Archive for July, 2018

All change…

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018


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I have really enjoyed doing consultancy over the past couple of years, lots of interesting and varied work with clients from Ireland to Australia! I have also been lucky enough to be involved in a range of fascinating e-learning projects over the years, but I am keen now to take up a position where my expertise can make a difference in practice. I have always seen the consultancy work as something of a transition phase until something I really wanted to do came along… and it has!

In September I take up a new position as head and professor of the Open Education Unit, located in the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University (DCU). I have been a visiting professor with NIDL for a number of years and have been very impressed with how the Institute has developed and blossomed. The post will entail working with the NIDL team and the faculties to expand online provision through the University’s DCU ConnectEd platform. In addition to the Open Education Unit, NIDL has two other units; the Ideas Lab and the Teaching Enhancement Unit. Each of the units has distinct areas of interest:


The Open Education Unit focus is to support the design, delivery and effective management of distinctive and transformative online learning experiences for online distance students. DCU has a long history of opening up access to higher education through distance provision and I’m really looking forward to building on this tradition in working with the Open Education team.


The Teaching Enhancement Unit focus is to support the design, development and evaluation of distinctive and transformative professional learning experiences for staff. Helping DCU staff harness the potential of blended learning for campus-based students is a major aspect of the TEU’s work.


The Ideas Lab focus is to support the design, development and research of new and emerging models of blended, online and digital (BOLD) education with the potential to help transform lives and societies. Notably this year the Ideas Lab has led DCU’s Irish Language and Culture MOOCs on the FutureLearn platform which I’m told have attracted over 20,000 learners from more than 120 countries.


I’m very much looking forward to working with others in NIDL and staff across the University to build on DCU’s already substantial presence in digital learning. My new role will also provide an exciting opportunity to contribute to NIDL’s growing research programme and support planning and preparations for next year’s ICDE World Conference on Online Learning which DCU is hosting in November.


Le gach dea ghui