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.

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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.

World Refugee Day: DCU and FutureLearn announce 30 Refugee Scholarships

world-refugee-day-photos-download-1-1080x675.jpgWe are delighted to share the news on World Refugee Day that as Ireland’s first University of Sanctuary (UoS), Dublin City University (DCU) is launching in partnership with FutureLearn, a global leader in online social learning, 30 scholarships for refugees and asylum seekers. The joint DCU FutureLearn scholarship initiative will enable refugees and asylum seekers living in Ireland to undertake study from a wide range of courses offered on FutureLearn’s online platform though to certificates of completion.12790015_10153784985600342_457612615_o.jpg

Among the courses offered on FutureLearn is DCU’s ‘Irish 101’, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) launched earlier this year, and one of the first of its kind globally to offer an introduction to Irish language and culture. Associate Professor, Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl, Head of the Ideas Lab and the Fáilte ar Líne Project, at the National Institute for Digital Learning in DCU, remarked:

irish-101.jpg“We are delighted that ‘Irish 101: Introduction to Irish Language and Culture’ is a core component of this joint DCU & FutureLearn initiative. Not only will it support this community of learners as they connect with the Irish language and Irish culture, but it will also provide them with an opportunity to engage with learners from around the globe.” ‘Irish 101’ is co-funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the 20-year Strategy For The Irish Language 2010-2030, supported by the National Lottery.

future-learn.pngAnnouncing the 30 new scholarships, Mark Lester, Director of Partnerships Development at FutureLearn, said: “DCU has long been a champion of online education in Europe. We are delighted to be building upon our partnership with DCU in providing 30 scholarships for refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland, who will have an opportunity to access hundreds of flexible learning options.”


Prof. Mark Brown, Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at DCU, commented: “DCU has, for many years, been a leader in developing new models of open and online learning as it endeavours to expand access to higher education. As Ireland’s first ‘University of Sanctuary’, our partnership with FutureLearn builds on our existing scholarships established last year to support Irish asylum seekers and refugees to complete online degrees through DCU Connected. While today’s announcement coincides with World Refugee Day, the latest DCU FutureLearn Scholarships are further evidence of our ongoing commitment to fostering a culture of inclusion. They mark an exciting new chapter to help enrich the lives and opportunities of Ireland’s refugee community.”

More information about this new scholarship initiative for Irish refugees and asylum seekers, including details of the application process, will be announced shortly.