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Tuesday, April 24 • 16:35 - 17:00
Opening up Access for Flexible Learners: A Case Study of Going Beyond OERs

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This paper reports on a five-week pre-induction socialisation MOOC designed to facilitate successful transition into Higher Education for flexible learners. In this context a broad definition is adopted of flexible learners, which includes adult learners engaged in part-time and/or online/distance education. The MOOC targets prospective flexible learners during early parts of the study life-cycle, when they are considering entry into higher education, or have just made that decision and may benefit from advice about how to effectively prepare. The MOOC has at its core a number of the Open Educational Resources (OER) developed by the Student Success Toolbox project (studentsucess.ie) and combines these digital readiness OERs with other supporting materials, e.g. additional text and video content, discussion forums, and activities, in order to deliver a comprehensive pre-induction socialisation course. The additional materials support the key messages contained in the digital readiness OERs that are at the heart of the MOOC. The key areas of focus in the MOOC are to: present information that aids in the creation of realistic expectations about flexible learning in higher education, especially around the importance of time-management; facilitate prospective learners in reflecting on their readiness for study; reduce anxiety by presenting reassuring messages; offer opportunities for socialisation with other prospective learners; equip these prospective learners with advice and tools on how to effectively prepare for study. A small pilot of the MOOC indicates that a course such as this, that uses the open educational resources developed by the student success toolbox project, can have a positive impact on prospective flexible learners.

avatar for Mark Brown

Mark Brown

Professor of Digital Learning, National Institute for Digital Learning at Dublin City University
Mark is Ireland’s first Professor of Digital Learning and Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University (DCU). He originally began his educational career as a primary teacher and now has over 25 years experience of working in Higher Education... Read More →
avatar for James Brunton

James Brunton

Programme Chair/Director, Dublin City University
James has a BA (Hons) in Applied Psychology from University College Cork and a PhD in Social/Organisational Psychology from Dublin City University. Having previously worked as a lecturer and Programme Leader for two undergraduate Social Science Degrees in Dublin Business School's... Read More →
avatar for Eamon Costello

Eamon Costello

Head of Open Education, Dublin City University

Orna Farrell

Dublin City University

Tuesday April 24, 2018 16:35 - 17:00 CEST