The World Conference on Online Learning is one of the larger conferences in the online learning space. This year’s conference is being held in Dublin, Ireland, November 3-7. As its name suggests, the World Conference on Online Learning is truly global in scope. From more than 650 paper submissions, the organizers are expecting close to 550 presentations, with authors representing 54 countries.
Now in its 28th year, the conference’s scope encompasses online learning as a whole, with MOOCs playing a prominent role in this year’s agenda. FutureLearn is a conference sponsor, and CEO Simon Nelson will be delivering a keynote address. Participants will also get to hear more about the rapid emergence of MOOC-based microcredentials; Beverley Oliver, former Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education at Deakin University, will share recent research on the subject. And one of the academics behind the first MOOCs, George Siemens, will be reflecting on the big questions in the conference’s final keynote. Furthermore, Class Central has learned that the conference will provide a platform for at least one announcement about the continuing development of MOOCs globally.
This year, the theme of the World Conference on Online Learning is “Transforming Lives and Societies”, referencing the reality that in the digital age higher education is not bounded by country borders. The theme aligns with the institutional mission of Dublin City University, which seeks to make a contribution to worldwide learning, particularly in developing countries. The organizers place online learning within the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, seeking to understand how online learning can advance that broader global agenda.
Mark Brown is the Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning based at Dublin City University and Conference Chair for this year’s conference. As Dr. Brown explained, “We are trying to present a multifaceted view of online learning. We take a critical perspective. My own academic work is defined by the saying, ‘the light comes through the cracks.’ This conference seeks to expose those cracks because that is where new knowledge and insight emerges.”
Conference participants can also look forward to having a uniquely Irish experience. The conference venue is located right in the heart of Dublin, near the historic Temple Bar neighborhood, and the program is peppered with “tastes of Ireland”. As Dr. Brown explained, “The social and cultural side of the conference is just as important as the academic side.” For example, one day of the conference ends with a walking tour structured around the conference theme and sub-themes, ending at a traditional Irish pub.
Registration remains open for the World Conference on Online Learning. The organizers anticipate strong demand and recommend booking early. Class Central will be in attendance. Let us know if you’ll be there too!
Class Central is a media partner for the 2019 World Conference on Online Learning. Check out our full list of conferences related to MOOCs and online learning.