Orna Farrell

Dr

Contact Details


Assistant Professor
Institute of Education
St Patricks Campus
Dublin City University

E:orna.farrell@dcu.ie


Profile Photo
Dr Orna Farrell is Assistant Professor specialising in online and blended education based in the School of Policy Practice, Institute of Education in Dublin City University (DCU). Orna holds a PhD in Education from Trinity College Dublin. 
Previously, Orna was Head of the Open Education Unit at Dublin City University, which provided online programmes to off campus students through the DCU Connected platform. From 2020-21, Orna led the Digital Learning Design Unit, created to support DCU’s pivot to hybrid learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic. From 2017-20, she was Chair of the DCU Connected Online Humanities programmes. 
  
Working within DCU’s National Institute for Digital Learning. Orna's research interests include online pedagogy, online student success and engagement, eportfolio and open educational practice. She has a growing publication record in her fields of interest, including a range of book chapters, journal articles, invited presentations and conference papers. She has published in high ranking journals such as Distance Education, the Journal of Interactive Media in Education, Research in Learning Technology, and the International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education. 

In the Irish context, Dr Farrell was principal investigator of the recent National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education funded project #Openteach: professional development for open online educators. Previously Orna was a member of both the Y1 Feedback and Student Success Toolbox projects also funded by the Irish National Forum.

Orna is involved in two EU funded projects currently. Firstly, she is the DCU Principal Investigator for the Encore+ European Network for Catalysing Open Resources in Education Project, which aims to create a European network that supports innovation and entrepreneurship with Open Educational Resources (OERs) and involves a partnership with: The International Council for Open and Distance Education, Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University, The Open University, International University of La Rioja, Fondazione Politecnico di Milano.

Secondly, Orna is a member of the DCU team for the BUKA: Better Universities and Knowledge for All – Advancing equity and access to higher education through open and distance learning. This project aims to enable increased access to higher education for people in rural and remote regions as well as those with diverse in Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia. 

Dr Farrell is involved in a number of Irish and European networks in the area of digital, online and open education. She is an active member of the NIDL digital learning network. Orna is a founding member of Eportfolio Ireland, a professional learning network of eportfolio practitioners and researchers. She is deputy chair of the European Distance and E-Learning (EDEN) Network of Academics and Professionals (NAP) committee.  


Doctoral supervision
Orna is available to supervise doctoral students in the areas of blended, online and digital learning in a range of educational settings. 





Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2021 Caitríona Ní Shé;Orna Farrell;James Brunton;Eamon Costello (2021) 'Integrating design thinking into instructional design: The #OpenTeach case study'. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, . [Link] [DOI]
2021 Farrell, O., Buckley, K., Donaldson, L., & Farrelly, T. (2021) 'Editorial: Good bye exams, hello eportfolio'. Irish Journal Of Technology Enhanced Learning, 6 (1). [Link] [DOI]
2021 Farrell, O., Buckley, K., Donaldson, L., Farrelly, T., (2021) 'Eportfolio in Ireland: A Landscape Snapshot'. Irish Journal Of Technology Enhanced Learning, 6 (1). [Link] [DOI]
2021 Farrell, O. (2021) 'The evolution of portfolio in higher education: past, present and future'. Distance Education in China, 4 . [Link]
2021 Farrell, O (2021) 'Review of Veletsianos, G. Learning Online: The student experience'. TechTrends, 65 . [Link] https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-021-00582-z
2020 Orna Farrell;James Brunton; (2020) 'A balancing act: a window into online student engagement experiences'. International Journal Of Educational Technology In Higher Education, . [DOI]
2020 Farrell, O., Brunton, J., Costello, E., Delaney, L., Brown, M., Foley, C. (2020) 'This is two different worlds, you have the asylum world and you have the study world’: an exploration of refugee participation in online Irish higher education'. ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology, 28 (2020) . [Link] https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v28.2368
2020 Farrell, Orna (2020) 'From Portafoglio to Eportfolio: The Evolution of Portfolio in Higher Education'. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, (1). [DOI]
2019 Farrell, O., Brunton, J., & Trevaskis, S. (2019) 'If I had missed it I would have been the lost little sheep: Exploring student narratives on orientation to first year'. Journal of Further and Higher Education, . [Link] [DOI]
2019 Orna Farrell;James Brunton;Eamon Costello;Caitriona Ni She;Enda Donlon;Samantha Trevaskis;Sinead Eccles; (2019) 'An investigation of effective online teaching: a needs analysis of online educators and online students'. Zenodo, . [DOI]
2019 James Brunton;Orna Farrell;Eamon Costello;Lorraine Delaney;Colum Foley;Mark Brown; (2019) 'Duelling identities in refugees learning through open, online higher education'. Open Praxis, . [DOI]
2019 Orna Farrell;Aidan Seery; (2019) 'I am not simply learning and regurgitating information, I am also learning about myself”: learning portfolio practice and online distance students'. Distance Education, 40 (1). [DOI]
2018 Orna Farrell; (2018) 'Failure to Launch: The Unfulfilled Promise of Eportfolios in Irish higher education: An Opinion Piece'. Dbs Business Review, . [DOI]
2018 Brunton J.;Brown M.;Costello E.;Farrell O. (2018) 'Head start online: flexibility, transitions and student success'. Educational Media International, . [DOI]
2018 (2018) 'Reflections on ePortfolio Professional Learning: Harnessing an Unconference Approach'. Aepr, .
2018 (2018) 'Pre-induction supports for flexible learners: The Head Start Online MOOC pilot. A Practice Report'. Student Success, . [DOI]
2016 O'Regan, L., Harding, N., Brown, M., Maguire, M., Munro, M., McDermott, G., Ryan, S., Farrell, O., Cranny, D., Gallaher, G., & McKevitt, C. (2016) 'Y1 Feedback - the story so far: Progress and reflections from an Irish multi-institutional learning and teaching enhancement project'. AISHE-J: THE ALL IRELAND JOURNAL OF TEACHING AND LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION, 8 (3):2991-2994. [Link]

Published Report

Year Publication
2019 Caitríona Ní Shé;Orna Farrell;James Brunton;Eamon Costello;Enda Donlon;Samantha Trevaskis;Sinead; (2019) Teaching online is different: critical perspectives from the literature. . [DOI]
2016 Y1Feedback (2016) Feedback in First Year: A Landscape Snapshot Across Four Irish Higher Education Institutions. Y1 Feedback, . [Link]
2016 Y1Feedback (2016) Technology-Enabled Feedback in the First Year: A Synthesis of the Literature. Y1 Feedback, . [Link]
2019 Ní Shé, C., Farrell, O., Brunton, J., Costello, E., Donlon, E., Trevaskis, S., & Eccles, S. (2019) Teaching online is different: critical perspectives from the literature. Dublin City University, . [Link] [DOI]

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2021 Farrell, O., Brunton, J., Ní Shé, C., Costello, E., (2021) 'Professional learning for online educators' In: 7th e-Learning Excellence Awards 2021. Berlin : 7th e-Learning Excellence Awards 2021. [Link]
2017 Nuala Harding, Lisa O’Regan, Moira Maguire, Mark Brown, Seamus Ryan, Geraldine McDermott, Orna Farrell, Morag Munro, Gerry Gallagher, David Cranny, Conor McKevitt, Edel Healy, Ronan Bree, Don Faller, Anne Mulvihill, Jeremy Bird, Akinlolu Akande, David Doyle, David Dowling, Dina Brazil and Gina Noonan (2017) 'Developing Digital Pedagogy: The Impact of National Strategy and Enhancement Themes in an Irish Institute of Higher Education' In: Empowering 21st Century Learners Through Holistic and Enterprising Learning. Singapore : Springer. [DOI]

Book

Year Publication
2017 (2017) Giving flexible learners a head start on higher education: Designing and implementing a pre-induction socialisation MOOC. [DOI]

Edited Book

Year Publication
2017 Delgado Kloos C., Jermann P., Pérez-Sanagustín M., Seaton D., White S (Ed.). (2017) Digital Education: Out to the World and Back to the Campus. EMOOCs 2017. London: Springer,

Conference Publication

Year Publication
2018 Brunton, J.;Costello, E.;Farrell, O.;O’keeffe, N.; (2018) Proceedings of the European Conference on e-Learning, ECEL Attaining 21st century skills online: A programmatic approach
2017 Farrell, O., Curran, C., Brunton, J. (2017) EdTech 2017 TEL in an Age of Supercomplexity - Challenges, Opportunities and Strategies, Annual Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association The History Lab: Developing digital research skills
2016 Brunton, J.;Farrell, O.;Brown, M.;Mahon, C.;Costello, E.; (2016) ASCILITE 2016 - Conference Proceedings - 33rd International Conference of Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education: Show Me the Learning Head start online: A MOOC for effectively supporting flexible learner transition into higher education
2017 (2017) Empowering 21st Century Learners Through Holistic and Enterprising Learning Empowering 21st Century Learners Through Holistic and Enterprising Learning
2017 (2017) Digital Education: Out to the World and Back to the Campus Digital Education: Out to the World and Back to the Campus
2017 Farrell, O. (2017) AAEEBL Regional Conference The learning portfolio differs to other modes of learning, I am not simply learning and regurgitating information, I am also learning about myself
2017 Farrell, O. (2017) (2017) EdTech 2017 TEL in an Age of Supercomplexity - Challenges, Opportunities and Strategies, Annual Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association Student voices on eportfolios The learning portfolio differs to other modes of learning, I am not simply learning and regurgitating information, I am also learning about myself
2017 Farrell, O. (2017) annual European Association for Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU), Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference What is it like learning with an eportfolio for online distance learners?
2017 Brunton, J., Brown, M. Costello, E., & Farrell, O (2017) UK/Ireland MoodleMoot Head start for online study: Reflections on a MOOC for new learners
2017 Brunton, J., Brown, M. Costello, E., & Farrell, O. (2017) EdTech 2017 TEL in an Age of Supercomplexity - Challenges, Opportunities and Strategies. Annual Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association New models of flexible learner socialisation in the digital age: The Head Start Online MOOC
2017 Brunton. J., Brown, M., Costello, E., Delaney, L., & Farrell, O. (2017) 27th ICDE World Conference on Online Learning Promoting effective, strategic pre-entry and on-entry socialisation for flexible learners in higher education
2017 Brunton, J., Farrell, O., (2017) 22nd Annual SEDA Conference 2017 Distributed and Disaggregated: Developing excellence in teaching and learning in online distance learning teams
2016 Farrell, O. (2016) The Next Generation Digital Learning Research Symposium The next generation of online learning: How can digital portfolios enhance the nature of the learning experience and the development of criticality among flexible learners?
2016 Farrell, O., & Brunton (2016) The Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference Using online primary sources to foster historical thinking
2016 Farrell, O. (2016) ePIC 2016 Conference Opening minds with eportfolios: How can eportfolios enhance the nature of the learning experience and the development of criticality among flexible learners?
2016 Brunton, J., Brown, M., Costello, E., Farrell, O., & Mahon, C. (2016) 9th European Distance and eLearning Network (EDEN) Research Workshop Head start online: Thinking about, or preparing for, flexible study
2016 Brunton, J., Brown, M., Costello, E., & Farrell, O. (2016) The Next Generation Digital Learning Research Symposium A MOOC to facilitate flexible learner transition into higher education - Head Start Online: first steps to flexible study
2016 Brunton, J., Brown, M., Costello, E., & Farrell, O. (2016) The Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference ‘A good start is half the work’: Developing a MOOC to aid flexible learner transition into higher education

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2017 Brunton, J., Brown, M. Costello, E., & Farrell, O (2017) Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia conference Head start online: A good start is half the work Melbourne, .
2016 Farrell, O (2016) Eportfolios in Ireland: What now? Where next? Critical Thinking and Eportfolios (With a Mahara Focus DIT, .
2011 Farrell, O. & Brunton, J (2011) AISHE Conference Induction and New Learner Transition to Higher Education Dublin, .
2010 Farrell, O. (2010) AISHE Conference Portfolio assessment: The learner perspective Dublin, .
2016 Costello, E., Brunton, J., Farrell, O., & Brown, M (2016) EdTech 2016, ReConstituting TEL: Rising to the Challenge, Annual Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association Rising to the challenge of flexible learner transition: A pre-induction socialisation MOOC initiative Dublin, .
2016 O'Regan, L., Harding, N., Brown, M., Maguire, M., Munro, M., Gallagher, G., McDermott, G., Ryan, S., Cranny, D., McKevitt, C., & Farrell, O. (2016) Ed Tech 2016, ReConstituting TEL: Rising to the Challenge Y1 feedback: Technology-enabled approaches for first year Dublin, .
2016 O’Brien, R., Brunton, J., Costello, E., & Farrell, O. (2016) Ed Tech 2016, ReConstituting TEL: Rising to the Challenge Developing a MOOC: My journey Dublin, .
2016 Farrell Orna & Brunton James (2016) EdTech 2016, ReConstituting TEL: Rising to the Challenge, Annual Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association Fostering Historical Thinking with Digital Primary Sources Dublin, .
2016 Farrell Orna (2016) Ed Tech 2016, ReConstituting TEL: Rising to the Challenge, Annual Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association If eportfolios are so amazing, why dont we all have one? Dublin, .
2011 Farrell, O. & Lane, B (2011) University of Wales Conference Enhancing the first-year experience with online quizzes and screencasts Cardiff, .

Case

Year Publication
2017 Brunton. J., Brown, M., Costello, E., & Farrell, O. (2017) Developing a systematic programme focused assessment and feedback strategy. CASE
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2022) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Association Function From / To
Association for Learning Technology (ALT) Associate Member -
Eden: European Distance and E-learning Network NAP steering committee member -
ESAI: Educational Studies Association of Ireland member -
Irish Learning Technology Association Member -
AAEEBL- Association for Authentic Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning Member -
Eportfolio Ireland Committee Member -

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
01/06/2017 DCU President's Award for Excellence in Teaching- in the category of new lecturer DCU
01/11/2019 Winner Best Digital Poster Award ICDE World Conference on Online Learning
01/06/2019 Winner Best Paper by Country: Ireland Edmedia

Committees

Committee Function From / To
DCU UDL working group 01/01/2019 - 30/05/2020
Academic Council 18/09/2017 - 06/06/2020
Steering Committee of the EDEN Network of Academics and Professionnals (NAP) 2020 https://www.eden-online.org/election-of-the-steering-committee-of-the-eden-network-of-academics-and-professionnals-nap-2020/ 20/05/2020 - 17/05/2023

Employment

Employer Position From / To
Dublin City University Assistant Professor 16/01/2016 -
Dublin Business School Lecturer 10/06/2007 - 11/01/2016

Education

Start date Institution Qualification Subject
Trinity College Dublin Doctor of Philosophy
UCD Master of Arts
University College Dublin Higher Diploma in Education
University College Dublin MA History of International Relations
University College Dublin BA (Hons) International- History, German

Reviews

Journal Role
International Journal Of Educational Technology In Higher Education Reviewer
Journal of Further and Higher Education Reviewer
Distance Education Reviewer

Research Interests

Orna's research interests include online pedagogy, online student success and engagement, eportfolio and open educational practice. She has a growing publication record in her fields of interest, including a range of book chapters, journal articles, invited presentations and conference papers. She has published in high ranking journals such as Distance Education, the Journal of Interactive Media in EducationResearch in Learning Technology, and the International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education. 

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date
Buka- Advancing Equity and Access to Higher Education Through Open and Distance Learning DCU team 18/11/2019 22/02/2021
#OpenTeach: Professional Development for Open Online Educators Team Leader/Principle Investigator 01/04/2019
Y1 Feedback project Team Member 01/01/2016 28/02/2017
ENCORE+ European Network for Catalysing Open Resources in Education DCU PI 01/01/2021 31/12/2023

Modules Coordinated

Term Title Subject
2022 Creative Instructional Design ES224
2022 Education Theories 2 (Advanced) HD415
2022 Designing Instruction for the Training Environment ES220