Happy five years NIDL!



Yesterday we celebrated the fact that NIDL is five years old, hard to belief! The room was packed with around 70 attendees, along with the biggest cake I have ever seen! Mark Brown opened the proceedings, then the president gave a great speech praising the work of NIDL and highlighting some key achievements. Then each of us who head up the three units, Open Education (myself), Teaching Enhancement (Mark Glynn) and the Ideas Lab (Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl) gave our reflections on the work we and our team had been involved with along with a little future thinking. I said the following:


I remember hearing the president’s vision for creating a centre for digital learning. This vision then translated in the establishment of NIDL and I attended the launch of DCU Connected (our online environment) in August 2014. I have had the privilege of being a visiting professor with NIDL and have seen it blossom and grow since then. I joined DCU as Head of Open Education in September 2018. Open Education provides support for our DCU Connected students. At the Welcome Day in September we welcomed over 450 new students, many are funded through Springboard and we are also delighted to have University of Sanctuary students. A range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses are available. To complement the teaching support, we engage in a range of practically focused research activities. I want to take this opportunity to thank Open Education for their enthusiasm, dedication and expertise. I feel privileged to be part of this vibrant exciting institute.


Mark showed an infographic highlighting the key achievements over the past five years. This includes our strategic partnership with FutureLearn, the launch of the Irish 101 MOOC, publication of the Irish Horizons report, the establishment of DCU Connected, Loop (our Virtual Learning Environment) and Loop reflect, securing significant funding from Springboard+, over 600 research outputs and over 4M Euro in externally funding. He also highlighted some of the exciting future initiatives, including the hosting of the ICDE World Conference on Online Learning in November 2019. The president added to this by announcing some exciting new initiatives starting in the near future, including a number of significant research funded projects.  




All in all it was a great way to celebrate five years and to reflect on achievements, and it is very much a reflection of the key leadership by Mark Brown and the ongoing support of the president. Looking forward to continuing to work with colleagues in the Open Education Unit and across NIDL. Btw there is a lot of cake left so if you happen to be near Santry…

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