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Caitlin Harvey (Head of Academic Projects - Microcredentials -, Open University UK): The Open University and the QAA Microcredentials Characteristics Statement


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Caitlin Harvey (Head of Academic Projects - Microcredentials -, Open University UK): The Open University and the QAA Microcredentials Characteristics Statement

  1. 1. Presentation to EADTU November 2022 Caitlin Harvey Head of Academic Projects (Microcredentials), The Open University
  2. 2. CONTENTS 01 The Open University short course offer 02 Our offer and the QAA Characteristics Statement
  3. 3. The Open University short course offer
  4. 4. 4 THE OPEN UNIVERSITY The OU has pioneered distance learning for over 50 years, enabling more than 2 million students to realise their ambitions. We are living in unprecedentedtimes with high levels of uncertainty. Now, more than ever, there is a rapidly growing requirementfor organisations and individuals to retrain or upskill. Never has our vision beenmore important: ‘to reach more studentswith life-changinglearning that meets theirneedsand enriches society.’ Our work on developing microcredentials and short courses forour FutureLearn platform supports our delivery of that vision.
  5. 5. 5 We take advantage of the market opportunity through our short course offer on FutureLearn n subjects aligned to professional development: • some without credit (ExpertTracks) • some with credit (microcredentials). Across six subject areas: • Leadership and management • Digital technologies • Teacher development • Health • Sustainability • Equity, diversity and inclusion OUR PRODUCT OFFERING
  6. 6. 6 FutureLearn allows us to: • broaden our reach by targeting learners looking for professional development • provide learning opportunities to those looking to reskill or upskill as a result of the pandemic • reach different audiences including vocational and international learners. The FutureLearn platform and its distinctive pedagogical approach allows us to explore new ways of delivering learning experiences. THE PLATFORM
  7. 7. 7 9000+ learners have engaged with OU microcredentials to date over 2.5 years 2 courses running on the platform in March 2020 26 courses running on the platform Oct 2022 We present x 3 per year and now reach an average of 1600 learners per presentation. Our objective is to create and deliver up to 100 microcredential products over the life of our five-year plan Plus create and launch a set of 24 ExpertTracks Our bespoke unit to drive the development of paid short courses on the FutureLearn platform is now well established and works across internal boundaries in a matrix management style. WHERE WE ARE NOW
  8. 8. Our offer and the QAA Characteristics Statement
  9. 9. 9 The QAA Characteristics Statement launched in May 2022 covers seven main themes: 1) Definition 2) Context and Purpose of Microcredentials 3) Characteristics of the learner 4) Admissions and Access, including RPL 5) Course design, including learning and teaching and assessment 6) Certification 7) Quality management of microcredentials QAA CHARACTERISTICS STATEMENT
  10. 10. Definition
  11. 11. COMMON MICROCREDENTIALS FRAMEWORK European MOOC Consortium (which includes FutureLearn) have created the Common Microcredential Framework. It sets out microcredentials as: • 4-6 ECTS = 100–150 study hours per microcredential (10-15 FHEQ* credits) • Undergraduate or postgraduate • Includes summative assessment • ID verification required • Transcript with full course details to be provided • *Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of Degree-Awarding Bodies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ). 11
  12. 12. MICROCREDENTIALS : THE OU MODEL • 10 credits at undergraduate level or 15 credits at PG level. • Microcredentials can be at Levels 4, 5, 6 or 7 on the FHEQ (OU levels 1, 2,3, M). • Continuous formative assessment to be integrated as part of the design of the microcredential. • Summative assessment in the form of an end-of-module assessment (EMA). • OU Study Advisors provide tuition support. • EMA markers will mark the EMA. • Grades and grade boundaries are the same as those used on standard OU modules. • Microcredentials must fit into current standard OU presentation and conflation periods. 12
  13. 13. Context and purpose of microcredentials
  14. 14. 14 AGILE BUSINESS PATHWAY Free Short Course
  16. 16. 16 PRODUCT OUTLINE Free short course 4 - 24 learning hours Read, watch, listen for free Pay for ongoing access, tests and certificate Prices range from free – £99 or £199 p/year full catalogue • What is a Microcredential? • Short, affordable, accredited course • Worth 10 to 15 credits • Requires 100 to 150 hours part-time study over 10 -12 weeks • Aimed at a new group of students • may already be in work and or have a postgraduate qualification • looking to progress within their existing career field, or develop new skills • What is an ExpertTrack? • ExpertTracks are collections of courses that allow a learner to go deeper in to a subject with payment via a flexible subscription model ExpertTrack 3 - 5 short courses Monthly subscription, 7 day free trial Pay for access to content after 7 days, assessments and certificates Microcredential 100 - 150 learning hours Paid access Credit awarded 10 – 15 UK credits = 4 – 6 ECTS = 2 – 3 US credits Endorsed industry partners
  17. 17. Characteristics of the learner
  18. 18. 18 PERSONA PROFILE
  19. 19. 19 SKILL-UP: THE FLEXIBLE SKILLS FUND in NORTHERN IRELAND Jointly funded by Department for the Economy and Northern Ireland Office (Westminster Govt) Address skills deficits in the economy: • Digital • Green technologies • Life and Health Sciences • Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering • Leadership and Management, Employability, Entrepreneurship • Financial services (From 2023/24) Very wide entry criteria (Right to work in NI) Courses must carry academic credit Outcome-based funding model: 50% of fee upfront: 50% upon successful completion Universities restricted to Level 6/7 provision
  20. 20. Admissions and access (information, student support and resources)
  21. 21. LANDING PAGE 21
  22. 22. Recognition of Prior Learning and Stackability
  24. 24. Certification
  26. 26. Course design, including learning and teaching and assessment
  27. 27. 28 THE SOCIAL LEARNING MODEL OU Microcredentials are designed around social learning with learners sharing knowledge and experience and learning from each other. Supported by a study advisor or mentor who: • answers questions • points to relevant resources • helps learners to achieve success.
  28. 28. 29 ​​​Three broad sets of educators work on microcredentials.These groups will often overlap. • Academic teams designthe microcredential,bring togetherrelevant resources,create the activities, write the materials, and specifythe assessment. • Study Advisors supportan entire cohort of learners, answering questions, correcting misconceptions,pointing to relevant resources,and helping learners to achieve success. • Assessmentteams mark the final assessment,provide feedbackwhere necessary,and work to ensure the quality and fairness of the assessment process. EDUCATORS WORKING ON MICROCREDENTIALS Mark Taylor My career combines management consulting and academic w orkwith the OU and other business schools. My interests are diverse, encompassing strategy, finance and other aspects of management. Jay Naik I am an Associate Lecturer w ith the OU. I have 16 years’experience w ith other institutions as a senior lecturer covering all business subjects at undergraduate, postgraduate and professionallevels. Ella Gilbert I'm a postgrad researcher, about to finish my PhD in Antarctic climate change. I'm an atmospheric physicist interested in w hat makes floating ice in Antarctica melt. Climate change is already negatively affecting us all, and I w ant everyone to feel like they can contribute to the solutions. Delivered by experts
  30. 30. 31 WHAT OUR LEARNERS SAY Alison and Craig enrolled on Online Teaching: Creating Courses for Adult Learners. I use the skills I developed through the microcredential every day at work! The OU microcredentials are so good that I’m on my fourth! "The flexible nature of the course means that I could fit this around a busy working and family schedule. Developing recognised skills is important to me in terms of improving my versatility for job applications and in progressing my career. I will also be using the skills developed in this course in my role to develop our business services." "I found it very easy to use and did the whole course on my phone. The conversations feature was good for checking in on activity and keeping engaged when you only had a few minutes. Everything was very easy to follow and reassuring."
  31. 31. Quality management
  32. 32. 33 Academic Principles for Microcredentials – Approved Education Committee – Dec 2021 1 Microcredentials followOU academic governance approval processesand quality assurance requirements in line with all credit-bearing OU curriculum. 2 Those studying OU microcredentials should be referred to as ‘learners’ to distinguish them from OU students on OU standard modules and qualifications and from apprentices. 3 OU microcredentials must align with the latest version of the CommonMicrocredential Framework (CMF) agreed by the EuropeanMOOC Consortium. 4 Microcredentials should align with a single pre-approvedmodelforassessmentand tuition delivery. 5 OU microcredentialcredit is OU credit and may be counted towards an OU qualification and may be used within the qualification classification. 6 OU microcredentials can be counted towards an OU qualification provided the established principles,frameworks and policies are followed ACADEMIC FRAMEWORK (DECEMBER 2021)
  33. 33. 34 Pace and ambition of our programme does not compromise quality. We are adhering to our internal quality assurance processes for microcredentials. Framework and set of principles in development to provide guidance and clarity and ensure academic standards are maintained. Understanding and challenging status- quo in order to ensure policy and processes are rigorous and proportionate QUALITY MANAGEMENT
  34. 34. Thank you Caitlin.Harvey@open.ac.uk