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 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.”

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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.