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Higher Education 4.0: Certifying Your Future

Explore what the future holds for higher education and discover the new educational models and pathways for 21st Century learners.

1,486 enrolled on this course

  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Explore new university accreditation models and pedagogical approaches

This course explores the changing nature of higher education through the lens of the ECIU University initiative.

On this three-week course, you’ll reflect on major educational trends impacting higher education today and consider how universities can be ‘future-fit’ in our increasingly digital world.

You’ll also evaluate how higher educators, policy-makers, and governments should respond beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

Social, technological, and employment trends and innovation are all significantly impacting the higher education sector today.

You’ll explore the challenges these changes pose, as well as how they’re shaping the European Skills Agenda – a five-year skills development plan for individuals and businesses based on strengthening sustainable competitiveness, ensuring social fairness, and building resilience in crises.

Discover emerging higher education pedagogies

You’ll study new and emerging pedagogies, and learn how they can be used to better prepare today’s students for the workplace.

You’ll also gain expert insight into authentic, learning-centred approaches, including how they can be used to provide efficient and effective frameworks for deep, meaningful, and impactful new forms of learning.

Explore new approaches to higher education

The rise of microcredentials is recognising diverse skills and providing new pathways for lifelong learning.

You’ll consider why traditional credentials are no longer entirely fit for purpose, and identify the value and potential of these new shorter offerings.

The final sections of the course will ask you to examine cases and examples of how ECIU partner universities are responding to embrace transformative disruptions and explore new digital learning models.

What topics will you cover?

The course explores three key themes which each address the overarching question: What will the university of the future look like? In exploring this question the course is structured around central core topics. You will explore…

  • How changing social, technological and employment trends are impacting the higher educational sector
  • The potential of new approaches to credentialing, including micro-credentials, as a means of recognising diverse skills and providing new pathways for lifelong/life-wide learning
  • New and emerging authentic pedagogies as vehicles for bridging and border-crossing between universities, industry partners and community groups in preparing 21st Century learners
  • Case studies of how ECIU partner universities are responding to embrace transformative disruptions exploring new digital models and pedagogical approaches with different stakeholder perspectives.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore the importance and challenges of defining new future skills
  • Consider how to conceptualise these skills in a changing world, including the possibility of micro-credentials as representations of new forms of learning
  • Explore how to assess the quality, scalability and credibility of various types of credential
  • Learn about innovative and applied case studies from DCU, at which a learning-centred pedagogical model has been designed and implemented
  • Explore diverse perspectives on these future challenges and the demands for new, flexible forms of certified learning

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in conversations around the future of universities, as well as a desire to understand new accreditation/certification models, and pedagogical approaches.

This may include educators working in universities as well as academic staff at educational institutions.

Who will you learn with?

Mark Brown is Ireland's first Professor in Digital Learning and Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL). Twitter @mbrownz More... https://www.dcu.ie/nidl/people/director.shtml

Associate Professor and Senior Researcher in Dublin City University. Head of the Ideas Lab in the National Institute for Digital Learning@DCU - @1MNGM

I am a designer and doctoral candidate working to better understand the motivations and self-concepts of those learning Irish. I enjoy helping learners explore both these themes and our language.

Who developed the course?

Dublin City University

Dublin City University is a young, dynamic and ambitious Irish university with a distinctive mission to transform lives and societies through education, research and innovation.

National Institute for Digital Learning

The National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) aims to be a world leader at the forefront and leading edge of new Blended, On-Line and Digital (BOLD) models of education. We have an ambitious mission of transforming lives and societies by exploring new BOLD and innovative approaches to teaching, learning and assessment for better and more imaginative futures - for all.

Irish Institute of Digital Business

The Irish Institute for Digital Business (IIDB) is a centre of excellence for theoretical and applied research that investigates and accelerates the adoption of digital technologies and the transformation of business using these technologies.

Endorsers and supporters

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Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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