Sessions, Seasons and Samhain: ICDE World Conference Newsletter

You can find lots of information about November’s ICDE World Conference on Online Learning in the latest edition of the conference newsletter. Read more about our unique walking tours ending with “pedagogy in the pub” and the significance of the conference theme as we celebrate Samhain and the change of seasons. The newsletter also shares a set of principles for conference participation, which serve as a guide to delegates in order to create a really welcoming, courteous and respectful professional learning atmosphere.

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Belinda Tynan.jpgIf you are waiting for more information on the day/time of your presentation at the World Conference, then the newsletter provides a progress report and shares more details on the presenter guidelines and this Friday’s webinar for authors and contributors. The newsletter also profiles another plenary speaker who will focus on strength in diversity and transformative leadership for changing times. More specifically, in her keynote Professor Belinda Tynan will address the major contribution that women can make in leadership roles and this important theme then continues over a panel discussion.

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The newsletter also reports a number of linked events, with the formal launch of the IUA-led project on Enhancing Digital Capacity in Teaching and Learning, and a follow up ePortfolio workshop organised by Eportfolio Ireland on Monday 11th November. The ICDE World Conference is supported by over 30 partner organisation from around the globe and this week’s newsletter acknowledges the great local support from a number of Irish professional bodies, including the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education as a valued Bronze Sponsor.

National-Forum.jpgLots more to read in this week’s conference newsletter and make sure you keep an eye out for our next issue, and of course register ASAP for this major international event as we aim to help shape the future of education for the new online and digital world.

“Highly Commended Award” for Team Innovation for Student Success Toolbox Project

The Student Success Toolbox project, led by a team within the National Institute for Digital Learning, has received a “highly commended award” for team innovation in teaching and learning from the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU). The award was presented during an ECIU showcase event to a large audience of invited guests in Brussels on Thursday 30th November.

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This project seeks to address the problem of effective transitions and the foundations for student success during the initial stages of the study lifecycle with a specific focus on flexible learners. Enhancing retention and completion rates of this group of flexible learners is a significant problem both globally and within the Irish context. The Student Success Toolbox project was supported by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education under the Building Digital Capacity fund. It was a collaborative project involving Dublin City University, Sligo Institute of Technology, Maynooth University and Dundalk Institute of Technology.

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The particular focus of this project is on supporting flexible learners through key transitions in the early stages of the study lifecycle: from thinking about study, making choices, the registration process and through to the first few weeks. A basic premise of the project is that the foundations for student success start early in the study lifecycle, and that insufficient attention has been given in the literature and within institutions to the importance of the period before flexible learners formally commence their study.

A related underlying assumption is that this crucial transition period may be enhanced by the availability of appropriately designed digital readiness and preparation tools, which help to scaffold both prospective students and those about to embark on part time or online/distance study for the first time. In this project eight digital readiness and preparation tools were developed as Open Educational Resources (OERs) with a Creative Commons (CC-BY) licence. The eight tools can be viewed on the project website, and can be downloaded and adapted by other institutions from the project’s Github webpage.