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Moodle in the Age of the MOOC: The DCU Open Academy Initiative

This presentation is set against the backdrop of the debate surrounding the rapid growth of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in Higher Education. It then reports how Dublin City University (DCU) as an early adopter of Moodle has developed a strategic institutional response to the challenges and opportunities presented by the MOOC movement. A description of the key drivers, strategic deliberations, and major decision points which informed the thinking at DCU is provided along with brief analysis of the pros and cons from an evaluation of a range of MOOC platforms. In sharing the story of this institutional case study the presentation aims to demonstrate the importance of aligning key decisions with well-defined institutional drivers, which in turn can help to compare and contrast the strategic affordances of different MOOC platforms. The rationale to select a new Moodle-based MOOC platform based primarily on a commitment to fostering a culture of innovation in the design and delivery of online learning is explained along with the methodology and selection criteria which contributed to this decision. Finally the presentation describes the launch of the “DCU Open Academy” initiative using a new Moodle-based platform that supports locally-based MOOCs which do not rely on current systems largely closed to all but elite institutions and universities.

Presented by...

Professor Mark Brown
Director, National Institute for Digital Learning
National Institute for Digital Learning, Dublin City University

Professor Mark Brown is Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University (DCU). Over the last decade Mark has played key leadership roles in the implementation of several major university-wide digital learning and teaching initiatives and was involved in the original development of the Mahara e-portfolio system. Mark has published extensively in his areas of expertise and serves on several international journal editorial boards in the fields of Online, Blended and Digital Learning. Mark is centrally involved in several European funded online learning initiatives, including two major projects exploring the role of MOOCs. He currently chairs the Teaching and Learning Steering Committee for the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) and before taking up his current position was President of the New Zealand Association for Open, Flexible and Distance Learning (DEANZ). Mark is a recipient of a National Award for Sustained Excellence in University Teaching.

Eamon Costello
Enda Donlon
Mairead Nic Giolla-Mhichil


Submitted by:
Mark Brown
Last modified: Tuesday, 1 March 2016, 11:58 AM
Email address:
[email protected]
Presentation slides: Powerpoint presentation Moodle_in_Age_of_the_MOOC.pptx
Slides visiblity:
Your educational sector: University
Roles in which you usually use Moodle: Researcher
Type of presentation: Short presentation (15min + questions)
Relevant to audience from which sectors: Education
Relevant to audience in which roles: Teacher
Instructional Designer
Permission: By submitting, I grant permission to promote, record and share my presentation before and after the MoodleMoot.
Committment: Should my proposed presentation be accepted, I commit to attend the MoodleMoot to present it.
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