We are pleased to announce that Professor George Veletsianos from Royal Roads University, Canada will be hosted by the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University (DCU) in March. This virtual academic exchange is possible thanks to the support of the Ireland Canada University Foundation who have awarded Professor Veletsianos a prestigious D’Arcy McGee Beacon Fellowship. George holds the Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology and the Commonwealth of Learning Chair in Flexible Learning. 

Professor George Veletsianos awarded D’Arcy McGee Beacon Fellowship

As part of his Fellowship, Professor Veletsianos will feature in a free online Masterclass on  Higher Education 4.0: Certifying Your Future starting on March 8th and will be giving an invited presentation on the changing nature of higher education in the digital-era. Details of this presentation appear below. 

Title: Learners and Universities in the 21st Century – Future-ready?

Abstract 

Drawing upon his significant experience as an educational researcher, Dr. Veletsianos will offer a presentation on how social and technological trends, such as automation, are disrupting and transforming the nature of skills development for 21st century learners, and in particular, how these changes are reflected in educational practices and systems. Students in higher education today face many challenges, from a changing world of work, a sustainability crisis, and core questions of equity and participation which require bold, socially-sustainable solutions.

Dr. Veletsianos will question common assumptions, such as that technological change inherently leads to wider participation in education, and invite us to consider how “…flexible education…can support better—more equitable, just, accessible, empowering, imaginative—educational futures” (Veletsianos & Holden, 2020).

This presentation will be conducted on the week commencing the 8th of March, 2020, and will consist of a 30-minute presentation, and a 15 minute Q+A session, and will be embedded in DCU’s online learning masterclass, Higher Education 4.0: Certifying your Future. Participants are strongly encouraged to consider the following questions as reflective prompts before the session: 

  • What does flexible learning mean to you? 
  • What kinds of learning models do we need to support today’s learners?
  • What types of skills do you feel that students should be developing in Higher Education, to become 21st century learners, and global citizens? 
  • From whom is greater flexibility required? 
  • How can we build more socially-just systems and ways of teaching and learning? 

Participants need to register for this event, which will be an opportunity to hear one of the leading researchers in digital educational practice speak, and give voice to both local, and global perspectives on these critical issues. 

Acknowledgement

The Ireland Canada University Foundation is also thanked for the generous support through the D’Arcy McGee Beacon fellowship’s mission, which…

“… provides light, guidance and hope in challenging times.”

The foundation was established to provide a “positive contribution to society, through the promotion of such shared values, which it does through the organisation of scholarly exchange and related events, and the support of academic and research networks linking both countries.”. For more information regarding the foundation’s work, please visit the ICUF website.

Background reading 

Veletsianos, G., Houlden, S. (2020). Radical Flexibility and Relationality as Responses to Education in Times of Crisis. Postdigit Sci Educ 2, 849–862. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-020-00196-3

REGISTER TODAY!
When:
11th March, 17:00 (GMT)

Where: Zoom: 

Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting

You can also register here for our online masterclass, Higher Education 4.0: Certifying Your Future, starting on March 8th.

A Strategic Reflection on Digitalisation in Higher Education – Webinar Recordings

Over the past fortnight the NIDL team was pleased to contribute to two webinars offering strategic reflections on the increasing digitalisation of Higher Education. This two-part webinar series was part of the Digi-HE project being led by the European Universities Association (EUA). The project aims to promote critical self-reflection in supporting institutions to develop their capacity and strategic approaches to digitally enhanced models of teaching and learning.

In the next phase of this project, a number of Thematic Peer Groups (TPGs) will get underway shortly involving around 30 different higher education institutions across Europe. We were delighted to have some many institution al applicants for this phase of the project. The TPGs will enable participants at each institution to engage in regular lively discussions and share their experiences relevant to the chosen theme related to digitalisation in the context of teaching and learning. The selected themes include:

  • Curriculum and Assessment
  • Strategy and Organisational Culture
  • Strategic and International Partnerships

We look forward to meeting up with a diverse group of participants in this next phase of the project. However, before then the following recordings kindly made available by EUA may be of interest to those who were unable to join our recent webinar series.

In reverse order, the second webinar which took place on Friday 5th February (recording above) discussed the findings of our report which presents the results of a survey of digital learning and teaching in European higher education institutions.

One of the key takeaways from the survey in terms of supporting teaching with new digital technologies is the value of an environment that fosters rich professional conversations with and between colleagues.

The first webinar back on January 26th (recording below) explored the question, what does digital education look like from an institution-wide perspective when successfully implemented in a mature way? This webinar coincided with the launch of another Digi-HE project report focusing on the development of a high performance digital education ecosystem. The report provides advice and guidance for higher education institutions wishing to undertake self-assessment of digital learning and teaching using selected instruments reviewed as part of this study.

if you have any questions about the Digital-HE project or anything arising from the two webinars, then please do not hesitate to contact us. The project team meets regularly and we would be happy to provide further advice concerning the range of self-assessment tools reviewed for fostering a culture of strategic reflection and quality enhancement.