Supporting this Year’s Open Education Week

Unknown.pngThis week is “Open Education Week” and several members of the NIDL team have already contributed, or will be over the next few days, to a range of activities and related events. On Tuesday, for example, Professor Mark Brown moderated a webinar on “The Story of the Open University” as part of EDEN’s programme of activities for the week . You can read more about this webinar and what the four distinguished panel members had to share on a blog written by Professor Grainne Conole. A recording will also be available on EDEN’s website


On Wednesday, Professor Grainne Conole gave a presentation on “Open Education into the Future” as part of another EDEN webinar on the broader theme of “Ongoing Initiatives for Open Education in Europe“. The slides from Grainne’s talk can be accessed below and a recording will also be available on EDEN’s website: 

And on Friday in another contribution to EDEN’s webinar series, Professor Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl is participating on a panel discussion on the topic of “Researching Openness – Evidenced-based Approaches“. More specifically this webinar will explore the following questions:

  • How openness is approach in research? Thematic overview (levels of openness, other dimensions that are addressed through research publications, e.g. open online learning, open distance learning, OER, OEP, etc.).
  • What impact does openness have upon education?
  • What kind of openness do we (society) need?
  • What are the characteristics of open learning, open curriculum, open education and open learner/ teacher?

Dublin City University (DCU) has a long history of Open Education and our commitment spans all three traditional pillars of university work: research, teaching and service. For example, last year DCU was the first Irish University to launch an open access press through a strategic partnership with University College London (UCL). The Open Education Unit in the NIDL continues to play a key role in the provision of online distance education through the DCU Connected platform as part of DCU’s wider mission of opening access to higher education and transforming lives and societies. Our NIDL team also makes a significant contribution to the Open Education agenda through service activities, with many of our staff serving on the executive committees of major professional bodies working in the area. There is also a strong Open Education dimension to this year’s ICDE World Conference on Online Learning that DCU is hosting in the Convention Centre Dublin in November.

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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