Welcome to New Head of Open Education Unit – Professor Grainne Conole

Last week Professor Grainne Conole formally commenced her position at Dublin City University (DCU) as Head of the Open Education Unit. The wider NIDL team marked the occasion with an informal welcome on the first morning, and already Grainne is busy meeting DCU staff and making a valuable contribution to preparations for the start of the new academic year.

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Professor Conole is known throughout the world for her expertise in learning design and open models of education. Her appointment to the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at DCU is further evidence of our commitment to exploring and harnessing the educational potential of flexible models of life-long learning through our DCU Connected platform.

Grainne 3.jpgIn welcoming Grainne to the University, Professor Mark Brown, NIDL Director noted that DCU has a proud history of innovation in distance education and the number of students choosing to study online through DCU Connected continues to grow each year. He went on to say that ‘Professor Conole’s appointment will help DCU further develop our capacity and expand our range of online course offerings to meet increasing demand for open flexible study pathways’.

Professor Conole told NIDL staff that, ‘She is excited about her new position as DCU has a growing international reputation for its research and innovative development work in the area of Digital Learning’. Grainne noted DCU’s success in winning the rights to host next year’s ICDE World Conference on Online Learning and expressed her excitement about joining the NIDL’s organising team to offer a truly impactful and memorable international event.

Professor Conole brings considerable experience to her new role in the Open Education Unit, with over 1000 research outputs, including a seminal Springer book on ‘Designing for Learning in an Open World’. She serves on several international journal editorial boards and is a Teaching Fellow of the UK HEA (now Advance HE) and Fellow of both the European Distance and e-Learning Network (EDEN) and Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE).

Finally, during her welcome to DCU, Grainne reminded everyone that she was born in Ireland and has been associated with the NIDL since it was first established. In her own words, Grainne spoke of ‘how delighted she is to be joining such a great team’ and ‘is really looking forward to working with NIDL colleagues in helping to shape the future of education in Ireland, and beyond’.

Exciting New Opportunities for Doctoral Study in Digital Learning – Scholarships Available Too

We are pleased to announce that a new Digital Learning strand or professional focus is now available in our internationally regarded Doctor of Education (EdD) programme which is offered through DCU’s Institute of Education. The EdD programme is ideal for part-time doctoral students working in education and/or training environments who are returning to postgraduate study, as there are significant benefits and advantages of collaborating with fellow doctoral candidates, and a team of experienced DCU researchers, as part of a supportive cohort. Applications are now open for the first intake of students in the Digital Learning doctorate.

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We are also delighted to announce that the DCU Institute of Education, in association with the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL), invites applications for two new Doctoral Scholarships for research in the area of Digital Learning. IMG_6261.jpgThese scholarships will cover 50% of the cost of EdD programme registration fees for the first two-years of study. More information about how to apply for the Doctoral Scholarships can be found on the following website:

Apply for EdD Scholarships in Digital Learning

In preparing your scholarship application you may also wish to view the list of DCU staff who are research active in the area of Digital Learning and their wide range of interests and scholarly outputs. Should you require any further information about undertaking a doctorate in the Digital Learning area then please contact Dr Enda Donlon in the Institute of Education or Professor Mark Brown, Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning.

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