Making Higher Education 4.0: The Inside Story EODLW 2021

Monday, November 8, 2021, 15:00-16:30

EODLW webinar


Format: Panel discussion


Join us in this webinar for a unique insiders’ glimpse into a future-focused course developed on the FutureLearn platform called Higher Education 4.0: Certifying your Future. This MOOC was first offered in March 2021 in response to the so-called future skills agenda and the rapid growth of the micro-credentialing movement. It also explores how these change forces align with new models of pedagogy for new times. After a brief tour of the MOOC, the panel will share how the idea for this free online course came about, the learning design process that was adopted in developing the MOOC, and valuable lessons and critical reflections arising from the first offering of the course. The panel discussion will provide an opportunity to talk about what role MOOCs can play, if any, in the effective continuing professional learning and development of higher educators. Webinar participants will be able to view and provide critical and constructive feedback on the second facilitated offering of the MOOC which runs throughout November 2021. This is an opportunity to hear what works and why (and what doesn’t) in the design and delivery of online courses in the wider content of Higher Education 4.0. We look forward to sharing our insights with you.


Elaine Beirne
Research Officer
Ideas Lab at Dublin City University, Ireland

Dr Elaine Beirne has a particular interest in the area of micro-credentials as well as the role emotion plays in online learning environments. Elaine also played a leading role in the design and development of A Digital Edge: Essentials for the Online Learner, a free online course offered through the FutureLearn platform.


Mark Brown
EDEN Treasurer,
Dublin City University, Ireland

Professor Mark Brown is Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University (DCU). He serves on EDEN’s Executive Committee and is an EDEN Fellow. Mark is also a member of the Supervisory Board of the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) and an Executive Committee member of the Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia (ODLAA). He is a past President of the New Zealand Association for Open, Flexible and Distance Learning (DEANZ) and previously served on the Executive Committee of ASCILITE. In November 2019, Mark is Chair of the ICDE World Conference on Online Learning that takes place in Dublin.

Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl
Director of Micro-credentials Strategy & Innovation and Head of DCU Studio, Dublin City University, Ireland

Professor Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl is responsible for academic leadership in the area of micro-credentials at Dublin City University (DCU). Previously Mairead was the Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences with academic responsibility for forty-five academic programmes. In 2016, she was a Fulbright Tech Impact Scholar working with the University of Notre Dame in researching the design and development of a Massive Open Line Course. Since this experience she has gone on to lead the development of DCU’s MOOCs on the FutureLearn platform.

Conchúr Mac Lochlainn
Research Officer and PhD student in The Ideas Lab in the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL), Dublin City University, Ireland

Conchúr Mac Lochlainn is playing a major role at DCU in the European funded ECIU University initiative which involves the development of micro-credentials following a Challenge-based Learning (CBL) approach. At the beginning of 2021, Conchúr played a key role in the design and delivery of Higher Education 4.0: Certifying Your Future, a free online course exploring the growth of micro-credentials.