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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Webinar: Creating Engaging Conference Abstracts

By Professor Grainne Conole

Last week as part of our support for this year’s ICDE World Conference on Online Learning I facilitated with my colleague Dr Orna Farrell a webinar and face-to-face workshop on ‘Creating Engaging Conference Abstracts’. There was good participation in the webinar (about 15 people ) and lots of interaction. At the start we asked participants what their experience was of attending conferences, what was good and what was not so good. Here are some of the comments.


• Getting an outside view of your work

• Conferences are a great way of getting to meet others working in a similar space – opportunities to find out interesting and relevant stuff others are working on

• Networking, sharing ideas and gathering feedback

• Participation varies depending on the size. Smaller conference I am more at ease to network, mingle. Larger conferences I find a bit challenging

• Always lovely to meet people in real-life who are part of my online network

• At a large conference you really have to plan ahead and be strategic about which sessions you attend and perhaps debrief with colleagues at the end of each day who may have attended other sessions

• Use the conference app and follow the Twitter hashtag. For our ICDE World Conference follow @WCOL2019 and/or #WCOL2019 to keep up to date with new developments as we count down to the conference. 

It was a really enjoyable session and we hope participants found the webinar useful. The session was recorded if you want to listen to some of the advice we provided and we hope to see some interesting World Conference submissions from those who participated in the webinar or workshop. A follow up webinar for people thinking about submitting a paper for the World Conference will be offered later in the month.

Date: Wednesday 27th February (9.30 am GMT)


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