Use of online on-demand microcredentials to provide an alternative learning pathway for an engineering diploma programme
Wilson, Hugh; Hay, Malcolm
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Citation:Wilson, H., & Hay, M. (2019). Use of online on-demand microcredentials to provide an alternative learning pathway for an engineering diploma programme. Proceedings of the AAEE 2019 30th Annual Conference (not yet published) (pp. 1-7).
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5292
This paper sets out the methodology and results of a feasibility study and the following pilot project which were implemented to investigate the use of microcredentials as an alternative learning pathway for the civil option of the New Zealand Diploma of Engineering (NZDE) programme. The NZDE is designed “to provide skilled and competent engineering technicians specialised in Civil, Electrical, Electronic, Mechanical or Fire Engineering for the New Zealand engineering sector” (NZBED, 2017). The NZDE (Civil) graduates fill a number of roles in the civil engineering industry including civil construction site engineers, infrastructure and structural designers and draftspeople, engineering surveyors and project managers for civil engineering projects (Wilson, 2014). There is a need for more civil engineering diploma graduates if New Zealand is to continue to develop at its current rate (IPENZ, 2010) but current graduate numbers are decreasing (Engineering E2E, 2017). One possible approach to increase graduate numbers is to make the programme more accessible and attractive to working people. Microcredentials are recognitions of small packages of learning. The learning and assessment resources required to undertake these small packages of learning may be presented on an online platform that allows learning to be undertaken at any time (i.e. on demand learning). Mischewski (2017) suggests that this approach could provide a more flexible approach to learning which may allow easier access to education for working people. They may also provide a low-stakes entry for people who have been away from formal learning for significant periods of time.