Summer Update

We took a short break from updating our blog over the summer months as many of our NIDL staff was away on annual leave. Having said that, we have been busy on a number of fronts with a range of activities over the last couple of months as indicated by the following brief highlights: General

  • We completed the refurbishment of our reception area
  • We welcomed Muireann O’Keeffe as a new staff member in the Teaching Enhancement Unit

Receptions DCU Connected

  • Successful DCU Connected marketing campaign through radio, bus stops and electronic media
  • Double digit growth in number of confirmed registrations through DCU Connected with a significant increase in postgraduate students
  • Teaching began at both DCU and Arizona State University in the new online Masters in Biomedical Diagnostics with more than 30 students

Events and New Initiatives

  • Hosted a Hackfest Day in August
  • Open DCU Staff Forum in September to share new and forthcoming NIDL initiatives
  • Successful launch of Loop as the new overarching name for DCU’s new online learning environment.

Talks and Presentations

  • Presentations given to Governing Body and Academic Council on the work of NIDL
  • Dr Mark Glynn participated in two radio interviews on EduTalk
  • Keynote presentations given by Dr Mark Glynn at UK e-assessment conference and the Annual Conference for SQT Training,
  • Muireann O’Keeffe gave a keynote at the Symposium for Engineering Education in Manchester
  • Dr Pip Ferguson presented two conference papers
  • Director gave keynotes and presentations at the 3U N-Step Conference, University & College Teaching Conference, Birmingham, and Sloan (now rebranded Online) Learning Consortium Conference on Blended Learning in Denver
  • Director contributed to the Knewton Designing the Future Event in San Francisco which was attended by Hillary Clinton
  • Hilary_Clinton

Research and Development

  • Success in winning EU funded project called “Support Centres for Open Education and MOOCS in different Regions of Europe 2020” (SCORE2020) with a total budget of €300k
  • Developed and submitted three funding proposals to the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning to support building digital capacity
  • Successful application to the National Forum’s National Seminar Series for Reaching the Stars Symposium
  • Member of the National Forum funded Virtual Learning Envrionment Student Survey Project
  • Director invited to join the Editorial Board for the Journal of Open, Flexible and Online Learning
  • Hosted an open networking event to share ideas with other institutions for applications to the fund for Building Digital Learning Capacity
  • Networking Event

External Engagement

Opening up to Open Source

Eamon Costello, staff member is the National Institute for Digital Learning, has just had an interesting article on the adoption of Moodle, entitled “Opening Up to Open Source”, published in Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning (28, 3). The full abstract of the paper appears below…


The virtual learning environment (VLE) has grown to become a piece of complex infrastructure that is now deemed critical to higher educational provision. This paper looks at Moodle and its adoption in higher education. Moodle’s origins, as an open source VLE, are investigated and its growth examined in the context of how higher educational institutions adopt VLEs.