The Online Learner in the Next Normal: What Valuable Lessons Have Students Taught Us?

You are invited to join this forthcoming panel discussion where we look to the future of higher education, with a particular focus on some of the valuable lessons that students have taught us over the different waves of the COVID crisis. The webinar reflects on what we knew previously about the design of effective online learning from a students’ perspective and how our understanding has been affirmed, challenged and in some cases reshaped by the pandemic experience.

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

We begin with a short overview of the DCU Futures initiative to help frame the conversation and then invite panel members to share their personal stories and insights from the emerging literature on some of the challenges and opportunities that need purposeful consideration as we build back the next normal of higher education.

The discussion provides a timely opportunity to pause, take stock and reimagine as individually and collectively we emerge from a once in generation disruption to the old normal.

You will have the opportunity to engage with a diverse panel that will share their own lessons and experiences from differing perspectives. Participants will also be invited to ask questions and contribute their own thoughts as we think about how to design more active, meaningful and personalised student-centred learning experiences. 

Members of the Panel

  • Chair, Prof. Mark Brown, NIDL Director, DCU
  • Prof. George Veletsianos, Royal Roads University, NIDL D’Arch Beacon Fellow
  • Dr. Sharon Flynn, IUA, Project Manager 
  • Dr. Ciarán Dunne, Director of Transversal Skills, DCU Futures
  • Dr. Elaine Beirne, Ideas Lab, DCU
  • Megan O’Connor incoming VP for Academic Affairs, Union of Students Ireland (TBC)

Each panel member brings a unique and interesting perspective to this lively conversation.

Prof. George Veletsianos, Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology and the Commonwealth of Learning Chair in Flexible Learning is author of the book Learning online: The student experience. George joins the panel as part of his prestigious Irish Canada University Association (ICUF) D’Arcy McGee Beacon Scholarship.

Dr. Sharon Flynn who leads the Enhancing Digital Teaching and Learning (EDTL) initiative managed by the Irish University Association (IUA) has been working in close partnership with students and recently coordinated an innovative crowd-source student vision for learning in a post-Covid environment.

We expect Sharon will share some of the results and fascinating insights from the “Your Education, Your Voice, Your Vision” campaign. 

Dr. Ciarán Dunne was recently appointed to a new position as Director of Transversal Skills and is playing an important role in the implementation of DCU Futures. This four year project aims to transform the learning of undergraduate students, reconceptualising how we teach, introducing exciting new areas of study, and embedding the digital literacies, disciplinary competencies and transferable skills that students will require to thrive in the post-pandemic world.

The DCU Futures Framework

Dr. Elaine Beirne is a Researcher in the NIDL Ideas Lab and was the Project Manager for the development of A Digital Edge Essentials for the Online Learner. This free online course was designed for students and co-facilitated by students in response to the COVID crisis and is predicated on the assumption that learning how to learn online is now an important life skill. This initiative has now evolved and is a core part of the EU-funded DigiTEL Pro Strategic Partnership.

Megan O’Connor is incoming VP for Academic Affairs, Union of Students Ireland. In her new position, Meghan is likely to play an important role working with other student bodies and higher education institutions in shaping the next normal. Due to other commitments, Meghan has yet to confirm her participation.

When: 16:00 (Irish Time) Thursday 17th June

Where: Online via Zoom 

Registration: You must register in advance for this event. Please click here to register. We look forward to your participation and contribution to this timely panel discussion.

DigiCulture: Bridging the Digital Skills Gap

Cultural and creative industries have been hit hard by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some organisations have fought back with rapid innovations that have moved cultural content into the online domain. These efforts have opened the door to future digital innovation in this sector. However, in order to capitalise on this momentum and expand its reach, there is a need to address the digital skills gap in the cultural and creative sector more generally. 

“There is a lack of digital capacity in both the leadership of and processes within the sector” (Bowes et al. 2018).

A suite of free online courses developed by the Erasmus+ project, DigiCulture, is one answer to this problem. The courses aim to develop the digital competencies of individuals and groups in the cultural and creative industries (although anyone can register) across a range of topic areas including digital content creation, safety, communication and collaboration, and data literacy.

Take a look at the courses

A team in the NIDL and Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge have primarily been involved in the development of the following two courses in the series.

Digital Safety, Security and Ethics

This course aims to equip you with a broad understanding of digital security and ethics and outlines some of the steps you can take to protect your devices and online information.

Register Now

Digital Audiences and Digital Analytics

This course aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to identify your digital audience, grow your digital audience using search engine optimisation and assess your impact online using digital analytics.

Register Now

We are delighted to announce that these courses are now open for registration and facilitation will commence on Monday 31st May 2021.

You can learn more, and register for these and the other courses in the series, on the DigiCulture website. Spread the word! 

Reference

Bowes, L., Higton, J., Spong, S., Welford, J., Choudhoury, A., & Francis, N. (2018). Skills needs assessment for the creative and cultural sector: A current and future outlook. CFE Research.https://creativealliance.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Report-Skills-Needs-Assessment-For-The-Creative-And-Cultural-Sector-CCSkills.pdf

Erasmus+ 2018-1-RO01-KA204-049368