Archive of 2016 Research Symposium

1st November, 2016
The Helix, Dublin City University


A copy of the Research Symposium Proceedings with titles, abstracts and suggested further readings is available from the following link:

Photo of Partners, Keynotes and Panel Members

The following videos provide a record and taste of the opening session and major keynote presentations over the course of the Research Symposium. 

Video of Full Video Stream

Video of Introduction

Video of President's Welcome

Video of Keynote 1

Video of Panel Response

Video of Keynote 2

Video of Keynote 3

Why a Research Symposium?
There is still considerable debate about the value, benefits and long-term impact of digital learning. Amidst both the promise and the peril of the digital era it is important that we pause to critically reflect on what we have learnt (or not) over several generations of research on the use of educational technology. Moreover, what should the current generation of postgraduate students and new and emerging educational researchers be investigating as digital learning evolves and has become a key component of national and international policy? Also, with an eye on the future what theoretical lens and research methodologies are required to better understand and harness the affordances of a new generation of technologies? In this respect the Symposium aims to contribute to building the next generation of researchers as we identify, discuss and debate some of the big issues likely to face educators from first to fourth level, and beyond. We expect there will be many more questions than answers and to help frame the research conversation the Symposium is structured around the following five broad questions:

      •  What do we know from the research literature?
      •  What research is currently being conducted, particularly in the Irish context?
      •  Who else is conducting research in my area and how does it relate to my own work?
      •  Where are the gaps and methodological weaknesses in the current research literature?
      •  What are likely to be the future questions, challenges and possibilities in digital learning research?

Who should attend this free event?
The Research Symposium is designed for people from all educational levels and sectors. It aims to build capacity in digital learning research by establishing connections and fashioning stronger bridges across and between different generations of educators and researchers. Hence the event is aimed at current and prospective postgraduate students, including doctoral candidates, new and emerging researchers, experienced practitioners, industry stakeholders with an interest in research, and academics conducting research in the area. More specifically, the Symposium will be of particular value to people:

      •  Considering embarking on research in digital learning
      •  Currently on a research journey such as doctoral or masters students
      •  Recently qualified research graduates or discipline specialists relatively new to the field
      •  Both new and experienced researchers seeking to build collaborative partnerships
      •  In educational leadership roles and responsible for evidence-based policy
      •  Developing educational IT solutions which are anchored in research

Who can contribute to the symposium?
The Research Symposium aims to give voice to a wide range of Irish educators and researchers across all levels and sectors. Over 40 submissions were received for concise research papers and rapid fire presentations from a number of first-time participants, doctoral candidates and teams working on interesting research projects. Postgraduate students at earlier stages of their research were particularly encouraged to submit proposals to present their planned and early stage work to others in short elevator style pitches. During the event a number of people with recently conferred doctorates will also share the experience of their journey. 

What is the format?
The Research Symposium has a strong focus on research and will try to follow a participatory approach where attendees will be encouraged to actively network around existing and emerging themes, theories and methodologies. While several high profile keynote speakers will help paint the bigger picture of research across several contexts and different generations you will have the opportunity to meet peers and leading scholars and researchers from relevant groups and professional bodies—namely the Irish Learning Technology Association, the Educational Studies Association of Ireland, and the National Institute for Digital Learning at Dublin City University. Through a combination of panel responses and roundtable discussions participants will build connections with colleagues nationally and internationally who are engaged in similar and related areas of research as themselves. Accepted presenters will have an opportunity in a safe and collegial environment to present their research for feedback and to help validate and shape their ideas. A published book of proceedings, including a number of carefully selected research-related publications, will be available to participants.

How do I get involved?
Those interested in attending this unique free event should register on the waitlist by sending an email <> as registrations closed on 30th September. We have reached the venue capacity of The Mahony Hall which holds a maximum of 240 people in a round table format. A waitlist is being maintained for those people who missed out on a seat in case we have any late cancellations. We will contact people on a first come, first served basis should additional seats become available. 

What does it cost? 
This is a free event thanks to the generous support of our three sponsors. However, we kindly request that registered delegates confirm their intention to participate for planning and catering purposes by no later than Monday 17th October. If you find that you can no longer attend the event, then please cancel your registration through the online booking system so that we can extend an invitation to those on our waitlist. 

Follow up workshops
There are two follow up Next Generation workshops that people can register for separately on Wednesday 2nd November. 

        • Learning Design Workshop 

Who do I contact?
The Symposium Chair is Dr Eamon Costello from Dublin City University. If you would like further information about this event, then please email the symposium team on

Supported By

The Research Symposium is a joint collaboration between...

  Image Map


Venue Map

The Helix, Dublin City University, Glasnevin Campus, Dublin 9, Ireland

Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland

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