Dublin City University is developing the Irish 101 MOOC as part of a wider strategic aim to deliver an online Irish language higher education degree programme. The project is led by academic staff from FIONTAR, an Irish-medium interdisciplinary School and the National Institute of Digital Learning in Dublin City University. As one of the first MOOCs to be developed by the university, the university engaged in a wide ranging analysis of the strategic institutional drivers and educational goals associated with this endeavour. This paper sets out these drivers and contextualises the strategic necessity of the concept of openness in selecting and piloting the designated MOOC platform. The Irish 101 MOOC is supported by the Irish Government. Ireland will engage in a significant national commemorative programme aligned with the foundation of the State during 2016. A significant aim of the Language MOOC is to provide access to the global diaspora to the Irish language and many of the associate linguistic and educational artefacts. The paper, therefore, moves to consider the development of the MOOC from a cultural heritage vantage point. An underlying aim of the MOOC is to integrate and to encourage learners to engage with Irish language digital humanities content drawn from sites such as duchas.ie (heritage) and logainm.ie (place names). The MOOC’s role in opening these educational resources to a global audience is reflected upon, particularly in light of the limited number of language language learning MOOCs or LMOOCs within the wider MOOC field.
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