Meeting of the FutureLearn Academic Network (FLAN)

The next meeting of the FutureLearn Academic Network (FLAN) takes place in Dublin City University (DCU) on Friday the 5th April 2019, from 10am to 4pm.

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The theme of the meeting will be ‘Transforming and Transformational MOOC Research’, and will include presentations and group discussions on the priority areas for future MOOC research and development. We have a great line up of sessions including practitioners, course developers, leading researchers and PhD students working in the area.

If you have not been involved in FLAN before, the organisation was established in 2013 to connect staff and students based at FutureLearn partner institutions to share research and explore shared research opportunities. These include joint research bids and publications, comparative studies using shared FutureLearn data, course designs, and methods to analyse and evaluate courses. FLAN also hosts a closed Facebook Group to exchange ideas and propose themes. Contact rebecca.ferguson@open.ac.uk to join the Facebook group.

Irish 101Attendance at FLAN events is free for those from FutureLearn partner institutions and our regular meetings provide an excellent opportunity to catch up with research into MOOCs, and open and online learning more generally, and to talk informally with colleagues from other FutureLearn partner organisations. On Friday we will be sharing and seeking valuable feedback on some of the research DCU is undertaking on new online models of teaching and learning.

The event will be live streamed and a recording posted on the FutureLearn Partner Site together with any slides/papers etc. for those who can not make it. You can also follow the event on Twitter (#DublinFLAN). If you would like to learn more about FLAN then please email flan@futurelearn.com. The Dublin event has been organised by the Professor Mairead Nic Giollamhichil and the team in the NIDL Ideas Lab. We look forward to welcoming participants to Dublin.

Le dea-ghuí

World Conference Update: Time to Submit Papers

This is a brief update on planning for this year’s ICDE World Conference on Online Learning that the NIDL is hosting at the iconic and award winning Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) in November. The Organising Committee is pleased to report that paper submissions are already being submitted through the website, with the deadline in March. The 2017 World Conference in Toronto attracted around 1,400 delegates and we are expecting strong interest and a large number of submissions for this year’s Dublin event.

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There are several submission categories including full papers, concise papers, lightening talks and digital posters. Unique digital poster boards will be used for the first time to provide conference delegates with a visually attractive and more interactive experience. IMG_3097.jpgThe conference will also feature a number of symposia and interactive knowledge fora to help discuss a range of contemporary issues, including:

  • Policy and Strategy
  • Open Educational Practices
  • Minority Heritage Language and Culture
  • Alternative Micro and Digital Credentials
  • Refugees, Asylum Seekers and New Immigrants
  • Online Education for Healthy Living and Well-being
  • Industry Partnerships for Continuing Professional Development

Another highlight of the World Conference will be the “Great Debate” which is intended to explore tensions between new and emerging models of online learning and the time-honoured egalitarian roots of open, flexible and distance education. There will also be a rich pre-conference workshop programme on Sunday 3rd November at Dublin City University’s St Patrick’s campus, including a Doctoral Research Symposium and special invitation only Leadership Summit.

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To answer questions and enhance the success of paper submissions the local organising team in the NIDL at DCU will be offering several webinars over the next few weeks for prospective authors. More precise information about the webinar dates and times will available in the next week or so. In the meantime when preparing your paper submissions, please keep in mind the overarching conference theme, which is “Transforming Lives and Societies”, and the five big questions we seek to explore along with the related sub themes.

Lastly,  for regular updates remember to follow the conference on Twitter (@WCOL2019) or our Linkedin account where you can also enter our monthly draw for a free tour of the famous Guinness Storehouse during your visit to Dublin in November. More information about other tour opportunities, the exciting social and cultural programme we are planning, and post-conference events and excursions will follow in future updates.