This year’s 5th EMOOC conference (or known in full as the European MOOCs Stakeholders Summit) was held in Madrid (22-26 May, 2017). Once again the conference featured a very strong line up of keynote speakers, including Sir Timothy O’She from the University of Edinburgh.
Dr Eamon Costello represented the NIDL at the conference and presented two jointly authored papers on work continuing in the area of MOOCs. Both papers appear in the post conference book published by Springer.
The first paper described the Head Start Online initiative under the leadership of Dr James Brunton. Entitled “Giving Flexible Learners a Head Start on Higher Education: Designing and Implementing a Pre-induction Socialisation MOOC” the presentation outlined our initial pilot course and the plans we have for future developments in this important area.
The second research paper extended our analysis of the discourses associated with MOOCs as represented through social media. Entitled “#MOOC Friends and Followers: An Analysis of Twitter Hashtag Networks” the research investigates through the lens of actors and agency the different agendas playing out in the MOOC discourse through Twitter.
Despite less attention these days in the popular media, the conference reinforced the view that MOOCs are here to stay and they will continue to evolve over the next few years with a distinctive European flavour. The NIDL intends to shape the development of MOOCs through further developments in this area (more news to come) but unlike most other institutions our interest is driven by a strong innovation driver rather than simply the desire to raise the international profile of the university.