Three New Online Professional Learning Courses for Educators

On Thursday 18th of November, the official DigiTeL Pro launch took place. This collaborative European funded project began earlier in the year with the aim of bringing together a team of experts from several universities, well-known for their research and leading-edge innovation in digital education.

A major feature of the launch was an overview of three new online professional learning courses designed for higher educators. Each course, listed below, explores a different mode or dimension of digital education. Together they aim to support European educators to build their teaching skills and professional capabilities for digital education relevant to their particular interests and institutional contexts.

Course 1: Synchronous and Hybrid Education

Learn more about the course, view a brief presentation and complete the registration form

Course 2: Blending Your Education

Learn more about the course, view a brief presentation and complete the registration form

Course 3: Online Education

Learn more about the course, view a brief presentation and complete the registration for

We invite you to register for these course and/or to share relevant details within your professional networks.

As part of the DigiTeL Pro launch event, we also provided a brief update on DCU’s free course, A Digital Edge: Essentials for the Online Learner, offered through FutureLearn. This course, co-facilitated by students and originally supported by IUA and the DCU Students’ Union, has so far attracted over 10,000 students worldwide with a completion rate of over 50%. Over 2,000 DCU students have claimed full certificates of completion. The course was a direct response to the COVID crisis and focuses on developing student readiness for online learning. It completes the suite of offerings supported by DigiTeL Pro.

To further infuse a strong student readiness dimension across and throughout all four courses, the NIDL team has undertaken a literature review to help answer the following questions:

  1. What research has been published reporting student readiness for online distance learning during the COVID crisis?
  2. How strong is the “learner voice” in COVID-related research reporting on student readiness for online distance learning?
  3. What lessons can be taken from the COVID-related literature on student readiness for new models of digital education?

A report of this research will be published in the New Year, but we can already conclude from our analysis that there is limited evidence of previous literature on student readiness informing the COVID response. Secondly, although numerous national and institutional surveys have been published over the past 18 months, which report on the COVID experience, the vast majority of this research does not adequately convey the student voice. Hence, this suggests that, with a handful of exceptions, an important gap remains in the literature which tells the students’ lived experience in their own words.

The above video provides a full recording of the DigiTeL Pro launch event. We look forward to sharing further information in 2022 on this project which is being led by the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU).

DigiTeL Pro Strategic Partnership Gets Underway…

The NIDL team is pleased to be a member of the DigiTeL Pro Strategic Partnership (Professional Development for Digital Teaching and Learning) supported by funding through the Extraordinary Erasmus+ Coronavirus response. This project involves seven European university partners and is being led by EADTU, with the first full-day kick-off meeting taking place next week.

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

About DigiTeL

The COVID-19 crisis required many higher education institutions throughout Europe to switch overnight to online distance education. Attempts were made under challenging circumstances to create solutions for online active learning, online student interactions, both synchronously and asynchronously, and e-assessment. With the commencement of the new academic year came increased emphasis on improving the quality of the student online learning experience.

Set against this backdrop, the objective of the DigiTeL Pro Strategic Partnership is to build the capacity of higher education institutions to provide high quality, inclusive digital education, responding to the needs of universities for the remainder of the Corona crisis and beyond. The project team brings together a group of experienced online educators well-known for their research and innovation in digital education. Project outputs include an analysis of major lessons from the COVID-19 crisis, support for maturing institutional policy and strategy for the post-pandemic environment, the design, development and implementation of continuous professional development for a range of delivery modes (blended, hybrid and online distance education), and several initiatives to enhance students’ readiness for digital learning. The NIDL team is leading the student-focused work package and related deliverables.

Learn more during Empower Webinar Week

If you would like to learn more about the DigiTeL Pro Strategic Partnership, then next Tuesday, April 6th, at 13:00 (Irish time) members of the project team will be sharing further details as part of the Empower Webinar Week (6th-8th, April). During the week, you can participate in a series of webinars dedicated to better understanding the opportunities of digital education during and after the pandemic. In a webinar starting at 12:30pm (Irish time) on Wednesday April 7th, Dr Eamon Costello from the NIDL, for example, will be sharing his speculative educational futures post-pandemic. In each session there will be time reserved for reflection and questions from you, the participants.

More information on the full programme and a registration link appears on the Empower Webinar Week webpage. We look forward to sharing more over the course of the week.