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National Institute for Digital Learning


To be recognised as a world leader at the forefront of education, research and innovation in contemporary models of teaching and learning which help to transform lives and societies. 


The National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) has three core missions:

Teaching Enhancement Unit

• To foster excellence in practice through leadership in teaching, the provision of professional development opportunities for staff and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Open Education Unit

• To provide access to university education for off-campus students through contemporary models of online distance learning which open opportunities, transform lives and contribute to better societies.

Digital Learning Research Network

• To lead, enable and disseminate transformative research on contemporary online and digitally enhanced models of teaching and learning. 

A common thread of the above mission statements is our commitment to transforming lives and societies through listening, linking and leading for a better future. The words listening, linking and leading have particular significance as they are taken from Michael Fullan and Geoff Scott's (2009) seminal work on turnaround leadership for higher education. This view of leadership and our wider transformative agenda is encapsulated in the original quote from George Bernard Shaw, which was later adapted by John F. Kennedy, in the famous line: “Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not”. We have deliberately chosen this quote to convey the transformative ethos woven throughout our work as both Shaw and Kennedy have important Irish links and inspire us to strive for a better future--for all. 

Strategic Principles

Enterprise | Engagement | Translation | Transformation

Strategic Objectives

Our strategic objectives align with the University’s Strategic Plan (2014-2017) and constituent strategies, including the Teaching and Learning Strategy (2014-2017) and the Research and Innovation Strategy (2014-2017). The following objectives form the basis of a Priority Initiatives Plan (2014-2015) which articulates the high level actions, deliverables, targets and milestones under the relevant work streams. 

• To provide core teaching enhancement services that support academic excellence.

•  To provide strategically targeted teaching enhancement services that support academic excellence in the design and effective use of digital learning in all delivery modes.

• To support academic and operational excellence in planning and implementing a sustainable 21st Century Digital Campus.

• To champion, celebrate and share academic and operational excellence in teaching, learning and assessment practices.

• To support operational excellence in the marketing and administration of courses and related support services available to learners studying through flexible delivery modes.

• To promote academic excellence in the teaching, implementation and evaluation of courses available to learners studying through flexible delivery modes.

• To support and develop strategic partnerships that enhance access to high quality university-level education both nationally and internationally.     

• To foster a network of leaders and strong communities of practice at the forefront of conducting, supporting and disseminating research in digital learning.

• To engage strategically with professional bodies and key external stakeholders in order to influence policy and benchmark the effective use of digital learning against international best practices.

• To develop a positive team environment and high performance culture of operational and academic excellence commensurate with relevant policies where all staff make a valued and significant contribution.


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