Coventry University has further invested in digital learning as partner FutureLearn, the leading social learning platform, and gained formal academic approval to offer industry-led microcredentials.
Gaining this validation effectively required FutureLearn to create a small university within its platform. The approval enables the online learning platform to work directly with industry to design, build and deliver microcredentials that not only have university-grade teaching, learning and assessment, but career and industry-relevant skills and knowledge as part of the learning experience.
In the wake of economic uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, today’s learners are seeking credible, valuable and career relevant learning to provide immediate career benefit and recognition. FutureLearn believes that microcredentials, which offer a learning experience more substantial than a short course but without the time and cost of undertaking a degree, will meet this need.
FutureLearn will be the first 100 per cent online Transnational Education (TNE) institution to be awarded this approval by the university.
By having Coventry University as a validating partner, learners on these new microcredentials will be able to obtain 15 UK credits. To achieve this, learners must get at least a pass on all of the assessments as part of a complex and rigorous set of processes and policies that have been put in place.
The first group of these new industry microcredentials, launched in collaboration with Coventry University as the UK validation partner, are Data Analytics with Tableau, Cloud Computing Professional with Amazon Web Services (AWS) certification, Financial Analysis and Decision Making with Xero and Tableau, and Customer Success with Salesforce.
FutureLearn is in the unique position of working closely with both industry and university partners. Because of this, FutureLearn has specific insight into the kind of skills employers are looking for and can bring together industry and educators to create collaborative, credit -bearing learning opportunities to help address the emerging skills gaps. The validation from Coventry University will allow FutureLearn to deliver on this with more efficiency and independence.
“We had invested in digital learning prior to COVID-19 but the pandemic has brought the need for virtual learning to the forefront.
“We have just launched Aula, our new digital learning platform, we are exploring virtual reality teaching thanks to our 5G partnership with Vodafone and this is another move to enhance our digital strength.
“We see FutureLearn as an innovative learning platform that shares our values. We are delighted to be working with them.”
Coventry University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Latham, CBE
“After working intensively with Coventry University over the course of just three months, we are proud to have this formal accreditation approval in place.
“As the pandemic continues to disrupt the jobs market and with UK unemployment figures predicted to reach more than four million by Christmas, we believe that online learning has an important role to play.
“We hope that through this validation model we will be able to provide our learners with a wider offering of industry-led, career-focused microcredentials to help them boost their professional skills in this time of uncertainty.”
Justin Cooke, Chief Content and Partnerships Officer at FutureLearn