Launch of new DCU Connected Marketing Campaign

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new DCU Connected marketing and recruitment campaign for the forthcoming academic year which formally gets underway on Monday 14th August. This year’s marketing includes a mix of posters, radio advertisements and targeted use of social media, with a 2017/18 campaign tagline of “Class comes to you”. 

DCU ConnectedIn this blog we have embedded a few examples of the visuals supporting our new DCU Connected campaign. The intention of the campaign is to amplify the flexibility that DCU Connected provides for part-time students and busy working professionals who have the option of studying towards a DCU qualification, wherever they live in Ireland—or beyond. To coincide with the campaign launch we will also be launching our new DCU Connected website.

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What is DCU Connected?

DCU Connected is the term we use to describe our online modules and programmes taken by around a 1000 DCU students who choose to study predominantly online, off-campus. DCU has a proud 30-year history of extending access to higher education for mature, part-time, geographically dispersed students through technology-enhanced models of online distance education.

DCU Connected Website

Why do we use the term DCU Connected?

At DCU we use the ‘DCU Connected’ platform to describe our online offerings as the focus is on the distinctive and transformative nature of the learning experience—that is, being connected! Importantly, this places the online experience in the world of our learners and helps to avoid the idea that “online” is nothing more than a web-based delivery mode. More to point, the DCU Connected experience is designed to be highly interactive and far more engaging than merely reading online content from the comfort of your home. In today’s digitally connected world through DCU Connected our online and geographically dispersed students can feel strongly connected to DCU, and their fellow classmates, wherever they live.

Currently our range of DCU Connected programme offerings are shared across two faculties and the Open Education Unit in the National Institute for Digital Learning. This year we have also received a sizeable external Government grant under the new Springboard+ scheme to offer a range of online programmes at no cost to students, which target people seeking work, homemakers and caregivers, and in some cases those already in employment wishing to reskill and transition to a new career. The more inclusive Springboard+ scheme is a sign from the Government that online learning is slowly becoming a valued means of supporting employability, lifelong learning and the development of human capital for the knowledge society.

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What future developments are planned?

Global demand for flexible models of higher education, particularly for part-time study at the postgraduate level from working professionals, continues to grow and we expect more DCU Connected courses will be available through Faculties over the next couple of years. Currently in the United States, for example, almost 30% of university students (over 6 million) are studying online. To put the growth in demand in further perspective, in Australia, around 34% of university students now study part-time (currently 13% in Irish universities), with over 30% studying off-campus through some type of online flexible delivery option. The proportion of remote distance learners is currently less than 3% in Irish universities.

Notably, in 2016 around 60 million people worldwide also registered for a free online course through one of the major MOOC platforms (e.g., Coursera, EdX, or FutureLearn). DCU will shortly be making an exciting announcement in this area. While the hype around MOOCs may have reduced there is no doubt that this form of online learning is here to stay.

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If you would like more information about DCU Connected or wish to talk with someone about developing a strategic partnership with the NIDL in this area, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

NIDL Establishes the Ideas Lab

In May 2017, the NIDL Ideas Lab was established under the leadership of Associate Professor Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl to help foster a stronger culture of innovation in teaching and learning. As the figure below illustrates, The Ideas Lab shares a common interest in new learning designs and models of Blended, On-line and Digital (BOLD) education and will focus primarily on externally funded projects and exploring the potential of alternative teaching approaches, including MOOCs.

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Currently the NIDL Ideas Lab team, which at this stage includes three new staff, with more people in time, is working on the Fáilte ar Líne project. This is a new project supported by the Irish government and DCU in the development of an Irish language and cultural online degree programme.

The overarching philosophy of The Ideas Lab is to create a space where learning and digital innovation seed, blossom and grow.

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