A Digital Edge: Essentials for the Online Learner

A Digital Edge: Essentials for the Online Learner

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As part of Dublin City University’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, a new online course A Digital Edge: Essentials for the Online Learner has been designed to support students to learn how to learn online. The underlying premise is that learning online requires a new set of skills to master. It is not the same as learning in a physical classroom. 

Funded as part of DCU’s Covid-19 Research and Innovation Hub, the course is a collaboration between a team of experienced online educators and researchers in DCU’s National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL), the DCU Students’ Union and the Irish Universities Association (IUA). Available to people worldwide through DCU’s strategic partnership with FutureLearn, the course will give students the edge to succeed online. It equips them with the tools and know-how to get the most out of their studies and thrive as lifelong learners.

A distinctive feature of the course is the co-facilitation and active contribution from a team of DCU Student Ambassadors who will share their tips, advice and first-hand experiences of how to be effective online learners. During the two-week course, students will gain an understanding of how to get the most out of online learning and how to professionalise their online identity.

The course builds on DCU’s strategic collaboration with FutureLearn following the launch of a pioneering new micro-credentialing initiative earlier in the year. DCU has been a world leader in digital education for over 25-years and this latest initiative is enabling the university to remain at the forefront of the digital transformation of teaching and learning for the 21st Century.

Welcoming the launch of this new course, Professor Daire Keogh, DCU President, said: 

“COVID-19 has changed the learning environment across the globe and this course has been designed to prepare our students to flourish in the new-normal.  It reflects the priority DCU places on the student experience and our determination to allow them to maximise the potential of online education.”

Dr Sharon Flynn, EDTL Project Manager at the Irish Universities Association, said:

“The development of this course aligns strongly with the goals of the Enhancing Digital Teaching and Learning project, funded by the HEA and led by the IUA, and involving all 7 of our university partners. Enhancing the student digital learning experience is a key priority of the project, and student partnership is a pillar of our approach.”

Professor Mark Brown, NIDL Director, said:

“Online learning is now an important life skill. Even before Covid-19 the level of demand for online education was growing exponentially, worldwide. We hope this course, anchored in the LifeComp framework recently launched by the European Commission, will make a valuable contribution to students starting out their online learning journey at university for the first time. It should also be of value to existing students and help people take advantage of new digitally enabled models of life-long learning.”

The course started on Monday 21st September but can be joined at any time over the next three weeks. To register, visit https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/a-digital-edge-essentials-for-the-online-learner 

To watch a video about the course, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhNnIu-aN-8&feature=youtu.be