Supporting this Year’s Open Education Week

Unknown.pngThis week is “Open Education Week” and several members of the NIDL team have already contributed, or will be over the next few days, to a range of activities and related events. On Tuesday, for example, Professor Mark Brown moderated a webinar on “The Story of the Open University” as part of EDEN’s programme of activities for the week . You can read more about this webinar and what the four distinguished panel members had to share on a blog written by Professor Grainne Conole. A recording will also be available on EDEN’s website


On Wednesday, Professor Grainne Conole gave a presentation on “Open Education into the Future” as part of another EDEN webinar on the broader theme of “Ongoing Initiatives for Open Education in Europe“. The slides from Grainne’s talk can be accessed below and a recording will also be available on EDEN’s website: 

And on Friday in another contribution to EDEN’s webinar series, Professor Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl is participating on a panel discussion on the topic of “Researching Openness – Evidenced-based Approaches“. More specifically this webinar will explore the following questions:

  • How openness is approach in research? Thematic overview (levels of openness, other dimensions that are addressed through research publications, e.g. open online learning, open distance learning, OER, OEP, etc.).
  • What impact does openness have upon education?
  • What kind of openness do we (society) need?
  • What are the characteristics of open learning, open curriculum, open education and open learner/ teacher?

Dublin City University (DCU) has a long history of Open Education and our commitment spans all three traditional pillars of university work: research, teaching and service. For example, last year DCU was the first Irish University to launch an open access press through a strategic partnership with University College London (UCL). The Open Education Unit in the NIDL continues to play a key role in the provision of online distance education through the DCU Connected platform as part of DCU’s wider mission of opening access to higher education and transforming lives and societies. Our NIDL team also makes a significant contribution to the Open Education agenda through service activities, with many of our staff serving on the executive committees of major professional bodies working in the area. There is also a strong Open Education dimension to this year’s ICDE World Conference on Online Learning that DCU is hosting in the Convention Centre Dublin in November.

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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.