Taking on the World by Walking Towards the Future

A handful of the NIDL team was delighted today to meet up with DCU Connected student Cian MacManamon who later in the month will be competing for Ireland at the World University Games in Taipei.

bGLJxIZf_400x400Cian recently completed his Post Graduate Diploma whilst juggling training, competing and studying online through DCU Connected. He’s a great example of how busy schedules even for elite athletes don’t stop online students from earning degrees and achieving their personal and professional goals. The ability to manage time, meet tight deadlines and see it through to the end goal whilst meeting other commitments are all important qualities employers tell us they value in our part-time online students. And the flexibility of online study means that Cian intends returning to DCU in September 2017 to continue his postgraduate studies.


Cian is one of eight DCU students competing at the World University Games. We wish him all the best in Taipei and look forward to hearing more about his combined sporting and academic success as he walks towards the future.


Papers at EMOOCs 2017 Conference

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.

978-3-319-59044-8.jpgThe 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.