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Episode 13 - Teach & Learn

How to Design Micro-credential Courses, with Dr. Luke Dowden

Join D2L for a chat with Dr. Luke Dowden about how to approach designing sustainable micro-credential courses.

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Episode Description

In today’s show, we’re diving into how to the world of noncredit courses. The World Economic Forum highlighted the growing gap between the curriculum taught in traditional degree programs and the skills needed to work in today’s digital world. At the same time, enrollment in full-time degree courses continue to decline.

Much has been said about micro-credentials and alternate pathways being the solution to both institutional enrollment challenges and closing the skills gap, but designing and sustaining these programs requires a different type of strategy and leadership. How can universities and colleges create noncredit courses that truly meet the practical needs of learners and employers?

To discuss these issues further, we welcomed Dr. Luke Dowden, Chief Online Learning Officer at the Alamo Colleges DistrictDr. Dowden and Dr. Ford chatted about:

  • Why institutes and organizations should design noncredit courses with validated personas in mind
  • Why credit for prior learning as an enrollment strategy is so important
  • The Alamo Colleges District micro-credentials briefs
  • The three key questions organizations should be asking with regards to creating sustainable micro pathway programs

Show Notes

01:29: An introduction to Dr. Luke Dowden

03:22: Dr. Dowden discusses how the micro-credentialing initiatives came to fruition at his institution

06:26: Why building course offerings around targeted personas is crucial

11:55: Dr. Dowden on ensuring there is demand for the micro-credentials from the labor market

13:17: Advice to listeners looking to embark on creating workforce development programs

16:47: What Dr. Dowden learned partnering with healthcare organizations to create micro pathways

23:03: The Education Design Labs Community College Growth Fund and why micro pathways can help support equity among learners

28:29: Dr. Laura Rendón’s Validation Theory

32:17: The growth in enrollment at Alamo Colleges because of alternate pathways

34:20: Dr. Ford asks for Dr. Dowden’s tips on how institutions can best approach setting up sustainable micro-credentialing programs


Luke Dowden headshot

Dr. Luke Dowden

Chief Online Learning Officer, Alamo Colleges District Read Dr. Luke Dowden's bio
Dr Cristi Ford

Dr. Cristi Ford

Vice President of Academic Affairs, D2L Read Dr. Cristi Ford's bio
Dr. Amelia Parnell
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