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.

Teaching Online is Different Seminar

On the 27th of January the #Openteach project team in the NIDL led by Dr Orna Farrell hosted a seminar about teaching online. This seminar was funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Online 1

The aim of the seminar was to explore effective online teaching practice and how to support the professional development of online educators. The seminar featured two very interesting guest speakers: Professor Elena Barbera from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and Dr Helen Coker from Queen Margaret University Edinburgh.

Time in online education

Online 3Professor Barbera spoke about her research on the role time plays in online education. She outlined her ideas about the online time paradox: that students enrol in online courses because they don’t have enough time to go to a campus based course, but the remaining  time that the student has to study is low quality, and they may end of up dropping out due to to the lack of time they had to begin with.

Barbera described how this consideration of time is woven throughout their approach to online education at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

Online 4

Being an online lecturer

Online 5Dr Helen Coker’s talk focused on her journal article “Purpose, Pedagogy and Philosophy: “Being” an Online Lecturer”published in IRRODL. Coker’s study took an ethnographic approach to exploring  the lived experiences of online educators. She identified three approaches to online teaching practice: knowledge, affect, and dialogue, as illustrated below.

Online 7

These three approaches were found to be mutually constituting, one could be brought into focus but the rest were still there.

Social presence: Scenario 1 of #Openteach 

Online 8The final part of the workshop was an interactive session on social presence facilitated by the #Openteach project team. The aim of this session was to pilot the first scenario from the #Openteach short online course.

Participants were presented with a scenario  related to the topic of social presence in online teaching and worked through a scaffolded activity designed to prompt discussion about approaches to establishing and maintaining presence online.

Join #Openteach

Online 2If you are interested in taking part in the #Openteach short online course about teaching online which will run from the 23rd of March to the 3rd of April 2019 and will take approximately 10 hours to complete. The course is open to anyone with an interest in online teaching. You can register your interest https://openteach.ie/join-openteach/ or email orna.farrell@dcu.ie for more information.

Final thoughts

Overall the seminar was well received by participants, and was a good opportunity to open up dialogue and discussion about teaching online in Irish higher education. All of the resources from the seminar are available from the #Openteach website:

https://openteach.ie/