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ICDE World Conference on Learning

ICDE World Conference on Learning

The International Council for Open and Distance Learning (ICDE) together with the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) organised the annual ICDE World Conference on Learning (WCOL) in Dublin, Ireland. 
The event started with a pre-conference on Sunday, 3 November. Professor Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl welcomed the participants followed by a formal greeting by Professor Anne Looney, Executive Dean for the DCU Institute of Education. 
Amélé Ekué, Academic Dean, represented at the WCOL2019.
The official opening of the conference was on 4 November, during which Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Irish Minister of State of Higher Education, highlighted that 'online learning must be ethical and responsible'. Christoph Stückelberger, President, was mention at the Ethics and Learning Analytics Symposium for his participation in the ICDE working group on Learning Analytics. 
Prof. Asha Singh Kanwar, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and a Board Member, was invited to present the Commonwealth of Learning book 'Designing and Implementing Micro-Credentials on a plenary session'.
Mitchell Peter gave a remarkable presentation on his recently completed doctoral research 'Engagement Patterns and Learner Strategy Profiles in Online Education: A Learning Ecologies Perspective'. He spoke about boundaries-crossing learning about students online and worldwide learning experiences. He demonstrated, based on quantitative and qualitative research methods he aptly combined, how the knowledge of students' learning trajectories can inform the meaningful design of so-called connected learning curricula, which consider for example informal and formal dimensions of learning.  
On 6 November 2019, the main speaker, Professor Beverley Oliver from Deakin University, gave a highly inspiring plenary speech on 'Better Credentials for Living, Learning and Earning in the 21st Century'. She called on the educators and institutions of the world to work towards transferable and assessment-based micro-credentials to enable learners to have their previous experiences recognised to be able to better face transformation in the world. Professor Ricardo Valentim, The Laboratory of Technological Innovation in Health, Natal, Brazil, also shared an interesting reflection about the cross-disciplinary online education in public health, which is relevant for applied ethics commitments.
As the conference drew to a close, the session moved its focus to the quality of education related to the meaning-making and hope that educators co-create with their learners. 
The conference closed with a debate on the future of online learning, which the Ireland Team of panellist won. The panellists highlighted that online higher education is about building human competencies, such as ethical judgment and critical thinking. Also, Orna Farrel from the Dublin City University was awarded for the best digital poster.
The Brazilian Ambassador to Ireland invited delegates to the next WCOL2021 in Natal, Brazil, which will attend and participate in.