The National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) was established at Dublin City University (DCU) in November 2013. The Institute was officially opened by Minister for Education & Skills, Ruairi Quinn TD and Lord David Putnam, Digital Ambasador for Ireland. Professor Mark Brown commenced in February 2014 as the inaugural Director and Ireland’s first chair of Digital Learning, and leads a team of well-qualified and highly experienced staff with significant expertise in digital, blended and online learning. DCU has more than 30 years experience of offering online and distance programmes and rich history of innovation in teaching through new educational technologies.
In August 2014, building on this history, DCU Connected was launched as a major new initiative to promote flexible and online learning options for both Irish and international students living overseas. Providing flexible pathways to university-level education for diverse and geographically dispersed learners is central to DCU's mission of transforming lives and societies. DCU Connected extends this mission beyond Ireland through a number of strategic transational partnerships. In 2017, the NIDL Idas Lab was established to manage DCU's strategic partnership with FutureLearn and to explore new global opportunities in digital education.